Talk about secret Arctic lairs! Norway, a NATO member, spent approximately one billion dollars to develop a secret underground submarine base in the Arctic mountains near the massive Russian fleet located on the Kola Peninsula. Late in the last decade, a leftist Norwegian government (read communist at heart) decided to close the structure and sell it to the highest bidder.
A Norwegian businessman bought the base for $5 million and promptly leased it to the Russians. Talk about a strategic blunder! Now Russian warplanes are showing their thanks by consistently violating Norwegian airspace and causing near mid-air collisions.
Russian ships docked at what was once a secret Norwegian naval base in the Arctic have prompted concern from the NATO country’s former top military leaders, anxious about its resurgent eastern neighbour roaming nearby.
Norway’s jagged Arctic coastline has regained its strategic importance since tensions between Russia and NATO members have spiked to levels not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union.
The rocky relations have led some to criticise the shutting down of Olavsvern Naval Base, a massive complex burrowed into a mountain near the northern town of Tromsoe, that has been closed since 2009.
“We sold the only base worthy of the name that we had up there. It’s pure madness,” former vice admiral Einar Skorgen, who commanded Norway’s northern forces, told AFP.
“If the ships aren’t there where they are needed, they might as well be scrapped altogether.”
“With 7,000 billion kroner in the bank,” he wrote, “you would have thought that the Norwegian nation had the means and savvy to retain ownership of Olavsvern base.”
With our NATO allies reducing defense spending as Russia runs rampant through Ukraine and threatens the Baltics and other NATO allies, one could be forgiven for feeling like this is the period before World War II.
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Too many stupid decisions are being made while politicians have their heads in the sand.
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