FFI – Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt: «Look to Norway»

​US-marines øvde med på gardister fra Hans Majestet Kongens Garde under øvelse Trident Juncture i 2018. Foto: Johannes Maximilian Schnell/Forsvaret

Små høyteknologiske nasjoner som Norge kan bidra til at USA og dets allierte beholder sitt teknologiske fortrinn.

Det hevder en kronikk publisert på det amerikanske nettstedet National Review i desember. Kronikken er skrevet av FFIs egen Frank Brundtland Steder, i samarbeid Leo Blanken og Stephen Rodriguez.

— Dette er et lite stykke norgesreklame rettet mot amerikanske beslutningstagere, sier Steder.

Initiativet følger opp konklusjonene i «National Defense Strategy» fra 2018. Der erkjennes det at USA er avhengig av å støtte seg på kompetanse og kapasitet hos allierte og partnere for å nå sine ambisjoner.

Les også: Hanne Bjørks kronikk om det norske Trekantsamarbeidet.

– National Review leses i hovedsak av amerikanske beslutningstagere og er regnet som et konservativt nettsted. I disse tider tror jeg det er viktig å nå denne gruppen med et budskap om internasjonalt samarbeid, sier Steder.

Kronikken er et resultat av FFIs samarbeid med Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Medforfatter Leo Blanken er professor ved NPS og tilknyttet tenketanken The Atlantic Council. Stephen Rodriguez er forsvarspolitisk rådgiver, har grunnlagt One Defence og er «visiting professor» ved Naval Postgraduate School.

Under kan du lese kronikken i sin helhet.

To Shore Up the Defense-Industrial Base, Look to Norway
Mutually beneficial defense partnerships are increasingly important in an era of Russian aggression and rapid technological change.
By Stephen Rodriguez, Frank Brundtland Steder & Leo Blanken

On March 1, 1848, Henry John Temple Palmerston said in the House of Commons: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual.” Over 100 years later, U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger famously echoed this realist sentiment. While he was referencing a broader view on American national-security interests, his remarks were intuitive to many abroad. America has long been known for operating independently and at will, primarily because its overwhelming political, economic, and military power has allowed it to do so. But this approach is becoming increasingly untenable — especially when it comes to fielding competitive military technology.

In Executive Order 13806, issued July 2017, President Trump ordered a comprehensive analysis of the assessment and strengthening of the U.S. manufacturing and defense industrial base. The sobering result from the analysis is that the U.S. is struggling: increasingly dependent on foreign suppliers, losing its domestic manufacturing capabilities, and suffering from a decline in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills among its citizens.

What can be done to remedy this situation? We think, as stated in the National Defense Strategy, that strategic collaboration with a trusted partner nation such as Norway — a country with which the US recently signed a Security of Supply Agreement — can help shore up supply chains and strengthen alliances for both countries.

The American national-security apparatus was codified with the 1947 National Security Act. Following lessons from the Second World War, the resulting architecture served the nation well throughout the Cold War. The industrial base during that period flourished, for a number of reasons. First, the U.S. economy and that of the Soviet Union were almost completely separate. Second, the trajectory of strategic technologies was relatively stable and well-understood. Third, the US Department of Defense was the nation’s and probably the world’s largest source of research and development funding.

But a look at today’s national-security landscape shows that none of these three conditions currently holds. The American economy is intimately entwined with that of China, technology is changing extremely rapidly, and many private firms have R&D budgets larger than that of the Pentagon. The result is that the U.S. government may no longer have the luxury of understanding, let alone unilaterally controlling, the current challenges and future needs of the defense-industrial base. This raises the question: If America cannot control its industrial destiny, who can it rely on?

The answer may lie with our allies.

Why Norway?
America’s allies bring disparate resources to the table for mutual defense. Some have very capable military forces (United Kingdom), geostrategic locations (Djibouti), or shared regional concerns (Canada). We are concerned with partner nations that have the capacity to make significant contributions to the industrial-base issue, due to deeply aligned geopolitical interests, rich human capital, niche high-tech industrial capabilities, and the complementary desire for advanced weapons systems. There are a number of such nations, but here we explore one: Norway. Its internal capacity, relationship with the U.S. defense community, and involvement in previous “big wins” help make the case that many current industrial-base shortfalls could be addressed through the development of coordinated engagement with such partner nations.

There are some major differences between the two countries, not least their size. The U.S. spends about 100 times more than does Norway on defense. The relationship is also marked by complexity, as shown in Figure 1, making it an ideal candidate for defense industrial base integration.