Thursday, March 05, 2015

Swedish Defence - a current survey

How the outside world - the Nordic countries and others - should respond to Russia's new and tougher military policy has become a hot topic of debate in many countries. Especially after Russia in 2011 gradually began to implement an extensive refurbishment program, increased activity in the Arctic, ever more intrusive and aggressive exercises, the annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and support for separatists and destabilization of eastern Ukraine and violations of neighboring States airspace and water, which has also affected Sweden and Finland in 2014. All this together made the Nordic countries and Europe understand that we all are going through perhaps his most serious security crisis in 25 years. How this all ends - especially in Ukraine - no one can know. But it is obvious that the need for enhanced Nordic cooperation on security policy, and a comprehensive European counter-force, not a very long time has been so great that now. The requirement to have a good perception of the world has increased, writes Musts (Military Intelligence and Security Service in the Armed Forces) in the Annual Report 2014. The Swedish Defence political context - and in the wake of the submarine violations (Russian?) In Swedish waters in autumn 2014 - this has led to increased activity and discussion among Swedish Defence politicians and for spring 2015 upcoming defense policy decisions. And the increased investment in the Swedish defense that is to be expected after many years of cuts. The I7 February 2015 published report and the joint press conference between the Swedish and Finnish Defence Ministers (Peter Hultqvist, Sweden and Carl Haglund, Finland) for a closer, long-term cooperation between Sweden and Finland's defense forces - air, naval and army - belong here. In the same context also includes a forthcoming report (no later than March 31, 2015) for a similar but less extensive cooperation between Denmark and Sweden for access to each other's air and naval bases and the exchange of confidential information should also be viewed in the same context. More on this later. From a historical perspective, it is now taking place unique in several ways. When Sweden in the 1920s, equipped down his then-defense, this was done while the country's leadership - not least the former Socialist prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize Hjalmar Branting worked actively to match this with various activities for international disarmament and conflict resolution. During the Cold War continued Sweden international disarmament work, but this time with an extensive renovation of its World War II military too weak defence. Something similar has occurred in recent years in the 2000s, when Sweden both disarmed his defense and at the same time been rather passive in the international disarmament and common security, considered by many scholars as stated by Professor Bo Huldt and others with extensive experience in this area. Of the Peace Research Institute SIPRI Yearbook 2014 is clear, for example, to Sweden during the years 2009-2013 - with Fredrik Reinfeldt, m, as prime minister - invested Sweden on average $ 6.4 billion per year on military defense, which was a decrease of seven per cent compared with the period 2004-2008 when the annual military expenditure stood at $ 6.9 billion. This while just no Swedish initiative was taken to promote international disarmament, evidenced by SIPRI Yearbook. For comparison, we can talk - show the same source - to neighboring Norway where did the opposite and increased its military spending by eleven percent between the two periods of five years, from an average of $ 6.6 billion per year (2004-2008) to $ 7.3 billion per year during 2009-2013. At the same time, Norway more internationally active than Sweden - with a driving role, according to SIPRI Yearbook, the contract for international arms trade, various mediation efforts (the Colombian conflict, etc.), an international conference on nuclear weapons humanitarian effects and transport of toxic biochemical products from Syria. But the change of power in Sweden in October 2014, the submarine violations of Swedish waters in autumn 2014, and a general change in the climate debate in defense of Sweden, is a different and new order is being established. Something that is already clearly noticeable by the government Löfvens government declaration in October, in various media statements by Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, at the annual folk and defense conference in January 2015 at the mountain hotel in Sälen, Dalarna and in the context of when the major Swedish-Finnish defense cooperation was published on February 17, 2015. But first, here are some basic facts about Sweden and Finland, respectively, which are of importance for it now meant defense cooperation as Swedish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and the Finnish Parliament's Defence Committee has given its approval in principle to. Some basic facts Sweden - the population and geographically large country in the Nordic countries - has a population of 9.6 million. int. and Finland, which until 1809 belonged to Sweden, with a population of 5.4 million. int. Here's what each country's defense costs and defense out: Sweden's defense cost is 45 billion / year (= 1.1 perc. Of GDP) and Finland's 25 billion (= about 1.2 perc. Of GDP). It may be mentioned that the two NATO countries Norway and Denmark annually invests 1.4 perc. of GDP on defense. The corresponding level for Sweden would require an annual defense budget of approximately SEK 50 billion. Sweden's Defence Force (professional, non-military service)in peace: 15,300 people in peace and mobilized in war situation 50,000 people, including 22,000 militiamen compared to Finland with his conscription system has 22 000 people in peace and mobilized in the war, Finland 230,000 man. This has in Finland been considered important in view of their long land border with and historically two hard wars (1939-40 and 1941-44)against Russia (which is now fixed up and bet 4 proc. Of GDP on their defense). The number of combat aircraft (which Sweden invested a lot in) is 134 planes in Sweden to 107 planes in Finland. The number of tanks is in Sweden 132 against Finland 100 tanks, the number of submarines are five in Sweden towards 0 in Finland, surface battle vessels is 7 in Sweden against 8 in Finland, while Finland is especially strong in the coastal artillery (30 number) and artillery pieces (338 numbers compared to Sweden's very few. (Source here: The Military Balance 2015, IISS-Institute.) Sweden is, however, to fix up their air defenses, including the decision taken just before Christmas 2012, buying new, heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles (Robot 98) at a cost of at least a billion sv. lion. And Finland took in January 2014 decision to buy into US air Stinger) missiles. (Source: see YLE January 24, 2014). The Swedish-Finnish defence co-operation This is of great interest for future operational and far-reaching cooperation in aviation, navy and army, joint combat command capability etc and also considering that the two countries are not members of NATO and unlike other neighboring countries (Norway, Denmark, the Baltic States, etc. ) with Russia in a conflict with the big neighbor to the east is not covered by the NATO alliance guarantees to be defended without the need to bear for his defense during an attack. This is also of interest in view of the new security feature for enhanced defense cooperation between Sweden and Finland, published on 17-18 February 2015, of Sweden and Finland's defense ministers Peter Hultqvist, s, respectively Carl Haglund, sv. fp. - We shall have no ultimate goal, said President of Finland Sauli Niinistö (also the country's supreme commander) in Today's News 27 February 2015. He believes, as well as Swedish Minister for Defence Hultqvist previously said that "it gets better military performance for both national defense and crisis management ". And for this to be possible, now that the two countries stepwise processes and in joint exercises examines how their armed forces are becoming more and more compatible (command language, control systems, corporate aviation and recognized maritime picture around the Baltic Sea, the practical act in various exercises and crisis situations, cyber warfare, etc.). Another consequence of this - and the tighter security situation in Europe - in both countries led to a broad political consensus that the military defense also now step by step must be strengthened and given greater annual budget allocations. Exactly how much more is yet vague and unclear is also how in each country must find budgetary room for this in each nation's annual budget. In the near term, however, it is not up to date with something NATO membership. In none of the two countries are no popular majority to seek membership in NATO defense alliance. Only around 26-30 per cent of the Finnish public opinion is for NATO, and only a few per cent of the Swedish population is majority of NATO, according to various opinion polls. Moreover, the Finnish requiring a two-thirds majority in the Finnish parliament for such a decision. The Swedish government Löfven - red-green coalition government since October 2014 - In its Statement of Government Policy in October 2014 said that "Sweden will not seek membership in NATO." About the same declaration has now soon resigned Finnish Government Stubb done. But if this possibly - probably not - change after the Finnish parliamentary elections April 19, 2015, and the government (coalition of several parties) that after this entry, yes it remains to be seen. As regards the Swedish Government's defense policy decisions in the near term, this will clear up some when the government comes with its defense policy decision in late April 2015 and the government's upcoming spring budget in April and May 2015th. Statements and defense priorities pointed out by Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist in Sälen (Folk och Försvar),14 January 2015 fit reasonably well in with what Defence Secretary Hultqvist said at the seminar of the Finnish Institute in Stockholm on September 17 when he and Ministry of Defence Carl Haglund from Finland met in a conversation about defense in a Nordic perspective. "By planning for various crisis scenarios we create preparations to use them in a given situation. If we then use this is a decision that may be taken at government level in the state and confirmed by parliament in each country, "explained Sweden Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, S. Ministry of Defence Carl Haglund, SFP, highlights for its part, through this cooperation as we build "increasingly up an ability where we know how the other works in different types of crises, and the worst of the crisis is a war. It is an important statement that by a joint brigade structures build up an ability "- and that in turn" raises the threshold "(Hultqvist's finding) for possible attackers. But what this and previous notice in Sälen the January 14, 2015 means in relation to eg future defense policy in Sweden, the government and parliament must we wait until the defense policy orientation bill comes at the end of April, and also what the upcoming spring budget, how about defense appropriation and its probable (unclear how large) list of the closest foreseeable near future. But a gradual upward adjustment during the next four years to wait. Swedish-Danish defense cooperation and NORDEFCO At the end of March 2015, the details of the Swedish Armed Forces new cooperation with NATO country Denmark to clarify. However, some main features are already known: the two countries to have access to each other's air and naval bases for refueling and share secret information with each other. A mutual access to each other's airspace and territorial waters also makes it faster for incident preparedness can come to a current priority. In contrast, it is this cooperation is not of direct intervention in each other's airspace, according to the Swedish Defence Forces command staff. Also it here - compared to cooperation with Finland, however, less far-reaching - the cooperation is to strengthen their national defense and have been following a decision by the Swedish government decisions and Danish political leadership. The difference from the more stringent Swedish-Finnish cooperation is that it is limited to the navy and air and that it is entirely limited to peacetime. But the trend is clear that Sweden is now getting more and more of Swedish-Nordic cooperation on defense. But mostly, the new, bilateral cooperation agreements seen as complementary to the pan-Nordic cooperation and joint Nordic effort activities in NORDEFCO (Nordic Defence Cooperation, begun in 2009) and the Joint Sea Surveillance System SUCBAS (Sea Surveillance Co-operation Baltic Sea). Sweden wants the new presidency from 2015 to NORDEFCO now focus on increasing and expanding the exchange, air and maritime domain, identify common systems and legislation relating to the purchase of materials and in different ways to ensure that joint Nordic contribution to international (UN, etc.) efforts. "Sweden takes over the Presidency of NORDEFCO with the ambition to deepen both the Nordic and Nordic-Baltic defense cooperation," said Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. The military industry and arms export The defense industry and arms exports if there is a broad political consensus in Sweden on these new ventures and Nordic cooperation as is the political divisions greater for the Swedish armaments industry and especially so if the export of these. An exports in 2014 amounted to 8 billion sv. Compared with SEK 11.9 billion SEK (= minus 33 percent) for the year 2013, recent figures from the State Bureau ISP, the ISP. The export value of Swedish armaments vary - just like in other countries - strongly between years. The same also applies to the countries that buy Swedish defense products. In 2005, the export value approximately equal to, 8.6 billion, as in 2014 (8.0 billion). Large buyers in 2005 were Switzerland (1.4 billion), Finland (825 mill. BC) and the USA (745 mill. BC), while in 2014 that the United States had emerged as the largest purchasers (1.4 billion), thereafter Norway (1.3 billion; CV 90) and so Thailand (532 million SEK; Jas Gripen fighters) and the UK (527 mill. BC). In 2009, when Sweden exported armaments 13.5 billion so were the Netherlands (2.5 billion), South Africa (1.7 billion; JAS Gripen fighters), Pakistan (1.4 billion) and Finland (1,0 billion), the major buyers. Great Forces US buys mainly munitions and naval command and control (for SEK 1.4 billion in 2014) from Sweden. Their purchases in 2013 were almost as big then, more than 1.2 billion. The companies in Sweden, which exported most military equipment in 2014 was BAE Systems/Hägglunds - where, incidentally, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven once worked as a welder - Saab Dynamics and Saab Microwave Systems. The contracts are often preceded by lengthy negotiations. How did Saab for example on for 15 years before Brazil right recently chose to buy JAS Gripen fighter aircraft. Saab bought - in part political initiative - the summer of 2014 Kockums (built submarines, etc.) from the German owner and has hopes of future export orders, in addition to the one already has to Swedish Defence (Navy). In particular, sales of combat aircraft JAS 39 Gripen (Saab in Linköping) has drawn up export figures and will do so also for 2015 when new orders are with Brazil. But even the sale of Combat Vehicle 90 (BAE Systems/ Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik) to the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway and the airborne radar system Erieye to - in Sweden very controversial -Saudiarabien (338 million in 2014 but 922 million years in 2012) are orders that raised the value in Swedish exports in recent years. Now agreement with Saudi Arabia - will be renewed or terminated by 15 May 2015 - Defining the subject of extensive political debate. This agreement has long been disputed - were added in 2004. This is partly because more and more believe that Sweden should not export to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia. The government document from October 2014 is also said that "arms control against non-democracies should be strengthened". And by April 15, a parliamentary inquiry in Sweden put forward proposals for revised rules for arms exports. Exports will be open (more transparent) and the requirements harder. All this will be differently now be factored into the evaluation process in the Swedish Government for future decisions about the Saudi contract. Reputedly it up, renegotiated it or it will be taken forward without change. No one knows yet for sure. But likely it is that there are renegotiated and limited or possibly terminated. Anything else would amaze. Whatever the decision of the case, so there is wide support in parliament for the Swedish defense industry (employing 30 000) safeguarded. Sweden will remain reasonably independent of other countries, the country must be able to retain their ability - but also in accordance with the partnership agreement met interact with other Nordic countries - to develop their own weapons adapted to Swedish and other Scandinavian needs and specific requirements. It also means that we are to continue to be able to both develop and also to democracies export Swedish-made aviation, artillery, combat vehicles and marine vessels . Overall conclusion But as this review shows the Swedish defense and security policy in its various aspects have not been in the focus of the political and strategic military and defense industry debate right now in 2015. And learn to remain so for a while before the various policy decisions are in place ! In it is also there in some places with renewed vigor performed suggestions that it is now time for a Swedish departure from the historic Swedish nonalignment and that now is the time to investigate a Swedish membership in NATO. But it teaches firstly not take place unless that Finland, which simultaneously agrees and second, that in both countries there is a broad popular majority for this to happen. At present, however, there is little or no evidence that the popular majority would be in place. With the rising political tensions around Europe and the new arms race in the Swedish neighborhood rises also need to have a modern and efficient Armed with the ability to protect and ward off both the IT threats that military threats throughout the country. Then there in the near future that - as now - increase investments in phases to strengthen national defense and to supplement it with an increased Swedish-Finnish and Nordic defense cooperation, in line with the various initiatives for enhanced cooperation as this has been reported during the last few months(2014/2015). 2015-03-03/Robert Björkenwall; (This survey has been read and sources checked by realiable people and sources in both Sweden and Finland)


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