No, Mr MoD. Producing Weapons Is Not an Industrial Fairytale

Bjørn Arild Gram

No, Mr. Minister of Defense, weapons production is not an industrial fairytale. (Photo: Martin Mellquist/the Norwegian Armed Forces)

Commentary: Fairytales are made-up stories set in a magical universe, according to the Great Norwegian Encyclopedia. The term gains a whole new meaning in the mouth of Norwegian MoD Bjørn Arild Gram (Centre).

Read in Norwegian.

This is a commentary written by a member of the editorial staff. The commentary expresses the writer's opinions.

Language is power.

If we are to believe the Norwegian MoD, and we are, an "industrial fairytale" is in the works in Trøndelag, Norway.

The metaphor "fairytale" is unlikely to be randomly chosen. Just like the other ministers, Bjørn Arild Gram also has the closet full of communication advisors tailoring the message down to the smallest detail. No one is to doubt what has been said when a Minister of Defense makes a statement.

This time about a future industrial fairytale.

A closet full of communication advisors.


The fairytale is about the Norwegian company Ritek entering into a contract with German KNDS Deutschland to produce tanks in Norway. The contract, valued between NOK 300 and 500, is the biggest Ritek has ever entered into. The agreement was made at the Oslo Military Society and emphasized that this is about producing weapons to be used in war, specifically the Leopard 2 Tanks.

Other countries have donated such tanks to Ukraine to contribute to the country's defense against Russia.

This is not a commentary on tanks. This is a commentary on the language in which we wrap brutal wars, about how our governments deliberately obscure the war, whether it is waged by Russia in Ukraine or Israel in Gaza, in a language that normalizes war as an inevitable part of our civilization.

At the wrong end of the barrel.

The madness of heads of state

The production of weapons is not a fairytale. It is the brutal result of the madness of heads of state and the lack of respect for life.

When MoD Bjørn Arild Gram calls what is now happening in Levanger an industrial fairytale, he is hardly talking to those at the wrong end of the barrel of one of the 120 mm cannons mounted on the Leopard.

Perhaps not even those who will fire the shots.

That we are forced to increase weapons production is anything but an industrial fairytale.

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