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Sweden builds up defences - 40% increase in spend

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Sweden builds up defences - 40% increase in spend

Old 21st Oct 2020, 09:26
  #21 (permalink)  
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That's true Beamtr but even if you took Sweden you're still stuck with Denmark in the way - then if you take Denmark you're in the same situation pretty much as Germany was in WW1 - you've gained access to the N Sea but not the Atlantic - so you finish up having to invade Norway and the UK (or just Scotland)

Anyway its hard to see Russia starting with Sweden - they'd try the Baltic States first and, if they really are stupid Finland...... that's like invading Afghanistan or the Yemen - you can get in easily but can you get out? Even Stalin got burnt there.

I suspect the Russians would be very happy if the Swedes were as effective as the Swiss - armed forces go home for the weekend, don't ask too many questions and just not bug the Russians as they try and go about their business elsewhere
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 10:09
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You are absolutely right Asturias56, there are multitude of issues with it, but it is something that was in their plans during the cold war too. Through Sweden to Norway. Another plan they had was to isolate Scandinavia by the sea, and that meant placing tremendous task force to the Norwegian sea, in which Murmansk was the key. But at that time the Warsaw treaty had a direct sealine all the way from Finnish border to West Germany and they had big portion of the Baltic sea in their hands. So in essence they couldn't do it nowadays with any significant benefit and stepping on NATO's toes.

Coming back to modern day, the russians have started to re-arm Kola peninsula very heavily during the past five years. Refurbishing old airbases and submarine bases and establishing new troops along the entire Finnish border gives a hint.The armament includes anything and everything from special forces to nuclear weapons.
The issue is that Russias internal propaganda relys heavily on external threats. If there isn't any, one is made.
https://www.csis.org/analysis/ice-cu...kola-peninsula

The problem is, the way I see it, that you really can't predict the irrationalism of the russians. Who in their right mind thought ten years ago that russians would take crimea at this age and time? And yet they did. And the russians are feeding the war in Ukraine too, but denying everything (MH17). From Nordic point of view: the heat comes from the east. If it doesn't, they have flanked.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 11:45
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Still Russia invaded Georgia when they wanted to join NATO and Ukraine wanted to join EU so at least there is some move prior before they start a war... Sweden and Finland are the only two soft countries before the real border with NATO starts also so i guess that's why Russia is playing games there more easily. Swedish defence spending is from a very low baseline also i read somewhere so perhaps a good move to change course and invest more for the future...
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 12:29
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Originally Posted by Beamr View Post
Russia has very few contact points to the sea in the west: St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. In the name of protecting these ports, cities and seaways they have a few issues: all the sea routes are basically in control of other countries and providing Baltic NATO countries support. So it's not about resources, it's about geography and who rules what. Take over Ňland and Sweden (esp. Gotland) and you'll end up ruling the Baltic Sea without messing with NATO. At the same time you'll be cutting out service routes (air and sea) to Baltic NATO countries, have the opportunity to pressurize Norway (NATO country) and isolate Finland (not a NATO member but better equipped than Sweden).
Why would they wish to rule the Baltic ? There is a choke point bridge that pretty much blocks the Baltic if it became necessary.

Bearing in mind that the Transit route across Northern Russia is now open and growing massively then needing a route into the Baltic seems a moot point. Exactly what comes into Baltic ports than can not go into Northern ports or be transitted by rail from Asia ?

The rush to invest massively in the military seems to be pursuing someone's agenda that will make a lot of money for suppliers but nobody else.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 13:33
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Why would they wish to rule the Baltic ? There is a choke point bridge that pretty much blocks the Baltic if it became necessary.

Bearing in mind that the Transit route across Northern Russia is now open and growing massively then needing a route into the Baltic seems a moot point. Exactly what comes into Baltic ports than can not go into Northern ports or be transitted by rail from Asia ?

The rush to invest massively in the military seems to be pursuing someone's agenda that will make a lot of money for suppliers but nobody else.
Why do they want to rule the Crimea and Black sea? The Bosporus blocks the Black sea from rest of the world with a NATO country controlling it.
It really isn't that Russia would not have ANY other route, it's about controlling the area.
If the Baltic sea would of no interest to them, why is there a significant naval station and army presence in Kaliningrad? Why are their military aircraft continuously testing the alertness of neighbouring countries in the Baltic sea (Finnish F/A-18 jocks have had some rather nice pictures of a multitude of Russian planes within Finnish airspace).

Remembering that Crimean occupation was argumented with "russian inhabitants demanded it", so imagine the feelings in Baltic states with a rather significant minority of ethnic russians (Latvia: 25%, Estonia 24%, 5% in Lithuania). Imagine if those minorities started "demanding Russia to come and save them". No wonder the baltic countries rushed to NATO asap. Or Poland. Or many other ex Warsow treaty countries.

We are looking at the eastern bear from different angles and backgrounds.

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Old 21st Oct 2020, 13:58
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The US has called on Europe to contribute more to defense to the tune of 2% of GDP, the Swedes had fallen well behind, you canít put off replacing old weaponry for ever. It makes sense to cooperate with neighbors if only to keep your own defense industry active, no immediate threats but you never know where the next is coming from.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 14:04
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I am sure i am one of the dissenting voices, but bring back 18 month compulsory service for all. Then reserve forces until say 35, issue every reservist a rifle and can of ammo.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 14:47
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Originally Posted by rigpiggy View Post
I am sure i am one of the dissenting voices, but bring back 18 month compulsory service for all. Then reserve forces until say 35, issue every reservist a rifle and can of ammo.
That's really not something you want to be doing in most European countries these days with the open door policy of the past 20 years, and the percentage of people now contained within that you are doing everything you can to keep well away from arms and things that go bang....!!
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 15:07
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Snoop Free rider conundrum...

Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Unsettled yes, as in Crimean Peninsula. Doesn't mean military intervention to assist."

big difference between the Crimea and Sweden West Coast. Sweden is the heart of W Europe and always has been - for the average European the Crimea is so far east its off the edge of the map and was always part of Russia
No, it wasnít always part of Russia, thatís a weak, apologetic argument. You may not like it, but since 1954, its been Ukraines.

Sure, distance and standing is relevant. As such, I donít see Italy or Portugal committing their blood and treasure to a ground war to save a nation that they canít reliably say would do the same for them. Sweden should not expect military assistance if they themselves arenít willing to provide the same, their history shows they arenít. I personally couldnít support an article 5 like response from US elements of NATO should Sweden be invaded. If theyíre hoping to buy extra time with this, they should hope whatever existing security agreements they have Can be acted upon.

Neutrality is all good and well until the bullets fly your way
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 17:41
  #30 (permalink)  
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Do you really believe that the "Ukraine " in 1954 was independent of Russia - or the USSR as we called it ?? It was Russian in 1854 when the British and French invaded it.................. IIRC it was annexed by Russia in 1793
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 18:21
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Do you really believe that the "Ukraine " in 1954 was independent of Russia - or the USSR as we called it ?? It was Russian in 1854 when the British and French invaded it.................. IIRC it was annexed by Russia in 1793
Legally speaking your argument has no merit. There's a reason Russia has been ostracized in the world after its invasion. The historical ties argument aligns you with Putin, a great place to be. To return it to Sweden, just the simple matter of logistics and military commonality would sink an effort by NATO to save them. If he does invade, perhaps you can fall back to past Russian historical claims to part of Sweeden as an excuse.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 19:27
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Although Sweden has protected its economy far more valiantly than any other country, apart from the likes of New Zealand and South Korea, and with a radically different approach compared with the other two. Given their highly competent way of balancing social costs with commercial and national productivity, that they can find 40% (for us it would be about £20,000,000,000 increase per annum or not far short) additional spending on defence really has to make you wonder about our own constant can't do saga of defence reviews, more and more wrapped up with one or more allied departments or ministries. Reviews which always arrive at a predicted outcome, leaner and meaner. I also have to wonder if the traditionally liberal swedes have their Chiefs of Staff putting out public feelers about braided hair, dreadlocks, pony tails and gender neutral terminology? Perhaps we're the new Sweden, or Netherlands, and they are the new UK? In terms of by what store each places priority on social inclusion and serious defence concerns.

FB
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 20:51
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
Legally speaking your argument has no merit. There's a reason Russia has been ostracized in the world after its invasion.
What invasion was that ? People in Crimea sought independence from Ukraine in the 1990's and were threatened with war. They did not wish to be a part of Ukraine then or since, they have a right to self determination do they not ?.

Just like the people who have lived for centuries in Artkash / Nagorno Karabakh.............. should a line drawn on a map a century ago force them to live under a dictatorship who has always wanted them to be Ethnically cleansed from lands.

Nobody has yet provided a reason for Sweden to spend billions it can't afford, for an invasion that will not happen. Once you unwind the influencers and the media stools you get back to the same actors funded by the same people parroting same message.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 21:06
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
What invasion was that ? People in Crimea sought independence from Ukraine in the 1990's and were threatened with war. They did not wish to be a part of Ukraine then or since, they have a right to self determination do they not ?.

Just like the people who have lived for centuries in Artkash / Nagorno Karabakh.............. should a line drawn on a map a century ago force them to live under a dictatorship who has always wanted them to be Ethnically cleansed from lands.

Nobody has yet provided a reason for Sweden to spend billions it can't afford, for an invasion that will not happen. Once you unwind the influencers and the media stools you get back to the same actors funded by the same people parroting same message.
They were a part of a sovereign nation, Ukraine. Thatís the bottom line.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 22:16
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
They were a part of a sovereign nation, Ukraine. Thatís the bottom line.
Surely simplistic, the USSR had blown up and all its decisions were subject to reconsideration. There were no sovereign nations under the USSR.
Just because Khrushchev, an Ukrainian, opted to give the Ukraine management of the Crimea in the 1950s does not confer sacred title to the rulers of present day Ukraine.
It is basically 'any stick to beat the Russians with' imho.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 00:27
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Surely simplistic, the USSR had blown up and all its decisions were subject to reconsideration. There were no sovereign nations under the USSR.
Just because Khrushchev, an Ukrainian, opted to give the Ukraine management of the Crimea in the 1950s does not confer sacred title to the rulers of present day Ukraine.
It is basically 'any stick to beat the Russians with' imho.
You can certainly argue historical ties, it doesnít hold water from a legal perspective. Or a political one for that matter either, Russia has paid a high price.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 06:48
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
What invasion was that ? People in Crimea sought independence from Ukraine in the 1990's and were threatened with war. They did not wish to be a part of Ukraine then or since, they have a right to self determination do they not ?.

Just like the people who have lived for centuries in Artkash / Nagorno Karabakh.............. should a line drawn on a map a century ago force them to live under a dictatorship who has always wanted them to be Ethnically cleansed from lands.

Nobody has yet provided a reason for Sweden to spend billions it can't afford, for an invasion that will not happen. Once you unwind the influencers and the media stools you get back to the same actors funded by the same people parroting same message.
For the first part of your statement: why isn't Russian Karelia then annexed to Finland, as there is a Finnish population that was strongly terrorised by soviet authorities after the area was occupied and joined to USSR in the aftermaths of WW2? Russians cleansed the area by ethnic background during Stalins era. Should a line drawn on map almost a century ago force them to live under dictatorship (yes, Putins Russia)?

As what comes to the second part regarding Swedish defence budget uplifts I believe you are not aware of the figures. The proposed uplift of 40% is in essence 3 billion USD in the time frame of five years (2021-2025). That is 0,57% of Swedish GDP (GDP in Sweden 2019 was 536 billion USD). As the swedish military budget has been approx 1,1% of GDP, this increment doesn't take it even to the NATO proposal of 2%. The Swedish government deficit has been in between -1,5% to 1,4% for the past decade and currently Swedish government debt is only 40% of GDP. All this in essence means that the economy is very well capable of handling that military spenditure uplift and they don't even have to think of it twice from budget perspective.

For comparison we can look at a couple of other countries with their figures
Finland: Military budget 3,2 Billion USD (1,3% of GDP), and rising with the upcoming FJ investement. Government debt 59,4% of GDP. Deficit 0,7%.
Norway: Military budget 6,6 Billion USD (1,7% of GDP), Government Debt 40,8% of GDP, Deficit 6,4%
Denmark: Military budget 4,0 Billion USD (1,3% of GDP), Government debt 33,2% of GDP, Deficit 3,7%
UK: Military budget 46 Billion USD (2,1% of GDP), Government Debt 85,4% of GDP, Deficit 2,7%
Germany: Military budget 50 Billion USD (1,3% of GDP), Government debt 59,8% of GDP, Deficit 7,25%

To make it short, Sweden has made cuts to defence budgets in the past and now they are just ramping up to the same level as others around them and with a rather healthy economy.

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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 10:16
  #38 (permalink)  
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"Legally speaking your argument has no merit." It is irrelevant for the period 1793- 1990 - it was part of Russia, everyone agreed it was part of Russia and some gerrymandering by Mr K it was just smoke and mirrors

However AFTER 1990 it's a different story - whatever Racedo thinks it was clearly an invasion of a sovereign country - I can here him howl if Poland walked into Kalingrad for example.

Beamrs link re the Kola was interesting - it looks as if upgrading bases for the new SLBM's is a priority whereas the glacial progress on upgrading Severomorsk 1 suggests that aviation upgrades are not as seen critical
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 19:48
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
That said, the value to Sweden of an increased military effort when the issues are domestic social cohesion and Chinese economic dominance is not evident.
Social cohesion problems can be eased or at least obscured by focusing on an external threat (Russia). Also handy when a new but inexperienced party (right winger Sweden Democrats) is in for a landslide - when in old fashioned defense mode, a country tends to opt for the tried&trusted government. Economically, much of the list in the opening post can be fulfilled by buying/developing Swedish and removing Swedish youth from un(der)employment stats. I think they are pulling off a combination of domestic economy program, preparing for expected Baltic/Arctic tensions, and factoring in a long term recession. Plus, historically Sweden has had a whole different outlook than their Scandi neighbors. Despite their branding as the Łber-humanitarians, the Swedes where THE Baltic hegemon and occupiers for centuries. Their reaction towards Russia is thus much more one of silent rivalry than for example the tough but defensive Norwegians, and the skillfully negotioating Danes.

Interesting development nonetheless.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 21:05
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Legally speaking your argument has no merit." It is irrelevant for the period 1793- 1990 - it was part of Russia, everyone agreed it was part of Russia and some gerrymandering by Mr K it was just smoke and mirrors

However AFTER 1990 it's a different story - whatever Racedo thinks it was clearly an invasion of a sovereign country - I can here him howl if Poland walked into Kalingrad for example.

Beamrs link re the Kola was interesting - it looks as if upgrading bases for the new SLBM's is a priority whereas the glacial progress on upgrading Severomorsk 1 suggests that aviation upgrades are not as seen critical
Crimean people voted in 1991 to be part of USSR in Jan 91................1.3M for, 81,000 against on a 81% turnout, when in December 91 they had a vote for the declaration of independence of Ukraine was only a 60% turnout and a 54% yes....... in stark contrast with rest of Ukraine When they voted for their own parliment they were forced to bow to Kiev. Crimea had been clear it wished not to be part of Ukraine and it got ignored. It was not invaded because the people living there voted for independence, then they asked to join Russia.

Kola missiles will have little impact on Sweden as if used their targets would be further afield.

Kalinigrad was last part of Poland many decades ago, let the people decide if they so wish what they wish to be a part of. Are you so afraid of democracy that people are not allowed chose their own destiny ?

If people wish to go back centuries to when people were part of other places does that mean US surrenders to UK as a colony again ? Nope thought not.

Last edited by racedo; 22nd Oct 2020 at 21:19.
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