Norway’s economy and welfare depend strongly on maritime activities. Its exclusive economic zones are seven times the size of the country’s land area. Norwegian control of these areas is based on international law, which in turn is a result of an increasingly institutionalized world order. Some Norwegian claims are controversial, even amongst Norway’s allies. Norwegian security policy supports a rule-based world order and depends on NATO and the USA for its security guarantee, but also recognizes the need for national military capabilities able to handle a crisis on their own. The balance between national needs and those of the alliance is a major challenge for the Norwegian Armed Forces. In 2013, after two decades of transformation and cuts, Norwegian military capabilities are increasing.
Ståle Ulriksen is Researcher of International Politics and Sea Power at the Norwegian Naval College in Bergen, Norway (2007–). He is also researcher at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (1993–).