Sweden : NATO's silent partner?
Keys, James E. Jr.
Looney, Robert E.
Burke, David P.
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In 1949 Sweden elected not to join NATO and declared a security policy which remains in effect today: nonalignment in peace, neutrality in war. To conduct this policy, Sweden must have a credible deterrent. In this context, the defense doctrine is one of "total defense," in which all aspects of Swedish society (military, civilian, economic) are coordinated in a total effort to ensure the survival of the nation. But the doctrine may not be effective without the support of outside forces, and some Swedish military planners admit that they rely on NATO support within seven days of any outbreak of hostilities with the Warsaw Pact, making Sweden a "trip- wire" for NATO. This paper examines the Swedish defense doctrine in terms of military force structure, framed in the political debate of the past decade. It discusses the difficulties facing Sweden in regard to modernizing her armed forces, and suggests that Sweden is now, and will continue to be, a silent partner in NATO.
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