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Summary Of Report By Swedish Defence Commission

Security in Cooperation (Ds 2007:46): The Swedish Defence Commission's analysis of challenges and threats

Summary of report by the Swedish Defence Commission

The Swedish Defence Commission is appointed by the Government to undertake studies on long term developments of Swedish Security and Defence Policy. It consists of one member from each of the seven parties in Parliament and its objective is to achieve political consensus as far as possible. This report is based on a comprehensive and holistic approach to security.

Summary of the report

Cross-border cooperation and integration brought about by globalisation promotes development in large parts of the world. Multilateral cooperation is essential for dealing with major global challenges and threats. Sweden is an integral part of Europe and one of the world's most globalised countries. The EU and the UN are key platforms for Sweden's actions internationally. Sweden's cooperation with NATO is an expression of our participation in the transatlantic security community.

Environmental impact and climate change represent the most serious global threats to people's security. The changeover to more sustainable development cannot wait. Fossil fuel use must be dramatically reduced through energy saving, greater energy efficiency and renewable forms of energy.

Energy is linked to security in several ways: through the vulnerability of modern, energy-dependent societies, control of energy resources and their distribution, and competition for energy resources.

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The continued threat of weapons of mass destruction is moving higher up on the international security policy agenda. Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is vital, as is the ambition to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world. Political instability can make it easier for terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction, which further underscores the threat posed by these weapons.

The total number of major armed conflicts in the world has decreased steadily over the last twenty years, and today's armed conflicts are primarily intrastate. Tomorrow's interstate conflicts will probably differ from those of the past, and may for example, involve cyber warfare, electromagnetic weapons, and at worst, nuclear weapons.

On the whole, the USA is the only superpower, but developments primarily in China, India and Europe are affecting the global balance of power. For the foreseeable future, however, there is no country that can challenge US military power.

Russia's domestic policy with its growing authoritarian tendencies is a cause for concern. The Russian political leadership attaches great importance to stability rather than democratic development and respect for human rights. Russia's actions vis-à-vis the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union will be a litmus test for the path Russia chooses in the future. Solidarity between the EU states is important in this context. Sweden must continue to monitor developments, and not least, via the EU, set common demands on, and involve Russia.

The Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea region are characterised by stability, dialogue and cooperation at a level never previously seen. Despite this, there are a number of challenges in the region that require our attention and that need to be dealt with through well-developed bilateral and multilateral cooperation. As the largest coastal state of the Baltic Sea, Sweden has both the opportunity and the responsibility to influence developments. To reduce the vulnerability of the Baltic countries with regard to energy, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania should be offered integration into the common Nordic electricity market.

The planned construction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea is a complex issue. As the plans for the project proceed, Sweden should work for strict environmental requirements and for the surveillance and protection of sea transport and possible gas pipelines to be undertaken in cooperation between the Baltic Sea states. The gas pipeline must be subject to the relevant provisions of the European Energy Charter.

Sweden will not take a passive stance if another EU Member State or other Nordic country suffers a disaster or an attack. We expect these countries to act in the same way if Sweden were affected.

In a major crisis, there may be an acute shortage of resources. However, the greatest challenge for contingency planning and crisis management more often involves coordinating existing resources at short notice. This places enormous demands on a rapid, correct analysis, which is difficult under the chaotic conditions that often exist in major disasters when many things need to happen within minutes, rather than hours.

A new Swedish Emergency Management Agency and a national crisis management coordination point at the Government Offices will be established as a result of the inquiries and deliberations of recent years. The Defence Commission considers that the new Agency must be given cross-sectoral responsibility to enable the effective coordination of existing resources.

The new coordination point should be guided by the principle that responsibility for operational crisis management at national level in an emergency situation lies with professional officials who are able to work according to a duty rota.

An armed military attack directed at Sweden remains unlikely in the foreseeable future. However, crises or incidents involving military force may also occur in our region.

The Defence Commission's geopolitical analysis emphasises the need for continuing the development of a modern, flexible operational defence that can operate together with other forces. This operational defence is to be capable of being used globally, in Europe and our immediate vicinity, and when necessary, on our own territory.

Availability, flexibility and strategic mobility give greater freedom of action and should govern the development of the Swedish Armed Forces. A military defence, working together with other parties outside Sweden is a defence of our core values and interests and increases our security.

Military capabilities that are only designed for operations on our own territory will be difficult to use in operations elsewhere. Sweden will therefore continue the transformation from a threat-based defence to an operational defence guided by political will and prepared for prioritised operations as demanded.


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