The Vardo radar makes the Parliament

Inge Sellevåg
Bergens Tidende 5 Apr 1998

A possible Norwegian link to the US national missile defense program and remains of the Star Wars program is a very serious matter which I will raise in the Parliament over Easter, the socialist party parliamentary leader Erik Solheim said, commenting the news that the HAVE STARE radar is to be deployed in Vardo, Norway.

"First of all I will ask our defense minister if it is correct that the new Globus II radar in Vardo has an affiliation to the rests of the Star Wars program. This program was very dangerous because it contributed to making nuclear war thinkable, although as wishful thinking", Solheim said in an interview in the Sunday 5 April edition of the newspaper Bergens Tidende.

"Secondly I will ask why full and confident information about the radar has noe been presented. This creates uncertainty in Norway and fear in Russia. And thirdly I want to know how Norwegian defense can claim full national control over the project when the American defense earlier selected a classified overseas location to deploy the radar", Solheim said.

He is afraid that Norway can become a piece in a geopolitical game. - Both in Russia and US big structures has survived after the cold war with their wish to have something meaningful to do. These structures kan start activities which undermine the more relaxed East-West relationship.

Asked what consequences it will have if the Globus II radar is a part of the NMD program, Solheim said : "It is interesting to know whether the information that the radar will collect will be passed on to the Americans. We then can suppose that the radar also will collect information which Norwegian sources cannot interpret easily. It is unclear to me what is meant by "national control here". There is reason to believe that some information will go to the US".

The parliament has been informed

"The Norwegian parliament as parliament has been informed about Globus II in connection with budget proporsitions. The Norwegian defense committee as defense committee, not necessarily involving the Parliament, was briefed by the defense minister some weeks ago. This is the official part of this issue", the parliamentary defense committee chairman Hans J. Rosjorde said.

In an interview in Bergens Tidende he confirms that the American name of the radar (HAVE STARE) was not mentioned in committee briefing. "That has to do with what I will call the heritage of Globus I and is more site-related than function-related".

BT : Did you know that the radar has participated in National Missile Defense tests ?

HR : I was not aware of that in detail, but I would like to add that there is considerable interest both in the US and in Russia for creaing a worldwide defense again socalled loose missiles carrying chemical, bacteriological or nuclear warheads.

BT - Can the radar have a missile defense function ?

HR : That depends on which systems will make use of the radar and where it is located in relation to potential threats. I will not exclude that the radar can have a missile defense function, however, the US defense authorities have not mentioned any wish in that direction.

BT : Why did the Norwegian defense not state that the radar is American ?

HR : In retrospect one always can present more details. My comment in this case is : much of the material used for these purposes has been, is and will remain American.

BT : Are you surprised that there is discussion about the radar ?

HR : Actually we expected a discussion when the press release was issued. We were kinda surprised that no one objected. Now when the discussion stars, we have nothing to fear - or hide. This proejct is totally under Norwegian national control.

Copyright © 1998 Bergens Tidende