A statement by the popular political observer and editor of the country's most massive daily newspaper, Aftenposten, Per Anders Madsen, made a statement that struck the imagination of the local philistine, suggesting that the authorities focus their efforts on a new, especially important activity - gathering, processing and systematizing intelligence information. According to the journalist, the incoming intelligence can be converted into political capital, which will strengthen Norway’s position in NATO. And the chairman of the Royal Maritime Society, Niklas Wiklund, thoughtfully spoke that the classic tactic was always not in an arms race, but in gathering information about a potential enemy. The Swedish monthly tabloid Svenska Dagbladet, owned by the Norwegian publishing company Schibsted, also emphasizes that the main task of the neighboring state as a member of NATO is to monitor Russian submarines in the northern seas for Arctic waters.
Aftenposten’s concern about the state of relations with NATO is caused by the doubts of the country's military leadership in helping the alliance in the event of a conflict with neighboring Russia. Earlier, Sigfrid Tilbeer on the Russian-language website Norse.ru cited an excerpt from the secret report of the Commander-in-Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces, warning that in case of a serious conflict, Northern Europe would be left to itself. The feeling of insecurity before the possible aggression of the eastern neighbor is constantly maintained in the Norwegian public by the NRK television company. Publicist and publisher Nina Berlund, analyzing the report of the Norwegian Armed Forces commander-in-chief, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hansen, draws attention to the alarming recognition of the modest possibilities of a “first line of defense” designed to protect the country before NATO assistance arrives. It will take up to three days for the alliance to prepare a general air operation. And its main forces will be tightened for another one or two months. In other words, the military establishment brought to the attention of the Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Sereide a professional opinion that the country's readiness for defense cannot be considered adequate.
Anxiety to public consciousness was added by the publication of the annual foreign policy review of the Norwegian intelligence service Fokus 2016, a quarter of the 82-page text of which is devoted to Russia and boils down to the fact that Russia will continue to pursue an aggressive foreign policy. The publication is credited with a preface written by its official editor - the new head of the Norwegian intelligence, Lieutenant-General Morten Haga Lund, who saw a clear change in the main line in Russia's foreign policy. In the campaign of anti-Russian propaganda included the regional press, scaring fellow citizens with the horrors of the enemy invasion. Publishing excerpts of the intelligence report, local media demand an increased military presence from the government, especially in the north of the country.
The sincere concern of the Norwegian secret services for the security situation in the country met with understanding even in distant Switzerland. The Zurich newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung cites the words of an obscure expert at the Institute for Peace Studies, who is convinced of the need to urgently re-equip the country to increase readiness for a possible confrontation.
An analysis of the actions of the military-political leadership of Norway makes it possible to trace its evolution towards supporting the development of the national intelligence service by equipping it with the latest technological means of tracking, observing and collecting information. I really want the Norwegian generals to become the main supplier of intelligence about the eastern neighbor and thereby win the favor of the discerning NATO strategists. In addition, there are objective factors that determined the choice of priorities in determining the country's defense concept. Norway, as the left flank of NATO, closest to the Russian Federation, has an almost two-hundred-kilometer border with it. According to the views of the military command of Norway, its small armed forces alone will not cope with the reflection of the invasion of a powerful enemy. Therefore, the solution of the main spectrum of operational-tactical defense tasks is assigned to small, well-trained and equipped reconnaissance and sabotage units. Without coming into direct contact with the forces of a possible aggressor, these groups will operate in the mountainous, sparsely populated and hard-to-reach areas of the country on the flanks and in the rear of the enemy, weakening its offensive capabilities with swift and sudden strikes before the arrival of NATO units. Therefore, in the structure of the Norwegian Armed Forces there is a significant number of Jäger infantry and parachute companies and battalions, jäger border companies, and jäger coast defense companies. In addition, a reconnaissance and sabotage detachment was also created within the Navy. It should be added that the Norwegian military lexicon by the word Jäger means intelligence.
Eastern Ear Nato
In the long-term program of modernization and strengthening of the country's armed forces proposed by the Norwegian government this summer, it is planned to increase military spending by 165 billion crowns (19,7 billion dollars) in a twenty-year perspective. According to Deutsche Welle radio, the country's military budget is already supplemented with additional 2020 billion crowns (7,2 million dollars) before 860. In a press release, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense cites the words of its head: strengthening the country's defense capability is a necessary necessity. On the 2021 – 2026 years, a further increase in the military budget is planned.
But many prominent experts consider the allocations insufficient. The retired Commodore Jacob Beresen stated on the website aldrimer.no that the Norwegian Armed Forces suffered from insufficient investments for a long time. Renowned journalist Rune S. Alexandersen reported on the plans of the military department, which decided to close eleven facilities, including the Andréya airbase, and reduce 1400 positions in the sun in search of additional funds. Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg from the Progress Party (FrP) peacefully stated in June that the Russians lacked Norwegian seafood, today indicates the government’s determination to find the means necessary to strengthen the defense, even if unpopular steps can be taken that could affect interests not only individuals, but entire communities. “If we want to have a future, we don’t have an alternative,” the minister ended aggressively.
The total annual budget of the Norwegian intelligence (Etterretningstjenesten), which is often called E-tjenesten, although officially it is called in English Norwegian Intelligence Service - NIS or just E-Service, is slightly less than 200 million dollars. Its head is referred to in the press as E-boss. The current E-boss, Lieutenant-General Morten Haga Lunde took up his duties in January 2016, leaving the post of chief of staff of the Joint Operational Command. Lunde, who was convinced that Russia could pose a great threat to Norway in the long run, replaced Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen, who led Norwegian intelligence since 2010. According to the most influential Norwegian daily newspaper Verdens Gang (VG), the staff of E-Service is 800 – 1000 employees. Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Sereyi confirmed the decision to allocate additional funds for the needs of the knights of the cloak and dagger.
Legal regulation of the E-Service is carried out on the basis of the law on intelligence activities (Lov om Etterretningstjenesten) of 1998, with amendments of 2001 and the law on personal data of 2004. The statutory function of the intelligence service is to collect, process and analyze information affecting public interests in relation to foreign countries, organizations or individuals who may represent a real or potential threat to Norway’s national interests. The Norwegian Storting Special Committee oversees the activities of the E-Service. Norwegian military intelligence has close corporate ties with the American CIA and the British MI6. Thanks to the efforts of E-Service, Norway has taken an honorable place in the “nine eyes” group of countries whose intelligence is distinguished by the closest interaction. In addition to the United States and Norway, these include Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and France.
Historically, the interests of E-Service have focused on the northern regions and directions. From the point of view of Oslo, the flow of intelligence information extracted here by Norwegian intelligence officers and immediately shipped to the United States serves as a weighty guarantee for providing the kingdom with military cover in a conflict situation. The local press is penetrated by information about the huge arrays of secret data accumulated by the E-Service and received the provisional name of the intelligence collection (NIS COLLECT). They are obtained as a result of collecting information by intercepting signals and messages, known as signal intelligence (Sigint). The Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet called the listening post in Varde, located near the Russian-Norwegian border, a giant ear to the east. Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, a respectable German magazine, told readers about the revelations of the head of E-Service, who publicly acknowledged the fact of mass wiretapping of telephone conversations around the world. True, as noted by ABC Nyheter, only calls in conflict zones were tapped outside the country. Metadata about 33186042 calls were transferred to NATO allies and primarily to the US National Security Agency. Earlier, the Norwegian government was very critical of this practice. Justice Minister Anders Anunsen called it unacceptable. By the way, the Swedish colleagues of the E-Service from the Radiocommunication Service (FRA) also helped the American NSA to collect information about Russian politicians.
Processing a huge intelligence base requires the use of the most advanced computing technologies. Part of a major investment program for the development of E-Service should be considered the acquisition of a Norwegian supercomputer intelligence, codenamed Steel Winter. In partnership with the US NSA, E-Service specialists are involved in developing software for decrypting the most interesting data from NIS COLLECT. We are talking about the program Windsor Blue for a super-computer to work on the American IT giant IBM. “Modern cryptography is impossible without powerful computers,” says Bergen researcher Howard Redum Simula.
Technique on the verge of the Atlantic
The creation of a large-scale surveillance system in the Far North, which allows NATO to form a complete picture of what is happening in the region with the help of numerous satellites, ships, airplanes, radar systems and sea sensors, is, according to expert Niklas Viklund, a kind of reaction of the West to Russia's actions. “Instead of engaging NATO in the arms race, they chose to use intensive surveillance of Russia, in which a broad modernization program of the Armed Forces is being carried out, and electronic intelligence is an effective tool by which you can see what the modernized Russian armed forces will look like.” The military historian Lars Güllendal expressed this idea more specifically: "With the help of electronic intelligence, you can analyze what the enemy is doing and get an idea of it."
Intelligence targets are powerful radar systems with partially or completely secret technology. These include two multi-radio complex of world-class research of near space active by radio EISCAT-anleggene Tromsø and SPEAR in Longiyre, military station radio navigation system of land-based LORAN-C in the Atlantic Ocean on the Arctic island of Jan Mayen and the Globus II Radar in Vardø, potentially capable of tracking launches of ICBMs. At the heart of Globus II is the AN / FPS-129 Have Stare radar with 200 kilowatt power, having a parabolic reflector disk with a diameter of 27 meters.
In the Western press, there were reports of the US intention to build a more powerful radar in Varda, aimed at Russia. The head of E-Service called the exact timing of construction. The construction of the Globus III radar will begin in the summer of 2017 and will be completed by 2020. The cost of the project exceeds a billion NOK. At the same time, it is planned to upgrade Globus II in the amount of approximately 118 million dollars. Radar, according to E-Service, will help Norway to control the situation in space. Mayor Varde Robert Jensen made a curious confession. When asked whether this territory would become the target of Russia's military attack in the event of an armed conflict because of a new radar, the mayor answered negatively, explaining that there were plenty of other equally important and significant targets around.
Some of the tasks previously performed by specialized forces of the Cyberforsvaret (cyber defense) department, originally assigned to a separate branch of the military and designed not only to counter coordinated attacks on the country's cyberspace, but also to retaliate against the infrastructure of a potential enemy, are assigned to the intelligence service. The Cyberforsvaret service was founded on September 18 2012, much earlier than in other NATO countries. The number of its personnel - 1500 people, stationed both at the main base in the town of Jorstadmoen near Lillehammer, and in 60 other places. By the way, it was here during the Great Patriotic War that the stalag 303 transit camp for Soviet prisoners of war was located. About 70 000 of our compatriots, according to Norwegian sources, passed through this camp, 954 of them died and were buried in a local cemetery.
The permanent leader of Cyberforsvaret is Major General Odd Egil Pedersen, popular in the Armed Forces of Norway. “A worthy person with a solid track record, well-known both at home and at NATO,” said spokesman Knut Helge Grandhagen on the agency’s website. Pedersen commanded the Norwegian contingent in Afghanistan for quite a long time, and later his candidacy was considered for the post of the head of the Oslo military mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He outlined his vision of the world in a speech to students and cadets of the youth network YATA Norge in the spring of 2016: “There is a war in cyberspace, real warfare unfolds here. Cyberspace itself is an arena for intelligence operations. ” Norway needs reliable cyber defense in all walks of life, he told the local newspaper Oppland Arbeiderblad. The name of General Pedersen was announced among the keynote speakers at Cyber Defense and Network Security, a representative annual conference in January 2017 in London, dedicated to cyber defense and network security issues. He strongly opposes the modernization of Norway’s cyber defense and the transfer of cyber intelligence to the E-Service department. The irritation of the military leader also caused a reduction in the financing of his service, associated with the redistribution of funds. With the loss of a number of functions, Cyberforsvaret was renamed FF (Forsvarets samband - FSMB). The responsibility of FSMB for the operation and maintenance of common systems was added the duty of training specialists for the needs of the service at the National College of Defense. Alarmed by the innovations, Pedersen, in desperation, told Dagbladet: “The enemy can now easily penetrate our servers and receive information that will be used to attack and destroy Norway.”
Intelligence as a landscape
Eyes and ears in the north of Norway are six Lockheed P-3 Orion naval patrol aircraft that are in service with the Royal Air Force. Former Orion operator and now military analyst and researcher at the International Center for Strategic Analysis (SISA) Harald Havoll believes that the presence of Norwegian aircraft over the Barents Sea has long been part of the environment and is no longer annoying to the Russians. Hovall is convinced that tension in the region increases only with the visit of American and British ships, which behave provocatively. Once they came as close as possible to the Russian border and acted very aggressively. The Russian equivalent, the Norwegian noted, followed immediately ...
Lieutenant Colonel Ingvil Jensrud, commander of the Royal Air Force 133 th wing, stationed on the Anneya base, is less complacent. Our naval patrol, says Jensrud, is responsible for the vast territory from the Skagerrak in the south to the North Pole in the north. Orion aircraft with its sensors and capabilities allows you to solve any problems. We not only see the surface of the sea, but also get a picture of what is happening under water. “But the most exciting thing,” says this young, but already completely gray-haired woman, “is what is happening on the Russian side of the border.” In recent years, Orion aircraft have been observing the changes taking place there. ” The atmosphere in the air is still characterized by mutual trust. Meetings in the sky with Russian fighters occur in a polite and pleasant manner with the proper distance between the planes, so that “we do not experience aggression from Russia”. Curious recognition of the commander of the espionage wing.
The oldest magazine in the world aviation Topics - In June, the British weekly Flight Global spoke about the Norwegian government’s plans to abandon the P-3 Orion aircraft serving their term. The most likely replacement candidate is the Boeing P-8 Poseidon patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, equipped with the advanced AN / APS-137D (V) 5 airborne radar and Raytheon's AN / APY-10 electronic reconnaissance system. This modification allows the mapping of the terrain, the identification of stationary surface targets, as well as the detection of submarines located at periscope depth. The intended purpose of the aircraft is sea patrolling, search and destruction of enemy surface ships and submarines. Flight Global columnist Beth Stevenson also named the place where the new patrol planes are permanently deployed - Evenes airbase.
Norwegian intelligence, in an effort to meet the needs of the United States and NATO for information on the Russian Armed Forces, pays considerable attention to improving the entire set of tracking, snooping and eavesdropping tools. In an interview with VG, E-Service CEO General Lunde honestly acknowledged that the widespread adoption of information and communication technologies creates unprecedented opportunities for digital intelligence operations. It is in this context that the adoption of the Navy of the Marjata super-ship should be considered, the main function of which will be to monitor the Russian fleet in the northern latitudes. The Norwegian Armed Forces website proudly named this ship the most advanced of its class in the world. According to Norwegian sources, the predecessor of modern Marjata was able to detect the sunken Russian submarine Kursk, being 19 kilometers from the site of the tragedy. E-boss Lunde does not hide his enthusiasm for the appearance in May 2016 in the port of Kirkenes of a new spy ship, the secret equipment on which was installed at the US naval base Chatham. At the same time, the intelligence service received an unexpected PR. For the first time, the emblem of the E-Service is depicted on the ship’s pipe. In other words, his intelligence mission is not even hidden. Previously, ships of this purpose were called evasively “research vessel” and bore the emblem of the Norwegian Institute for Defense Research.
The significance of the new reconnaissance ship Marjata for conducting high-tech espionage for Russia is evidenced by the extraordinary solemnity of the official ceremony of its acceptance. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg personally smashed a bottle of champagne on board the ship, for the construction of which, according to BarentsObserver, 1,5 billion Norwegian kroner (160 million euros) was spent. The event was attended by the country's Minister of Defense, Ine Eriksen Sereide, the commander-in-chief, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hansen, and other officials.
However, dragging chestnuts for the overseas patron, no matter how high-tech it is, is unlikely to bring comfort and reassurance. Neutral Finland, which has an almost 1500-kilometer border with the Russian Federation, feels much more confident and values good-neighborly relations with us. Unlike the Norwegian border guards, its border guards do not have to take off the removable police stripes on the velcro before going on patrol so that in the event of a military conflict they are considered civilians and therefore protected.
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