Norway is paying for its own defense

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Norway is paying for its own defense

The bunad gueril­las strike again in Nor­way!

Never heard of them? You’re not alone. The bunad is the tra­di­tional dress of Nor­way. Nor­mally worn on for­mal occa­sions, women are tak­ing to the streets in bunad dress in protest of clos­ing hos­pi­tals. Nor­way has long been touted as the place to copy for social­ized med­i­cine. This is only made pos­si­ble by its sig­nif­i­cant oil rev­enue. Nor­way brings in mil­lions in oil money, which it invests in a fund and uses to finance its very lib­er­ally social government.

While the gov­ern­ment wisely invested it to fund the state, Nor­way is now fac­ing a crunch. It didn’t invest in its mil­i­tary, and a resurg­ing Rus­sia (with eyes on Nor­we­gian ter­ri­tory) has been call­ing for more NATO forces. That’s quite ironic: a nation spend­ing very lit­tle on its own mil­i­tary with plenty of money to spread around is ask­ing a nation broke from fight­ing wars to bring in more military.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the US and oth­ers have been less than eager to help. So Nor­way has had to raise its defense bud­get, which requires con­sol­i­da­tion else­where. This con­sol­i­da­tion is partly com­ing through reduc­ing health care costs by clos­ing hos­pi­tals in less pop­u­lated parts of the coun­try. Once some of the local women were so far away that they gave birth to babies on the side of the road, the bunad-​dressed women rebelled.

There is much to admire about Nor­way, but it got of pretty easy. The US mil­i­tary has been pay­ing the price for Euro­pean free­dom, and too many Euro­pean coun­tries took advan­tage of the good times. As the US strug­gled with more debt and try­ing to pro­vide for its own cit­i­zens, Nor­way and oth­ers were awash in money while not hav­ing to worry about defense. Those days are long gone.

Nor­way and the rest of Europe will find a way to bal­ance their bud­get while also main­tain­ing a force capa­ble of defend­ing their bor­ders. The ques­tion is, will it hap­pen before Rus­sia begins to get angry and take por­tions of their territory?

This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency.

The bunad guerillas strike again in Norway!

Never heard of them? You’re not alone. The bunad is the traditional dress of Norway. Normally worn on formal occasions, women are taking to the streets in bunad dress in protest of closing hospitals. Norway has long been touted as the place to copy for socialized medicine. This is only made possible by its significant oil revenue. Norway brings in millions in oil money, which it invests in a fund and uses to finance its very liberally social government.

While the government wisely invested it to fund the state, Norway is now facing a crunch. It didn’t invest in its military, and a resurging Russia (with eyes on Norwegian territory) has been calling for more NATO forces. That’s quite ironic: a nation spending very little on its own military with plenty of money to spread around is asking a nation broke from fighting wars to bring in more military.

Not surprisingly, the US and others have been less than eager to help. So Norway has had to raise its defense budget, which requires consolidation elsewhere. This consolidation is partly coming through reducing health care costs by closing hospitals in less populated parts of the country. Once some of the local women were so far away that they gave birth to babies on the side of the road, the bunad-dressed women rebelled.

There is much to admire about Norway, but it got of pretty easy. The US military has been paying the price for European freedom, and too many European countries took advantage of the good times. As the US struggled with more debt and trying to provide for its own citizens, Norway and others were awash in money while not having to worry about defense. Those days are long gone.

Norway and the rest of Europe will find a way to balance their budget while also maintaining a force capable of defending their borders. The question is, will it happen before Russia begins to get angry and take portions of their territory?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.