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Mona Sahlin lost the parliament election a year ago, and was then forced to resign making her the second Swedish soc-dem party leader ever not to become party leader prime minister.

By the way, I agree that Juholt got a good start, but he waffled badly on Libya and looked like he knew nothing about defence and security policy, and even worse, he kept changing his mind and message all the time. This is especially noteworthy as he's been the chairman or vice chairman of the parliamentary committee on defense for the last 10 or 15 years, so this is the one thing he really should be good at. However, given the fact that the Swedish armed forces have self-destructed in the last 10-15 years, maybe one shouldn't be surprised at Juholts ineptitude. He's after all been the main guy in parliament overseeing the self-destruction.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 11:20:48 AM EST
The only realistic solution to Sweden's Defense is a 'Northern Defense Alliance.'  Given the on-going revolution in military technology Sweden cannot afford to pay tens of billions of krona for weapon systems that will be obsolete in five years.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 02:40:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden tried for one in the 50ies but Finland couldn't and Norway, Denmark and Iceland wouldn't but instead joined NATO.

Right now the policy is to send some troops abroad and in general hope that there will be no conflicts here as there are no other troops. Oh, and use the troops abroad to market the military industry's latest gadgets, so that they can be sold - with just a little bribes - all over the world.

Actually, given the result of the war in Iraq, I think Swedens old defense policy of having enough defense and preparation for gerilla warfare to make the attack on and occupation of Sweden unprofitable for an attacker, could very well work. It also has the advantage that we would not need to have the best in weapons, as long as it is enough to deter.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 02:50:07 PM EST
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Wikipedia:
Finland is the only non-NATO EU country bordering Russia. Finland's official policy states that the 350,000 reservists with mostly ground weaponry are a sufficient deterrent. The army consists of a highly mobile field army backed up by local defence units. The army defends the national territory and its military strategy employs the use of the heavily forested terrain and numerous lakes to wear down an aggressor, instead of attempting to hold the attacking army on the frontier.

Finland's defence budget equals about 2 billion euro or 1.4-1.6 percent of the GDP. The voluntary overseas service is highly popular and troops serve around the world in UN, NATO and EU missions. Homeland defence willingness stands at around 80%, one of the highest rates in Europe.

Up until today, almost every male has spent around a year as a conscript, having basic military training and then a specialization (artillery, intelligence, marines, coastguard etc). But there are changes ahead.

Quite a few otherwise peaceful media colleagues, who became officers under conscription, disappear for a week or so each year for territorial reserve training. And it appears that the friendships formed during conscription are often lifelong.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 03:12:37 PM EST
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Sweden and Finland have an "agreement" - don't know how formal it all is - that Sweden will come to the aid of Finland "to the extent necessary" (if I recall the wording right) should Finland be attacked by "an outside aggressor."  (Read: Russia)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 04:02:00 PM EST
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Finnish secretary of defense has been grumbling in the media for the last few years that it's not really fair that not only does Finland need to defend Finland - it has to defend Sweden as well, as Sweden has zero capability for national defence, at the moment. Our entire armed forces have been reshaped into being a very expensive colonial police auxilia to the US armed forces, just when the US finds out that it can't keep financing those small wars no more. That fits very well with the unofficial motto of the Swedish armed forces - Sist med det senaste! (last with the latest (fad)).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 07:02:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The old policy was quite markedly different from that. It was, since the ÖB plan of 1947 as follows: maintain a strong airforce to shield NATO from the reds (Sweden is half the NATO-Warsaw pact front, lengthwise) and prevent/delay/weaken a seaborne invasion until all naval strike assets are spent. Then, fight bitter rearguard actions on all fronts, giving them up eventually, until only the corridor Stockholm-Gothenburg remains. Keep fighting for time and this critical area until the US Marines land in Gothenburg (and possibly in Trondheim/Narvik), when the counterattack begins.  

This was spelt out very clearly in planning documents until the early/mid 60's, after which the planning was kept secret for reasons of political correctness. Still, anyone with a map could figure out what the plan was. There's an astounding amount of operational planning out there, like how our only cruisers for some strange reason in the event of war would keep the SLOC's between Britain and Trondheim open, staff exercises with the US Marines parachuting over Kiruna, our airfields were strengthened to receive heavy NATO bombers, in the event of war the chief of the navy would immediately launch a government-in-exile in London or Washington, and so on ad infinitum.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 07:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We would do perfectly well with the weapons we had 10-15 years ago coupled with liberal amounts of nuclear strikes on-demand. Which is what we had (unofficially) 10-15 years ago.

The problem with a northern defence alliance of some kind is that a) only security black-hole Sweden would be interested and b) there'd be no nukes involved.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 06:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then Sweden needs to Get Real about military planning and policy.  

It's a nasty world out there and over the coming years it's going to get nastier.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 09:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
Mona Sahlin lost the parliament election a year ago, and was then forced to resign making her the second Swedish soc-dem party leader ever not to become party leader prime minister.

Thanks, corrected.

I agree that he waffled on Libya and the soc-dem conterproposal of sending boats made little sense. To me, it rang of something a liberal politician mentioned: the soc-dems are so used to hold power that they are very bad at being oppostition. The government needs to come up with workable solutions, the oppositions need to come up with ideological alternatives. The soc-dems could have opposed the idea of sending military into Libya, or they could have supported it and for good measure suggested sending more then the government could afford. But first sending panes, and then sending boats instead of planes made no sense.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 02:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The government needs to come up with workable solutions, the oppositions need to come up with ideological alternatives. The soc-dems...

...believe they have to play the "responsible opposition" role, partly because they believe that makes them appear more serious and makes them more likely to gain power at the next turn.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 04:41:13 AM EST
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Which is probably true. But that doesn't mean there isn't any room for some healthy leftwing populism like against failed deregulations, big healthcare and school corporations stashing away their profits in the Bermudas, and so on. As long as it doesn't turn into class-based rhetoric, which has been an election loser in Sweden since the 30's.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 07:16:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this the answer to "who is Juholt" from the diary?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 04:51:44 AM EST
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