Austin Lauds Norway’s Increased Defense Spending


By David Vergun

The United States commends Norway for its plan to reach NATO’s shared commitment to spend at least 2% of its gross domestic product on defense during this calendar year, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said.  

Austin hosted an enhanced honor cordon and meeting Thursday with Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram. 

“Our deterrence across the region will grow stronger because of your landmark decision,” Austin said, referring to Norway’s increase in defense spending. 

“Norway has stood with the United States to support our shared security interests and democratic values,” he said. 

As a founding member of NATO, Norway has long served as its “eyes and ears” in the Arctic region, the secretary said. 

“The alliance must be ready to deter aggression and, if necessary, fight together in all conditions — including Arctic ones,” he said. 

Exercises like Nordic Response, which Norway hosted last month with Finland and Sweden, help to strengthen collective deterrence in the Arctic region, Austin said, adding that Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO bolsters the alliance. 

Also, Norway has provided long-term assistance to Ukraine, the secretary noted. 

Austin mentioned the importance of Norwegian-developed National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, better known as NASAMS, that provides air defense for Ukraine. 

NASAMS defends against a range of airborne threats including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles. 

Gram said that in addition to reaching 2% GDP for military spending this year, Norway will almost double its defense budget during the next decade. 

“We do this for our own security and also for our own common security,” he said. 

Norway thanks the United States for supporting Ukraine, Gram said. 

“Continued U.S. leadership is crucial. Norway and Europe have stepped up and have to do even more,” he said, regarding Ukraine support. 

Gram also thanked the secretary for the “substantial U.S. presence in Norway and in our region.”  

Separately, yesterday the White House issued a joint statement on U.S.-Norway cooperation for “strategic cooperation regarding critical minerals.”

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DoD News publishes news from the US Defense Department.

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