Even Norway sees the senseless presence of American Marines.
Moscow is perplexed about the decision to deploy the US 330 US Marines in Norway, the Russian embassy in Oslo said Wednesday.
“Taking into account the numerous statements by Norwegian officials about the absence of a threat from Russia to Norway, we would like to understand the purpose for which Norway is so keen to increase its military potential, in particular, by basing American forces in Vernes?” The statement reads.
It became known earlier that around US 330 US Marines will be temporarily stationed in Norway next year. This was reported on Monday by the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom Ina Eriksen Sereide. As recently as last week, the commander of the US Marine Corps in Europe and Africa, Major General Neal Nelson, spoke only about the “hypothetical possibility” of such a redeployment.
Whatever it was, there were no foreign troops in Norway since 1945, when the northern parts of the country were abandoned by Soviet soldiers who liberated this land from the Germans. And despite the fact that Norway is considered one of the most loyal and steadfast members of NATO, American and British troops on its territory, even during the Cold War, were only temporary - as a reinforcement or on exercises. The maximum figure was reached in the 2000 year, when up to 15 thousands of foreign troops took part in the maneuvers at the same time. And now about any deployment of US Marine Corps on a permanent basis, formally, there is no question. The contract on the stay of the reinforced company was concluded only until the end of the new year, although with the possibility of renewal.
The rotation of the Marines is proposed to be held every six months, and formally they should engage in training with the Norwegians. And another big question is who will teach whom. There are no units trained under the conditions of the North and the highlands in the US Marine Corps. Until recently, the United States did not consider theaters of war with such geographical and climatic conditions. As a result, it turned out that in the USA there are no specially trained units, and they do not even know how their equipment will behave in such a climate. And this is despite the fact that the climatic conditions of Central and Northern Norway are much softer than the Russian Far North.
Americans "need more" in Norway than vice versa
Climate, by the way, really matters. Especially for Americans.
“The United States is a long-time and close ally of Norway ... We receive positive feedback from allies who consider the harsh climatic conditions of our country ideal for training,” says Sereide.
The minister emphasizes that the US marines need Norway more than the other way around. This is partly due to the sharp criticism of the American troops from the left-wing parliamentary opposition, which is traditionally strong in Norway - the most socialist of all kingdoms. “This is a negative signal. “We are witnessing a cooling of the political climate, which requires predictability from Norway,” said, for example, the leader of the Socialist Left Party, Audun Liisbakken. “Rather, we should strengthen our national defense, and not strive for some form of permanent presence of US troops.”
But, most likely, all the talk about the “temporary” nature of the placement is a propaganda cover. The trick is that preparation for the permanent rather than temporary deployment of the contingent has been secretly conducted since the beginning of this year. The place of deployment will be the air base in the town of Vernes in the municipality of Skjördal in the county (province) Nur-Trendelag, which is three kilometers from Trondheim - a large city and port, the center of life of Central Norway. These typical for this area poorly traversed snowy mountains abound in caves. It is in these caves since the days of the Cold War that rear warehouses have been located, designed to withstand the blow of the Soviet strategic aviationalthough they did not plan to deliver such strikes in the USSR. But since the 80s of the last century, the marines have accumulated a strategic reserve in these caves.
Over the 90s and zero years, this stock has become decrepit and worn out. Five years ago, in Vernes, the Marine Corps stored only the old Hamvi armored cars, which were lit with candles in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as machine guns and hand grenade launchers. In August of this year, the arsenal in the Norwegian mountains replenished tanks "Abrams" in an unspecified amount and assault vehicles "Shredder" - engineering vehicles for mine clearing and overcoming obstacles. And already this fall, transporters of M-88 tanks, amphibians arrived, reinforced and refitted after the failure of the Hamvi in Iraq and the little things of various kinds of trucks and support vehicles. All this equipment belongs to the 2nd Expeditionary Brigade of the Marine Corps (MEB) in Norway and should be served by 14 to 18 thousand marines, not 330 sufferers, who should now be the first to evaluate the effects of cold Arctic air.
With whom they are going to fight in Central Norway, especially since such a set of equipment is attacking, and not defensive in nature - it is not clear. If all this was by force before the brigade was located on the Russian-Norwegian border, it would have at least some logic. A static base in the mountains near Trondheim, in which to withdraw the equipment from the caves after an alarm, is a half-day lesson, nothing more than a big target, which simply asks for “hit me with Iskander.
The Marines were involved in the plans of the Pentagon to deploy in Europe a chain of bases, which, according to the plan, should "hold back the Russian bear." The bear doesn’t break anywhere, but the operation to redeploy to Europe up to 4 of thousands of US military in 2017 has already begun.
The base in the Norwegian Wernesse is perceived as a rear base, just as the Keflavik airfield in Iceland, previously returned under American jurisdiction. On paper, the 4 figure of thousands of American soldiers looks good. But in fact they are scattered over a vast territory without coordination and no cover. Joint headquarters systems with local armed forces in Eastern Europe did not work. They could not earn, given the colonial attitude of the American staff officers to the Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians and Estonians.
25 kilometers to Tartu
Bases in the Baltic States were simply isolated. Thus, at the Zokniai airfield in Lithuania, on the basis of rotation, the rear forces for NATO - Portuguese and Belgian fighters - are on duty. No one has ever been able to evaluate the quality of the Portuguese, but we already understood what the Belgian Royal Air Force is in Syria. Zoknyay has no air defense, just like the American “fort” in Adazi, a former Latvian resort settlement of the Soviet intelligentsia, and now a hotbed of domestic conflicts and prostitution. About the same story in Estonian Tartu, formerly the base of the strategic aviation of the USSR - the only airfield in the region that can receive heavy transport aircraft. From it to the Russian border - 25 kilometers. This is not the distance for the sabotage group.
In Eastern Europe, of course, they themselves fanned the hysteria of the “front-line states”, who immediately need to strengthen the American presence. And got in the best case for a reinforced tank company.
Norway now has nothing to do with it. From the base in Wernes, to the Russian border - a thousand kilometers along snow-covered mountains, at best - along a two-lane road on the traverse of the Lofoten Islands. Had a traffic jam, one attack aircraft - and there will be a whole alley at Arlington Cemetery. The senselessness of placing there the rear arsenal of marines is visible to the naked eye. Therefore, it is so difficult to explain in the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) why all this is necessary.
The American military plan of “supporting Europe” looks attractive to European “small nations” only if you don’t think about it. In reality, this is a strange mix of bluffs with a set of snobbish illusions, which are bought only by those who themselves also wept the most, like the Balts and Poland. And in Norway this kind of ideas raise doubts.
The current government is doing everything to camouflage the real situation, but the Storting may well initiate an investigation. And in Oslo, the positions of those who are inclined to stand for building up their own, Norwegian defensive potential are rather strong, and not to host foreign offensive arsenals. But this is more of a question of ideology, and not of military intelligence.
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.