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Raising the Stakes: U.S. to Station 300 Marines in Norway as Tensions Rise with Russia

Sunday, October 23, 2016 17:10
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents. / October 23, 2016

October 2016NORWAY – Russia expressed surprise Friday about the mooted deployment of U.S. troops in neighboring Norway. “Taking into account multiple statements made by Norwegian officials about the absence of threat from Russia to Norway, we would like to understand why Norway is so much willing to increase its military potential, in particular through the stationing of American forces in Vaernes,” Maxime Gourov, the spokesman at the Russian embassy in Oslo said in an email sent to AFP.

Vaernes lies about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from the Russian-Norwegian frontier. On October 10, the Norwegian defense ministry said its military and that of the United States were holding preliminary discussions about the possibility of such a deployment and about “additional training and storage. It may be something that is carried out on a rotational basis… (but) there is no question of permanent deployment,” a ministry spokesman, Ann Kristin Salbuvik, told AFP. The tentative discussions take place against a backdrop of increasing tensions between Russia and the West, notably over Ukraine and the conflict in Syria.

Also on October 10, the Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen said the Pentagon wanted to station 300 U.S. Marines at Vaernes and that this could take place in January. The U.S. has vast amounts of military equipment prepositioned in Norway, notably in tunnels dug into mountains. “Having a rotational presence in Norway enhances the collective ability of our two forces to work together,” Niel Nelson, the US general in charge of the Marine Corps in Europe and Africa, was quoted as saying by American media this week. Before joining NATO in 1949, Norway allayed Russian fears by undertaking not to open its territory to foreign combat troops so long as Norway was not attacked or threatened with attack.

This pledge was later amended to allow foreign troops to conduct maneuvers in Norway. 


The post Raising the Stakes: U.S. to station 300 Marines in Norway as tensions rise with Russia appeared first on Silver For The People.


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