Fear of war is increasing among Norwegians

Fear of war is increasing among Norwegians
The proportion of those who are not worried about war or attacks on Norwegian territory has dropped by 20 percent in one year. Meanwhile the confidence in the military to ensure peace in Norway has weakened, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports.

- A more tense relation with Russia, the use of military force in Ukraine and an increased threat from terrorist organizations like IS makes people become more aware of a possible threat, says head of Defense, Haakon Bruun-Hanssen. On Friday he presented figures from this year's resident survey conducted by Ipsos MMI.

The proportion of those who are not worried about war or attacks on Norwegian territory has dropped significant, from 53 percent in 2014 to only 37 percent in 2015. It is women, young people and residents of Finnmark and Østfold who worry the most, it emerges in the survey. 30 percent of 18-24 year-olds are very concerned or have some concerns about a war in Norway.

- With the information I have, I do not share the same concern. But with the focus that has been in the media in recent years, I understand that people are concerned, says the Defense chief.

- I do not think we'll get a military attack on NATO in the near future.

The new survey also clearly shows that people's confidence in the military is weakened. One out of four Norwegians think the military is somewhat or very poorly suited to safeguard Norwegian sovereignty. Only 36 percent of respondents have a good or very good impression of the Armed Forces' ability to meet the threat of war or attacks on Norwegian soil. In 2014 there were 42 percent who said the same.

Especially in Finnmark this comes clear, as the percentage plummeted from 44 to 24 percent in one year.

Last year it was 60 percent of respondents who believed that the military was in pretty good condition to help defend Norway and allied countries. This year, the proportion who thinks the same dropped to 50 percent.

The fear is clearly justified, since the military has been severely reduced over the last decade.

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