The Norwegian Intelligence Service’s assessment of current security challenges


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Focus 2024​

Today, we face a more dangerous security situation than we did a year ago, and the development ahead is uncertain. The conflicts of interest between authoritarian states and the West are becoming more apparent. Russian and Chinese authorities share an ambition to undercut the influence of the West and to establish an international order in which liberal values such as democracy and freedom of speech do not set the course. Cooperation between authoritarian states is increasing. International rule of law is weakened, and the world is re-arming.

Russia considers the war in Ukraine a proxy war with the West, and Moscow is not abandoning its goal of crushing the Ukrainian armed forces and securing control of the country. With increased production of arms, improved access to personnel and considerable support from other authoritarian states, Russia is gaining ground on Ukraine. Ukraine continues to show tremendous fighting spirit, but the country relies on Western support to defend itself and retake the initiative.

The war between Israel and Hamas has considerable radicalisation potential and raises the terrorist threat in Europe. Both IS and al-Qaeda have called for attacks against Israeli targets, and IS has made several attempts to carry out attacks in Europe. Trigger incidents could raise the terrorist threat to Norway as well.
How these and other security-related concerns develop depends not only on the threat environment that we describe, but also on how the West chooses to react. Many countries are to hold elections this year. Security policy tensions and economic uncertainty are deepening political divides in Western countries as well.
The main mission of the Norwegian Intelligence Service is to warn against threats to Norway and Norwegian interests. Focus is the Norwegian Intelligence Service’s annual unclassified threat assessment and must be read in conjunction with other perspectives. Our priority is to describe adversarial actors and developments that we consider important to Norway’s security in the coming year. Focus 2024 is the Norwegian Intelligence Service’s 14th annual unclassified assessment, and we hope it will inspire public debate.

Nils Andreas Stensønes

Vice Admiral
Director Norwegian Intelligence Service
Editing concluded on 26 January 2024

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