Forsvaret og private militære firmaer
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According to official Norwegian policy, the Armed Forces may not employ the services of private military companies, nor enter into any operational collaboration with such firms. Norway considers its position to be in compliance with the Geneva Conventions, under which it is an offence to employ mercenaries. This study finds a discrepancy between official Norwegian policy on the use of private military companies and the experience of Norwegian forces serving in international operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Svendsen found in his interviews with Norwegian Armed Forces personnel, it is difficult to comply with official policy in the field. There are several reasons for this, the main being the extensive use of private military companies by other countries, most notably the US. In joint allied operations, formal and informal contact with private military companies is often unavoidable, and military personnel are, moreover, often unaware of the official Norwegian stance. Finally, collaborating with these firms is often a practical expedient. Svendsen also found that Norwegian personnel often regard private military companies as a liability. They do not belong to the same chain of command and it is difficult to take account of them when planning ahead. Private military companies also tend not to communicate with each other; some of their personnel are insufficiently trained and equipped. Contact with private military companies therefore affects the manner in which Norwegian military units operate abroad. Last, but not least, the study reveals how Norwegian military personnel are approached and recruited by private military companies as a result of formal and informal contact in the field. Svendsen urges improvements in the information given to Norwegian soldiers on Norwegian policy on the use of private military companies. They also need to learn how they should deal with private military companies before deployment to international operations.