Norway Proposes Strengthening of Armed Forces
The government’s proposal for the defense budget for 2023 prioritizes the nation’s security and preparedness, and shows solidarity in a troubled time. – The budget helps to keep our own population safe, both for today’s threats and those that may come. Securing our freedom is one of the most important tasks for any government, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (The Centre Party).
The government proposes a defense budget of NOK 75.8 billion, an increase of NOK 6.8 billion compared to the balanced budget for 2022. This is an increase of around 9.8 per cent. Adjusted for compensations, technical changes and income increases, the government is increasing the defense budget by 7.8 per cent, about NOK 4.5 billion, compared to the balanced budget for 2022.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is a threat to Norwegian and European security. The war has already had major security political, economic and humanitarian consequences. In addition to the direct threat to Ukraine’s independence, Russia’s attack challenges the norms and rules that have laid the foundation for security and prosperity in Europe. The need for military support to Ukraine is necessary, extensive and time-critical. This budget strengthen the Armed Forces and stand up for Ukraine, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.
Prioritizes daily preparedness and operations
The northern areas are Norway’s most important strategic area. In 2023, the government will continue to strengthen situational awareness and national control, by increasing the allocation to the National Intelligence Service, beyond what the long-term plan for the defense sector lays down.
The budget proposal stipulates that daily national operations and preparedness, and capability for operations in crisis and war in 2023 are prioritized. The Armed Forces we have must work today. The government is eager to strengthen the foundations of the Armed Forces. Therefore, we are adjusting the distribution between investments and operations in the budget for 2023, says the Minister of Defence.
Together with NATO and our allies, a strong national defense is necessary to meet the challenges Norway faces. The government is concerned that the Norwegian Armed Forces have sufficient resources to, and can prioritize, following allies when they operate in the northern areas, and that Norway is able to coordinate allied activity in the north.
We are also strengthening facilities for the reception of, and training with, allied forces in northern Norway. Having good cooperation with our allies is very important, says the Minister of Defence.
The government prioritize the personnel in the Armed Forces
Personnel are the Armed Forces’ most important resource, and the employees of the Armed Forces must have good working and living conditions. The government will therefore increase the number of employees and speed up staffing as well as strengthen the Home Guard with more people, more equipment and more training. Large investments are still ongoing in the Armed Forces. The government also proposes to add additional funds to the maintenance of living and working conditions, says the Minister of Defence.