Swedish ministers sound the alarm bells on the potential for conflict, a stark shift in tone first initiated in 2012 by general Sverker Göranson. The gravity of the situation, initially dismissed by Sweden's political class, has since become impossible to ignore.
A Shift in Perspective Post 2014
The 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, accompanied by increased military activity within the Baltic region, has been a catalyst for a significant reconsideration of this threat. The Swedish defense approach underwent a profound change, as evidenced by the 2017 report that verified the possibility of “limited attacks” on strategic points like Gotland.
Sweden’s Defense Policy Rearrangement
Recent years have witnessed an extensive transformation within Sweden's defense policy. This includes a boost in military spending, the reestablishment of conscription, and the rejuvenation of the national armaments industry. Alongside these measures, we've also seen the remilitarization of Gotland and a rekindling of the “total defense” concept.
Sweden’s Reaction to Russia’s 2022 Ukraine Invasion
Sweden and Finland took decisive steps towards joining NATO in response to the 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The benefits of NATO's deterrence and protection are being sought through the ongoing membership process.
Official Concerns from Sweden
Concerns from high-ranking officials in Sweden continue to mount. Civil Defense Minister, Carl-Oskar Bohlin, has advocated for Sweden to bolster its preparations for war. Defense Minister, Pål Jonson, has expressed concern that an armed attack on Sweden is within the realm of possibilities. This urgency is likely to lead to the adoption of a “historic resolution on total defense”.
Current Swedish Chief of Staff, General Micael Bydén
The current Chief of Staff in Sweden, General Micael Bydén, is advocating for a swift NATO membership. He ascertains that despite the increased security benefits offered by NATO membership, Sweden may still need to fight to defend its values.