Ambassador Braithwaite: Defense demands

US Ambassador puts pressure on Norway to pay its fair share as NATO member

Kenneth Braithwaite

Photo: U.S. Department of State
Ambassador Kenneth J. Braithwaite official photo

Victoria Garza
Norway Today

Kenneth J. Braithwaite, U.S. ambassador to Norway, has in recent months put extra pressure on Norway to spend 2% of gross domestic product on the Armed Forces.

Several parliamentary summits confirmed to the newspaper Klassekampen that Braithwaite has had meetings both before and after the summer with a clear message that Norway must reach NATO’s top percentile target.

“He is clear, and he is not satisfied,” says Deputy Chair of the Foreign and Defense Committee, Christian Tybring-Gjedde (Frp).

“They point out that Norway is the only NATO country with a border with Russia that has not reached the goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense,” says Tybring-Gjedde.

There was a new element in the conversations with the tone of an ultimatum.

“Now that Americans are tougher, there can be consequences. They do not say outright that they will not help us when a difficult situation arises, but they underline that we are close to Russia,” says Tybring-Gjedde.

Right-wing Hårek Elvenes says the Unit­ed States is obviously impatient with Norway.

“Norway is both a founder of NATO and current leader of the alliance, and is financially capable of meeting these commitments. I have emphasized that it is important for Norway to show leadership and reach the top percentage target well before 2024,” Braithwaite wrote in a comment.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the October 4, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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