According to the confidential agreement between Great Britain and the other participants in the multi national stabilization force in Iraq, the Norwegian humanitarian troop can be used in active combat missions.
According to the Norwegian television channel NRK, the soldiers can among other things participate in undercover missions, urge on an attack, and beat back prison riots with tear gas and batons.
The agreement makes it possible for Norwegians to be used in operations in and out of uniform, which makes them impossible to identify. These techniques can be used to get information, intelligence or for security work. Undercover missions can also be used to detain persons, threaten them and even to liquidate them.
According to the Norwegian news bureau, General and former Chief of Defense Fredrik Bull-Hansen stated that the combat rules for the Norwegian battalion in Iraq are unclear. In his opinion, the rules include more than a humanitarian contribution.
The description given by the former Chief of Defense was “a humanitarian contribution marked with aggressive lines,” after he was presented with NRK’s information about the secret combat rules for the Norwegian stabilization force in Iraq.
He said he thought the rules did not agree with the picture the public was given in connection with the Norwegian Iraq mission.
“If I was directly in command in the area, I would have reacted,” Bull-Hansen stated.
Since July, when about 160 soldiers from the Telemark battalion have been sent to Iraq, the Norwegian government has repeatedly stressed that Norway is not apart of the occupation force. The Norwegian forces are to assist in the clearing of mines, building bridges, rebuilding of schools and other peace missions.
However, it has now been revealed that the Norwegian soldiers, who are under British command, in reality can be involved in active combat missions.
“The rules that the Ministry of Defense has signed indicates that the Norwegian soldiers are present to support the occupational forces,” stated Jacob Børresen, defense and security expert, who is working with the Norwegian military’s history at the Institute of defense studies. “It’s something more than firing in self defense.”