Norway’s Defense Minister: It’s Time to Boost NATO’s Maritime Profile

Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, June 25, 2014

Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, June 25, 2014We need to raise NATO’s profile in the maritime domain. This requires maritime power and presence. Regular training and exercises are also necessary to give us the knowledge and skills we need to operate in this domain. NATO’s maritime forces need to be able to establish sea control in NATO’s area of responsibility to ensure freedom of navigation. They also need to ensure that sea lines of communication are open for supply and reinforcements in crisis or war.

This requires high-end maritime capabilities, situational awareness, updated contingency plans and collective contributions to NATO forces in the Atlantic.

Furthermore, reassurance initiatives in the East are important and have had a stabilizing effect, but we should develop a strategic framework for deterrence and reassurance beyond the temporary means. Deterrence and reassurance are back as key concepts in our security policy. For NATO to be politically credible it needs to be militarily capable….

As we prepare for the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw, we must assess the new security environment as it is, not as we wish it were; we must think strategically while acting immediately; and we must revitalize the trans-Atlantic link in both political and military terms.

Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide is Norway’s defense minister.