The still influential Norwegian Labour Party veteran Haakon Lie believes Norway should the Swedish Jas Gripen aircraft instead of the US-made Joint Strike Fighter. The former party secretary underlines that the aircrafts could bolster Nordic cooperation.
In a new book, the 103-year old former politician, traditionally a strong proponent of cooperation with the USA, calls for enhanced security cooperation between the Nordic countries, newspaper Aftenposten reports.
He believes the process has been started and that we might see the beginning of a new era in Nordic cooperation.
-We now in the summer of 2008 see that the doors have been made wide open for a close Nordic cooperation […] When replacing our old run-down fighter jets, we must choose the Swedish, he underlines.
-The primary task of the JSF is to destroy ground targets – but we are not buying planes to bomb targets in enemy areas. As far as we can see into the future, the task of the new aircrafts will be to prevent violations of our coastal borders, to intercept foreign planes approaching our sea borders, to monitor protected areas, help the coast guard in its fight against illegal fishing, Mr. Lie says.
Meanwhile, several other retired Labour politicians argue that the Swedish neutrality could become a problem if Norway has a a fleet of Swedish-made aircrafts, Aftenposten writes. -If there is an conflict, could possibly the Swedish neutrality prevent Norway from getting spare parts and service on the JAS Gripen planes, retired politican Ronald Bye asks