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Swedish Security Review Spring 2001

erschienen in der Publikation "Security Political Dialogue 2001 (3/01)" (ISBN: 3-901328-59-9) - Oktober 2001

Vollständiger Beitrag als PDF:  PDF ansehen PDF downloaden  11 Seiten (33 KB)
Schlagworte zu diesem Beitrag:  Schweden, AuƟenpolitik, Sicherheitspolitik, Baltikum, Region, Ostsee, EU, NATO


This line sums up the present Swedish security debate - emphasizing the possibilities and opportunities offered by the post-Cold War situation rather than dangers and threats. The latter, previously formulated in various "threat scenarios", have now been replaced by "risks" which may seem much vaguer and less menacing than the variations on the Third World War (with, in the final analysis, Soviet invasion of Sweden), with which we lived for some forty years. There is, however, an element of irony in this. The danger of invasion has been written off for some ten years at least (taking as its point of departure a restructured Russian military capability established about ten years after the initiation of full scale military reform - which has not yet started). Even during the most critical moments of the Cold War this still remained a surreal and highly hypothetical, although of course utterly catastrophic, threat if it were to come about.

Now, when our security, supposedly, is greater than ever before, we are seen as running an almost endless gauntlet of "risks", with each of them a lot less threatening than nuclear war but on the other hand a lot more likely to happen in one form or another: environmental disasters (great oil spills in and the quite possible "death" of the Baltic Sea, global warming, nuclear power plant blow-ups etc), terrorist attacks - also involving WMDs, epidemics, organized crime, drugs, ethnic, religious and sorts of social and political disturbances producing refugees and further disorders à la Yugoslavia. In toto, a host of dangers to both state, nation and society that would not necessarily be best countered by JAS aircraft, submarines or armoured brigades. But which, again, include elements of probability for societal breakdown more immediate than a full scale armed attack by the "arch enemy" across the sea. Thus, in the end, the world after the Cold War may seem even more dangerous than it was before. The most recent report from the Defence Commission, Gränsöverskridande sårbarhet - gemensam säkerhet (Transboundary vulnerability - common security; DoD Ds 2001:14) is much concerned with these new challenges and what is generally accepted as a "wider security" concept.

The analysts here have a job to put things into perspective and relate the present to past experience. Efforts to do so are not without risks: comparisons have been made between the present situation in the Baltic Sea region and that of the early 1920´s when Sweden's security situation was also seen to be better than ever before and fifteen Swedish armoured ships were thought to rule if not the seas at least the Sea. As it turned out, unilateral Swedish disarmament and lack of adaptation to the changing circumstances of the 1930´s placed the country in a rather awkward position in 1939. Our basic assumption should be not to look for analogies with specific events (or sequences of events) of the past but rather to take the new situation on its own merits but also as circumscribed by certain structural factors.

Eigentümer und Herausgeber: Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung | Roßauer Lände 1, 1090 Wien
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