The typical examples was Germany under WWII and the possibility of an attack from the Sovjet Union during the cold war, not to mention the centuries of surveilling "the Finnish Danger" i.e. Sámis who migh side with Finland in a Norwegain-Finnish war. And Sweden? We have been fighting against Sweden before. And Denmark. That's what the military was about. Keep Norway Norway.
So while I was checking the Mistry of Defence's web page in search for more information about current missions in Afghanistan and, consequently, how that could possibly be part of defending Norway, I accidentally found that their official policy statement (which is roughly a mission statement) was last updated in 2011.
Translated, the statement now reads:
- The Defence shall be developed into a modern, flexible, alliance adapted instrument, where is seeks a balance between the Defence's tasks, structure and access to resources. The organization shall be based on a close cooperation with relevant civil authorities and compulsary drafts practices in line with the Defence's needs. Focus shall be to secure and promote/develop Norwegian interests through the handling of a wide spectrum of challenges nationally and internationally.
The give-away is already in the first sentence: The Defence is not to be developed into something that keeps Norway safe - it is an instrument. It is a very peculiar choice of words.
One would think that the mission was narrowed down by going to the Ministry of Defence, the people in charge of this "instrument". But no. The MoD clearly defines themselves as "An office of government responsible for defining and executing security- and defence policies" which basically leaves them open to define defence any way they like.
I wonder if I could persuade them to fund my "soft power" project. That is, conquer evil with good. There just is no better defence than promoting good.