A Key NATO Ally Looks Nervously at Putin—and Trump - Defense One: When the ready-room alarm went off—high-low, high-low—two Norwegian Air Force pilots pulled on cold-water survival gear, grabbed their flight bags, and sprinted through swirling snow to their hangars. Their decades-old F-16 fighter jets roared to life, and as the airport snowplow halted to let them pass, the jets taxied to the runway and lit the afterburners. The training run took less than ten minutes.
Norway has long kept two jets on round-the-clock alert at this Arctic base, allowing NATO to put eyes on the Russian warplanes that round the North Cape and head southwest. And while Moscow’s new assertiveness has Oslo preparing additional military units to react more quickly, defense officials here are also looking with concern toward Washington, where the incoming Trump administration has yet to articulate an unambiguous transatlantic security policy.
“Concerned” is a word we heard a lot last week, traveling with defense officials from Norway’s Ministry of Defense in Oslo to this coastal base 50 miles above the Arctic Circle, and beyond. Defense One was part of a group of Americans—analysts, former diplomats and national-security officials—brought here on a trip organized by the Atlantic Council, a NATO-oriented think tank in Washington, and sponsored by the Norwegian government.
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