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COMMENT / The Joint Viking 2021 exercise is a driving force in a «new cold war».


Once again we now have this annual big winter exercise in the country. This year, the military exercise is called Joint Viking 2021 and about 3000 Allied soldiers are participating, from the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany. A total of about 10.000 soldiers will participate in the exercise, which will take place in North Nordland and Troms.

I can mean until I "dive" that I am against such exercises and that they are more exciting in a "new cold war" than they are necessary for a home defense. And that exercises like this are meaningless use of money and harmful to the environment and nature. I can claim this to "Dovre fell", without being heard. It is as if I have been thrown into the Lofoten wall, I do not come through the mountain, I descend like a dead anti-war herring! Still, I do not give up. That is why I and more and more people in Norway take the anti-war message about disarmament, not rearmament – relaxation, not enmity – love, not hatred!

Exercises like this are meaningless use of money and harmful to the environment and nature.

Then something else important comes into this winter exercise this year: the corona pandemic! Not until I have finished reading articles about Joint Viking 2021, the first reports come of corona-infected soldiers, 15 from the USA. At the time of writing, the number of all infected soldiers is over 50. Mass testing of the Allied forces delays test results for civilians, the tests must go through the same laboratory. The infected are kept isolated, of course, but that's not the point: If there is anything we citizens can get advice / orders about, it is to take care of infection control rules, stay at home, have as little as possible with jokes, limit or not have meetings / events in the whole take. Most of us follow this, of course we do. Me, all are clearly not equal under the sun's rays, at least not in the military.

Now I keep on steeling, I notice when I write this. I'm pissed off (to put it mildly ..) on this "Joint Viking exception". Not only is it thrilling, but to the highest degree also contagious! With other "law-abiding" citizens sitting "locked in", while the defense, shipyard and industrial barons get exceptions so it sings after. It is democratically very unfair!

When I hear Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen say that we need to train in the defense of Norway and that it is just as important during the corona pandemic as otherwise, I have to ask: Do he and the military leadership really believe that Russia will invade us if we have not practiced on this one year (or in the future)?

What the defense should have done completely in the city is to defend ourselves against the corona, by having to be at all border stations, airports and ports. It had our DEFENSE it! Do not conduct such allied exercises we know most are on the premises of the United States / NATO, where the main enemy is Russia, and claim it is only for Norway's part. What a mistake!

Ivar Jørdre
Jørdre is a board member of the Anti-War Initiative. He is also a team leader in Raudt Bergen West.

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