Heat on Sweden to join Nato

Heat on Sweden to join Nato

It has stopped developing policies of its own and basically positions itself in the EU and Nato framework.

Over the last 25-30 years Sweden’s military, security and foreign policy elites have changed Sweden’s policy 180 degrees. These fundamental changes were initiated by the Social Democratic government under Prime Minister Goran Persson (1996–2006) and have been carried out with virtually no public debate. The rapprochement with interventionism, militarism and the US/Nato in all fields has been planned, incremental, furtive and dishonest; in short, unworthy of a democracy. These elites are more loyal to Brussels and Washington than to the Swedes.

If your image of Sweden is that of a progressive, innovative and peace-promoting country with a global mindset, an advocate of international law, it is - sad to say - outdated. Sweden is no longer neutral and it is only formally non-aligned; there is no closer ally than the US/Nato, although it is not a Nato member. It has stopped developing policies of its own and basically positions itself in the European Union and Nato framework. It no longer produces important new thinking - the last was Olof Palme’s Commission on Common Security (1982). It has no disarmament ambassador and does not consider the United Nations important; there is not a single Swede among the UN Blue Helmets.

Nuclear abolition is far down on the agenda, problematic as a Nato-aspiring country. But one thing has not changed: Sweden remains the world’s largest arms exporter per capita. Sweden no longer contributes to the protection of smaller states through a commitment to international law. Its elite wholeheartedly supported the bombing of Serbia/Kosovo. It thought - also under Social Democratic leadership - that the mass-killing sanctions on Iraq and the occupation were appropriate. Sweden supported the destruction of Libya - participating with its planes there, although it only carried out reconnaissance, not bombing, missions.

Uncaring attitude

Sweden did not support the planned war on Syria but also did not voice any audible criticism of the West’s support of only the militant opposition, including Al-Qaeda affiliates. Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt operates mainly as an eminently well-informed international affairs traveller and blogger who doesn’t seem to want to waste too much of his precious time on being a minister. And when he does, he isn’t known for consulting many people around him. Here follow a few recent events/news which further emphasise the deplorable path Sweden - the elites rather than the people - have decided to follow.

n Sweden’s security political elite has lately been considering broader alliances with Nato and the EU. How enigmatic! After having been neutral and non-aligned during tough confrontations and tension in the Cold War years, Sweden now needs to join Nato when there is no single analysis anywhere indicating that it is likely that Sweden will be faced with a threat in the foreseeable future. While the intelligent security and defence discourse is now about human security, the environment and high-tech challenges, Sweden’s elites talk about defence as weapons only.

n Swedish planes shall now, in the light of a conveniently hysterical interpretation of the crisis in Ukraine, equip its planes with cruise missiles. The security priesthood of the country consists of a handful of researchers on military affairs at huge, well-financed state institutes in close contact with politicians and the military with whom military-loyal journalists have close bonds. The country that once did something for a better world has joined the militarist world. At a time when both Nato and the US are getting weaker, Sweden’s elites plan to put all Sweden's eggs in that basket.

n The US ambassador to Sweden, Mark Brzezinski, recently told Sweden to join Nato, otherwise it won’t get any help in the event of an attack - in short, blackmailing disguised as deep concern and generous offer to bring help. The message is based on “fearology2 - because everybody knows that should Russia attack anyone, Sweden would not be the first target and it would be in the interest of Nato to control Swedish territory before any spreading of Russian forces from somewhere else to the Nordic area.

In short, Nato’s interest in Sweden is much greater than Sweden’s in Nato. Whatever one may think of these fantasies, they are just that: No one has thought up a credible scenario for how Sweden would be invaded by Russia and remain defenceless. But this is the military-fundamentalist propaganda the Swedes are the target of these years: We must join Nato because we have such a weak defence that we can’t defend ourselves!