Transforming Norwegian Special Operation Forces
Robertsen, Tom A.
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This paper explores transformation of Norwegian Special Operation Forces, raising the hypothesis that current organizational structure is inconsistent with future roles and missions. The inconsistency is derived from official documents pertaining to the transformation of Norwegian Armed Forces for the period 2005-2008. Where the military recommends disbanding two existing units, Marinejegerkommandoen and HÃ¦rens Jegerkommando, to re-commission a single unit under a single, unspecified command, the Government insists on maintaining the status quo. A likely consequence is a sub-optimal development of NORSOF as a strategic asset. Using the dichotomy of direct action vs. indirect action capabilities as a framework for understanding how Special Operation Forces (SOF) in general conduct operations, the author claims NORSOF possess capabilities only for the former. Analysis of the forces themselves, the security environment, and the strategies adopted to deal with current and future threats leads to the conclusion that NORSOF will increase its relevance by acquiring competency in indirect capabilities. If indirect capabilities become a core task for NORSOF, then the current organization should be maintained. If not, both units will continue to maintain overlapping tasks in direct capabilities. Future transformation issues will then evolve based on traditional arguments related to the maritime and land domains.
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