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In many European capitals, there were sighs of relief in response to the news that Joe Biden will replace Donald Trump as president of the United States. Biden is expected to align much closer to European values and priorities than his soon-to-be predecessor. The President-elect appears to be a defender of the pre-Trump transatlantic order, and a staunch supporter of NATO, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal. Biden has strongly criticized the foreign and security policy of the Trump administration, and at the Munich Security Conference last year he promised that the United States “will be back.” But what does that mean? Can we ever expect everything to become as it were four years ago? Or will also a Biden administration change focus and priorities compared to the Obama presidency?

Is Biden, for instance, likely to continue to emphasize the Asia-Pacific and China over European affairs? How engaged will he be in the Middle East, Central Asia or Northern Africa? Will his administration continue to pressure Europe on burden-sharing in NATO? Will he expect Europe to deal with Ukraine, Belarus and other states surrounding Europe? How tough will he be on Russia?

Considering these questions, how prepared is Europe to meet US’ expectations and take more responsibility for its security? Will Europe strive towards strategic autonomy, and how would this affect the transatlantic relations and the future of NATO? Can Norway expect the same level of US support in the future?

The 22nd Military Power Seminar will bring together a wide variety of high-level experts and officials from across the transatlantic community. The event starts with an overlook of the strategic picture as seen from the US and Europe, respectively. It then moves to European security developments and responses, before zooming in on implications for Norwegian security and defense.


09:00-09:15: Opening

  • Welcome: Ulf Sverdrup, Director, NUPI
  • Opening remarks: Tone Skogen, State Secretary, MoD

09:15-10:00: Part 1: The strategic picture: What will the next four years bring?

  • Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference
  • Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council, Washington DC
  • Moderator: Ulf Sverdrup, Director, NUPI

10:15-11:00: Part 2: European security and defence perspectives. What next?

  • Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, and Special Advisor to EU High Representative Josep Borrell
  • Sophia Besch, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform
  • Marianne Riddervold, Professor, Inland University & NUPI
  • Moderator: Karsten Friis, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI

11:15-12:00: Part 3: (in Norwegian) Utviklingen i USA og betydningen for NATO og Norge

  • Brigader Gjermund Eide, Militærrådgiver til NATOs generalsekretær
  • Flaggkommandør Solveig Krey, Nestkommanderende i operasjonsavdelingen ved Forsvarsstaben (FST)
  • Oberst Terje Bruøygard, Sjef planseksjonen (J5) ved Forsvarets operative hovedkvarter (FOH)
  • Ordstyrer: Vegard Valther Hansen, Senior Adviser, NUPI