NATO door open for Sweden

Sweden | 2011-04-16 | 3 comments
With Swedish forces under NATO command in Afghanistan and Libya, the Swedish people need to think about whether the country not also should become a member of NATO. The call comes from the U.S., thus signalling a new approach towards a Swedish membership.

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The message was put forward yesterday by Michèle Flournoy, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. This at a seminar in Stockholm, organized by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“U.S. welcomes greater cooperation with Sweden and Finland. We share number of interests and challenges when it comes to security. But of course it is up to the Swedish and Finnish peoples to decide which security architecture they want to belong to in the future," said Michèle Flournoy, according to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

She pointed to the fact that Sweden has issued a solidarity statement to give and receive military assistance, and has switched from an territorial to an operational defense. Flournoy thereafter asked “if Sweden wanted to solve their problems by themselves or in NATO”.

“With the declaration of solidarity and the reform of your defense forces, we see how the cooperation with NATO is growing. The question I posed was: where do the Swedish people want to take this cooperation?” she later told Svenska Dagbladet.

The U.S. has previously been very cautious to interfere in the Swedish NATO debate.

But several experts in the audience interpreted Flournoy's question as a shift in approach by the U.S.

We put no pressure on anyone, or twist their arm - we always have the door open," said Michèle Flournoy.

Readers' comments

2011-04-18 14:13 J. Locke, 1632-1704, Empiricist wrote:
Oh dear. One person got into a little temper. Maybe insist on all members sign up to and abide by the ICC before enjoying benefits of say NATO and/or the UN. No serious commitment - no benefits derived from those nations who do...
2011-04-18 03:31 Irish-eyes wrote:
Sweden isn´t admired by anyone but itself. The US has not pursued Sweden for NATO membership in the last 20 years because you´re untrustworthy and the SAAB Gripen is junk. You helped the Nazi´s in WWII, you played both sides in the Cold War, and if the Russian army ever did come back for the Baltic three it´s anyone´s guess what Sweden´s official position would be. The Americans don´t trust you to be part of the alliance and they are right not to.
2011-04-16 21:03 None wrote:
Of course the U.S. wants another victim to help them do the dirty job in distant countries. Sweden is admired worldwide for being neutral and not playing power games. Sweden doesn´t threat or is threatened by anyone so I´d suggest the U.S. should go and find other countries to be their puppets

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