Norway to host biggest exercise inside Arctic Circle since Cold War,

“There is a significantly increased interest among our allies for the north and the Arctic,” said General Eirik Kristoffersen, head of the Norwegian Armed Forces in a phone interview with the Barents Observer. […]

“As it seems today, we will have about 40,000 soldiers in exercise Cold Response,” Kristoffersen said.

“It will be the largest military exercise inside the Arctic Circle in Norway since the 1980s,” the General added.

Cold Response 2022 will train reinforcement of northern Norway, and the main action will be by navy and air force capacities in the Ofoten area.

The region is near to the Army’s northern brigade and training areas where U.S., British and Dutch soldiers frequently drill Arctic warfare. […]

Norway’s Defense Minister, Frank Bakke-Jensen confirmed in an OpEd earlier this winter that Cold Response 2022 must be seen as part of a more persistent NATO presence in the Arctic.

“The exercise will also test allied ability to protect NATO interests in the Arctic. This is deterrence in action,” the minister wrote.

For Norway, however, the dilemma is how to balance deterrence and reassurance. Being a small neighbor to Russia’s Arctic military buildup and maintain good relations at the same time is challenged by Moscow’s use of military force as a tool to achieve foreign policy goals, including the current deployment of huge forces near Ukraine’s eastern border.

It creates an undertone of uncertainty among neighboring countries, like Norway. Läs artikel