Transatlantic Diplomacy after 9/11: The U.S. and Norway

How did Norway’s political leaders navigate the rough trans-Atlantic waters and tricky European cross-currents in the early and mid-2000s? What considerations guided decisions about the extent to which Norway would join the Global War on Terror? What role did individual personalities play in shaping Norway’s relations with the US and other European allies? How did foreign policy demands in the midst of increasingly negative Norwegian public opinion about the US impact Norway’s domestic politics? What does Norway’s experience teach small state actors about managing big power tensions?  These interviews with many of Norway’s policy-makers, security experts, and diplomats seek to answer the above questions. In doing so, they also further understanding of the impact of US foreign policy at home and abroad. 

SMU Project Leaders

LaiYee Leong (Project Leader), Brian Franklin (Editor), and Polina DeClue & Wardah Alvi (Student Research Assistants)

"Firsthand History" Podcast

Season 1 - Cross Currents

"Cross Currents" is the first season of our new podcast series "Firsthand History." In this 4-episode series, CPH fellow LaiYee Leong explores the relationship--and tension--that developed between the United States and its longtime NATO ally Norway after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Each episode weaves narrative with pieces of the oral histories Dr. Leong conducted with Norwegian and U.S. officials, including prime ministers, ambassadors, journalists, scholars, and more.

You can find the entire season of "Cross Currents" here.

Project Description

For a detailed description of this oral history project on U.S.-Norway, click here


Kjell Magne Bondevik
Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000, 2001-2005)

Kristin Krohn Devold
Minister of Defence (2001-2005)

Kristoffer Egeberg
Editor-in-Chief of and author of Fredsnasjonen Norge (The Peace Nation Norway, 2017)

Espen Barth Eide
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001)
Deputy Minister of Defense (2005-2010)
Minister of Defense (2011-2012)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012-2013)

Kristin Halvorsen
Minister of Finance (2005-2009)
Minister of Education (2009-2013)

Hilde Frafjord Johnson
Minister for International Development (1997-2000, 2001-2005)

John Ong
U.S. Ambassador to Norway (2002-2005)

Jan Petersen
Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-2005)

Jonas Gahr Støre
Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2012)
Minister of Health (2012-2013)

Sven Erik Svedman
Ambassador to France (2003-2005)
Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005-2007)
Ambassador to Germany (2007-2014)

Rolf Tamnes
Director of Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies (1996-2012)

Asle Toje
Research Director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute (2014-2018)
Member of Norwegian Nobel Committee (2018-present)

Knut Vollebæk
Foreign Minister (1997-2000)
Ambassador to the U.S. (2001-2007)

Morten Wetland
Ambassador to Germany (1998-2003)
State Secretary, Prime Minister's Office (2005-2008)
Ambassador to the United Nations (2008-2012)

Benson Whitney
U.S. Ambassador to Norway (2006-2009)