Sir, In Richard Milne’s report “Sweden’s debate about Nato intensifies after US election” (November 22), the Moderates’ defence spokesman Hans Wallmark made some surprising remarks concerning the recent US presidential election and its impact on Swedish security policy.
A number of significant changes in our world and in our neighbourhood in recent years have moved security policy to the top of the political agenda. Many regional and global challenges can only be tackled if Europe and the US act together. Over the past century, US engagement in Europe has played an important role in peace and security on our continent. A strong transatlantic link remains crucial for European security. The outcome of the US elections does not alter these basic security policy premises.
Given the prevailing uncertainty in Sweden’s neighbourhood, a long-term, clear and principled Swedish security policy becomes even more important. The combination of military non-alignment, our own strengthened military capabilities and enhanced co-operation with others builds further on a Swedish model, which aims at contributing to a much needed detente.
The idea that Sweden would become safer by abandoning our non-alignment in a situation of utmost uncertainty is absurd. On the contrary, stability and predictability are central elements to maintain our security. Close co-operation with Finland, the other Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and the UK, as well as our partnership with Nato and the US, are crucial for our military non-alignment.
Contrary to what Mr Wallmark says, bilateral co-operation with the US is not remotely comparable with Nato membership. Nor can we compare our different bilateral relationships: each is unique and has its own benefits.
Sweden will continue to take its share of responsibility for security using diplomacy and defence in our region, but also in the rest of the world. We will continue to do our part and build security together.