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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.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 02:50:07 PM EST
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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
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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
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