Nordic officers: There are no free rides
The Nordic officers associations, representing more than 30.000 members, can no longer vouche for the defense capabilities of their respective countries.
We appeal to the political leadership in the Nordic countries, to act in a responsible manor, and re-instate armed forces capable of doing the job they require.
In a joint press release from a meeting in Stange, Norway this week we express our general concern regarding the loss of credible defence capability facing all the Nordic countries.
The defence bills are more and more driven by purely economical agendas and the advice from companies like Mckinsey, with no real knowledge of military operations, or respect for the security implications.
The countries are increasingly reducing the number and size of loyal, responsible and trained officers with civilian workers or outsourced services without deeper knowledge of basic defence requirements.
The threat scenarios range from both asymmetric terror organisations like ISIS and the renewed threat from Russia’s preparedness to use military force to obtain foreign policy aims, as shown in the intervention in Ukraine, has already increased the demands for robust defence forces.
But at the same time the defence forces of all the Nordic countries are reduced in both size and numbers.
The officers associations of the Nordic countries find that the politicians are playing a dangerous game with defence structures, putting the security of the populations at unacceptable risk.
Defence forces in all the Nordic countries are severely stressed by increasing demands on readiness and the level of activity in both exercises and missions, at great personal cost for the soldiers and their families.
You can’t expect a limited armed force that like the Danish all together barely can fill a football field, being able to defend a whole country. Their high morale cannot outweigh their small number.
A few battalions, fighter aircrafts or frigates wide spread over a country the size of Norway or Sweden cannot fight of an attack, or depend on other nations to come for assistance in time – or to come at all.
There are no free rides. It is time for the governments to stand up to their responsibility, respect the military advice given, and provide defence forces capable of defending their own countries.
Päällystöliitto - Sakari Vuorenmaa
Norges Offisersforbund - Egil A Aas
Hovedorganisationen af Officerer i Danmark - Niels Henrik Tønning
Officersförbundet - Lars Fresker
Befalets Fellesorganisasjon - Jens B Jahren
Upseeriliitto - Jari Rantala
The members of the Nordic Officers association are six Nordic military trade unions. Chairmanship rotates between the four member countries Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Norway holds the chairmanship during the current year.
For further comments, contact chosen member of the association.