The Defence Analysis 2024

FFI-Report 2024
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Espen Skjelland Sigurd Glærum Tore Nyhamar Cecilie Sendstad Brynjar Arnfinnsson Maria Fleischer Fauske Eli Gjørven Runhild Aae Klausen Petter Kristian Køber Anniken Bergland Lammersdorf Kristian Lausund Karl Erik Olsen Richard Olsen Joachim Reitan Stig Rune Sellevåg Kristin Waage
The FFI project «Strategic Defence Analysis» was established January 1, 2021. It is funded by the Ministry of Defence, and the Chief of Defence leads the Project Advisory Board. The main goal is to carry out and publish an annual defence analysis to advise the leadership of the Armed Forces on its strategic development. The “Defence Analysis 2024” is the third instalment. It assesses the strategic environment and preconditions, considers the current status and development of the Armed Forces and gives advice on how to improve current plans. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago has led to uncertainty and instability in our part of the world. The war has weakened and tied up Russian conventional forces and has made the prospect of nuclear weapons, limited attacks, and hybrid threats against the West more prominent. Despite an initial unified response from Western countries in support of Ukraine, divisions in opinion are growing. The rivalry between the great powers in the Indo- Pacific will influence the priorities of our most important ally, the US. The strategic environment for our Armed Forces is therefore unpredictable. Accounting for this deep uncertainty is a major challenge in the planning and development of the Norwegian Armed Forces. The analysis of our revised scenario portfolio has brought very few changes to the overall assessment of the capabilities of the Armed Forces. There are still capability gaps in groundbased air defence, anti-submarine warfare, and secure communications. There are also shortcomings in logistics and readiness. The need to support Ukraine may lead to difficult choices between maintaining our own capabilities and reducing them through donations. A positive development, with Finland and Sweden in NATO, there are opportunities for strengthened capabilities and efficiencies through Nordic cooperation. The economic imbalance of the Norwegian Armed Forces has increased compared to last year’s analysis. The main reasons are increasing costs and an insufficient compensation thereof. There is a risk that the Armed Forces may not achieve its planned reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, given the ambitions for expansion of capabilities. This year’s analysis considers opportunities in developing technological competencies, exploiting artificial intelligence in support and logistics, enhance the use of distributed command and control, cooperation with the US in the space domain, and develop or acquire low-cost missiles. The advice given in the Defence Analysis 2023 still stands: (1) The Armed Forces should pay more attention to handling limited attacks and hybrid threats. (2a) The Armed Forces should develop a realistic concept and level of ambition to enhance the ability to conduct high-intensive warfare. This should be done in collaboration with Sweden and Finland within the framework of NATO. (2b) As a minimum, the Armed Forces should realize and develop an ability for area denial in high-intensive warfare on Norwegian territory (in the short and long run). (3) The Armed Forces should explore the opportunities that new technology offers to reduce climate emissions.

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