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MILITARY DENIAL / According to Rødt, Norway has gone from being a "nation of peace" to becoming a "nation of war".


Red considers capitalism to be the fundamental structure behind the world's main challenges, whether it be war, exploitation or climate change. With this ideological starting point, war is considered a natural consequence of the economic system we live in. The party therefore wants a transition from capitalism to socialism. With this in mind, Rødt's work program for 2021–2025 appears[1] as more powerful in its anti-war rhetoric than the other programs. The policy proposed here for the defensive structure of the Armed Forces, and raising the threshold for going to war, is thus also more radical than that of the other parties.

Rødt's work program presupposes that Norway is an integral part of the global imperialist system, which is anchored militarily in the "NATO attack alliance". Here, Norway operates in a subordinate role in relation to US interests. Therefore, Norway has gone from being a "nation of peace" to becoming a "nation of war". Red will liberate Norway from this structure. Thus, working for example for weapons control or disarmament within the framework of NATO is not a relevant issue. Based on Rødt's ideology, there is not always a distinction between the political and the economic in military policy. This is because it is basically about oppressors and those who are oppressed. The arms industry is therefore also understood as an economic player that is served by a high level of tension and conflict.

In Rødt's work program for 2021–2025, it is argued that the threshold for going to war must be increased considerably. This is because Norway's warfare abroad harms those who live there, but also because it makes Norway more insecure. The program declares support for an international legal order that safeguards international law. Red wants Norway to contribute to resolving conflicts peacefully, so that abuse and violence are limited. Furthermore, peace efforts and humanitarian efforts must be prioritized, and imperialist wars of aggression must be counteracted. Rødt will work to ensure that Norway's main role internationally is to contribute to disarmament, peace mediation and long-term support for post-conflict reconstruction.

A peace perspective Rødt's election program is all about, is the right to military denial; political work in the military; and the right to training in civilian forms of resistance. Rødt will work to provide training for civilian peacekeeping contingents who can conduct relief work in conflicts where the parties accept this. Such promotion of civilian non-violent conflict management is rarely and clearly grounded in peace policy.

[1]   As explained above, the latest program
draft for the national meeting as a basis.


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Alexander Harang
Harang is the editor of "Fredsnasjonen", the magazine MODERN TIMES published in the summer of 2021.

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