vara bungas: Pēc politisko spēku pārkārtošanās SE manāmi aktivizējusies iekšējā diskusija par dalību NATO. Mums varētu būt īpaši interesants militārais aspekts, ko savā rakstā analizē mūsu tautietis SE ģenerālis Kārlis Neretnieks. Zemāk ir šī raksta fragmenta mašīntulkojums no zviedru uz angļu valodu, visi izcēlumi mani. Galvenā KN ideja, ka dalība NATO ir nepieciešama SE, bet pastāvot šaubām par pašas NATO sniegumu X stundā ir nepieciešamas alternatīvās militārās alianses, jo kas zina kura no tām var izrādīties auglīga. Pati par sevi SE uc ziemeļvalstu daudzvektoru militārā sadarbība jau ir atturošais faktors, jo agresoram ārpolitiski neitralizējot (šķeļot, panākot veto, dezinformējot, aizkavējot lēmumus utt) vienu aizsardzības līgumu, joprojām jārēķinās ar n-tajām citām aizsardzības kombinācijām – varbūtībām, neviena no kurām nav atmetama.
Manā šaurā skatījumā jautājumi, ko uzdod NK ir daiļrunīgāki par viņa atbildēm.
[..] Swedish action alternatives
What security policy action options does Sweden then have? Can we help eliminate the uncertainties we see today? Only marginally, if at all. Nor can we with any certainty predict what it would be that triggered a conflict in which Sweden will be involved, and try to plan based on that. A more viable way is to try to identify why anyone would even consider using military means in our immediate area, and then design our defense and security policy to deal with such situations.
Basically, there are three scenarios that would justify us being involved in a military conflict.
One where Russia wants to protect a military operation aimed at the Baltics. To support its Baltic alliance members, NATO is strongly dependent on being able to use Swedish territory, primarily airspace. Something that Russia would reasonably want to prevent.
The second case may arise if Russia sees a need to increase protection around the base areas on the Kola Peninsula. Bases where both the majority of Russia’s nuclear-armed submarines and the ships and aircraft that will operate in the Atlantic are based. This case is particularly worrying from a Swedish (and Finnish) point of view, as it may be relevant even in the event of a serious crisis, without war having therefore broken out between NATO and Russia. Even the holding of parts of northern Finland and northern Sweden would mean great benefits for Russia.
The third case is linked to maintaining sea and air connections to Scandinavia. Parts of the naval and air forces based in the Murmansk region have the task of cutting off NATO’s transatlantic ties, in order to prevent US reinforcements from being supplied to Europe. Even a partially successful such operation could lead to disconnections to Scandinavia. The NATO forces tasked with preventing Russia from carrying out such a ‘disarmament operation’ are mainly based in Norway and the United Kingdom. Protecting the back of Norway thus becomes a vital interest for Sweden (and Finland). Both to secure our supply and to be able to receive any military reinforcements.
What then does the security policy menu look like for Sweden? Roughly speaking, the following dishes are on the menu:
- NATO accession
- Work for the EU to become a powerful security policy player
- Nordic Defense Alliance
- Defense Alliance with Finland
- Regional defense agreements
- Continued military freedom of alliance
But how tasty are the dishes?
A NATO accession would mean that an attack on Sweden would also be an attack on other alliance members, and thus trigger countermeasures from others than just Sweden. The threshold for an attack on Sweden would thus increase drastically. The problem here is the future credibility of the alliance. To what extent can we base our security on support that may not be delivered?
The EU is not a military alliance today. There is no management organization, no planning and no common view on what tasks a possible EU defense would solve. In addition, today in Europe the military resources that would be required to constitute a credible counterweight to Russia are lacking. The alternative can only be seen as a very long-term option, but at the same time the only one that can constitute an alternative to NATO if the alliance were to be drastically weakened.
A Nordic defense union, comprising Sweden, Norway and Finland, may seem like a fairly attractive alternative (for Denmark, Germany and Poland are more natural partners). The countries’ combined forces are quite impressive on paper. Together, probably larger than what Russia could do against any single Nordic country. But that’s just an apparent strength. For example, it would be unreasonable to transfer large parts of the Finnish army to Scania to meet an attack on Sweden, and for Finland to leave its eastern border partly undefended. Nor can the Norwegian navy be expected to operate in the Baltic Sea, leaving it free to the Russian naval forces based on the Kola Peninsula. In practice, the only area where there are great benefits to be gained would be joint flight operations. That Norway should relinquish its membership in NATO, a prerequisite for a Nordic defense alliance, must be considered very unlikely. Even if the alliance were to weaken compared to today. Norway would then also renounce the ultimate deterrent against Russian nuclear blackmail. NATO’s ability to respond with nuclear weapons.
A formal military alliance between Sweden and Finland would raise the threshold for a Russian attack on both countries. Russia would then, for example, need to guard against Sweden carrying out hostilities in the Baltic Sea, even if the Russian attack was only aimed at northern Finland. Then in order to expand the security zone around the bases on the Kola Peninsula. But that is also where the dilemma for both Sweden and Finland lies. Are you prepared to go to war against Russia in case only the other country is attacked? The defense of northern Finland can be an example. Another could be Gotland. How willing would Finland be to go to war against Russia to help Sweden defend the island? Should both countries be attacked at the same time, the problem disappears, then it is important to act as effectively as possible together.
Far-reaching multilateral cooperation, such as a ‘Hanseatic League’ consisting of Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland, the Baltic states, Sweden and Finland, could probably play a role in reducing the risk of Russian military adventures in our part of the world. From the Russian point of view, the uncertainty would then increase by never knowing for sure which opponents you had to face. However, as long as it was not a binding alliance, we ourselves (and others) would face the same uncertainty – who will we fight with, if any? In addition, as long as NATO exists in some form, today’s allies in our immediate area will probably see the possibility of American aid, although limited, as more dissuasive to Russia than any promise from the Hanseatic League. Possibly one can also ask the question to what extent Sweden is prepared, and has the ability, to undertake obligations to defend the Baltic states within the framework of such an alliance.
Can we ourselves create such a deterrent that we could thus avoid being attacked in an armed conflict in our immediate area? A greatly strengthened Swedish defense will raise the threshold for an attack, and also contribute to increased stability in the region by making any attacks on our neighbors more difficult to carry out. But no matter how much we equip, we will never be able to create a sufficient ability to meet all eventualities on our own. We will always be dependent on foreign support in various forms, after a shorter or longer period of time. It applied during the Cold War, it applies today and will continue to apply tomorrow. In addition, how would NATO and the EU act if Sweden did not take a stand in a conflict in which members of one of these organizations were attacked? Sweden is today so dependent on both the United States and the EU, economically and militarily, that an “neutrality alternative” in the event of a conflict in our immediate area does not exist.
The most important conclusion is that there is no single solution to the security policy problems we face. Instead, it becomes a question of how we, through a combination of different measures, can pave the way for achieving different defense and security policy objectives.
The first would be not to give Russia a cheap, fairly risk-free, option to use Swedish territory as part of an operation aimed at one or more of our neighboring countries. And in case we were attacked anyway, be able to fight long enough to be able to get help. Being able to fight for time will be even more important in the future as uncertainties will increase about how and when NATO will act in our immediate area. Both when it comes to supporting our neighbors and possibly also us. It requires a considerably greater own military capability than that proposed by the Defense Committee.
We are, and always will be, dependent on the support of others in case we should be attacked. The conditions for receiving help increase if we have binding agreements with parties who have the resources, and a self-interest, to deliver support. At present, only NATO meets those criteria. We should therefore apply for membership in NATO, despite the uncertainties facing the Alliance.
Should NATO’s credibility be drastically eroded, alternatives are needed. We should therefore commit ourselves to ensuring that the EU also gains military muscle, even if it is a long-term and partly uncertain solution.
We should, as far as possible, increase the uncertainty in Russian calculations when the question is asked in Moscow ‘which opponents do we risk having to fight?‘. Various bilateral and multilateral military cooperation should therefore be strengthened and developed, even if they do not guarantee the day we would be attacked.
This is mainly about military security. If we also consider the necessity of, in peace, gray zone as war, also being able to face various economic threats, cyber warfare, influence operations, terrorism, etc., it becomes even more obvious that a Swedish ‘Alone’ has nothing to do with today’s or tomorrow’s security realities. do.
We must invest in several different horses in the security policy race that is currently underway. Someone or some may pay dividends.