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In regard to “Burden-Sharing”, NATO should learn from Norway.


Norway´s and NATO´s Jens Stoltenberg and President  Donald Trump (Credit AP).

Norway´s and NATO´s Jens Stoltenberg and President Donald Trump (Credit AP).

Throughout his unorthodox presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Washington’s European allies for failing to adequately contribute to NATO. Although the president-elect’s statements raised hackles in the United States and Europe, he did bring up important questions about whether the U.S.-established international order—with its global security guarantees—had disproportionally benefitted allies in Europe and Asia, all on the United States’ dime.

As a founding member of NATO, Norway is not one of those free riders Trump implicated. Norway has certainly benefitted from U.S. security guarantees and has, in the process, transformed itself from an impoverished nation, at the end of World War II, to one of the world’s richest today. But over the past few decades, Norway has prioritized its strategic relationship with Washington and now stands out as one of its most reliable allies.

For one, Norway has played a leadership role within NATO by providing stability and predictability to the North Atlantic, a vast region that also serves as a gateway for Russian nuclear submarines and warships capable of reaching the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Oslo has simultaneously established itself as a leader within NATO when it comes to burden-sharing; and yes, it also pays 50 percent of all costs related to U.S. tanks, armored vehicles, and other defense equipment stored in Norway as part of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program–Norway agreement, which was reached in 2005. Read article here