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Norwegian strategic culture after World War II: From a local to a global perspective

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReview

This article details the changes in Norwegian strategic culture, comprising grand strategy and practice, following the end of the Cold War. Throughout the Cold War, Norwegian security and defence policy was characterized by broad, non-politicized consensus. Basic elements of this grand strategic perspective were the smallness of Norway, the people defence and allegiance to the UN. Doctrines focused on survival, with the army as the lead service. Close ties were maintained between the military and societal elites, and the military was seen just as much in societal terms, namely as an employer in scarcely populated areas, as it was in defensive terms. The changes in strategic culture over the past 10-15 years have been uneven, partly driven by internal and external changes in discourse, but over recent years probably as much by changes in practice. The first post-Cold War years witnessed the emergence of an alternative grand strategic representation, focusing on international operations rather than on invasion defence. Mindful of the impact on local communities of a reduced military presence, politicians long resisted any change, but after years of resistance the alternative grand strategy was embraced by the armed forces, leading to the creation of a rapid reaction force and increased emphasis on special task forces. International experience is now considered positive, even necessary, for a military career. Furthermore, whereas general conscription was gradually undermined because of the way in which it is practised, new civil-military ties were forged through the practice of providing military personnel training that was interchangeable with regular education. It now seems that military practice, as well as the specialized military discourse, has outpaced the broader Norwegian dis-course on the use of military means. Nevertheless, the tension between global and local concerns remains unresolved.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCooperation and Conflict
Vol/bind40
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)45-66
Antal sider22
ISSN0010-8367
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2005

ID: 231649131