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A nordic alliance

This is a discussion on A nordic alliance within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hey, in todays newspapers in sweden i read about the swedish goverment wishes to install a militray cop. between Sweden, ...


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Old December 10th, 2007   #1
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A nordic alliance

Hey,
in todays newspapers in sweden i read about the swedish goverment wishes to install a militray cop. between Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. One of the first step should be to get Norway and Denmark to buy Gripen, with 3/4 countries owning gripen, sweden would like to open up the airspace and supervise the airspace together, there should also be joint training programs for pilots, and countries should also be able to lend pilots from eachother. A combined navy of Finland and Sweden should also start to raise and handle the controll of the baltic sea. Sweden also wants to merge the sweds defence univeristy with the norwegean. There might also be merged training facilities, for ex. a artillery school located in Finland. But the main focus with this Cop. would be to cordinate future militray equipment purchases. So the cost would be reduced and the supplies would be easier to acquier. Also militray industri projects should increase to benefit the industry
Some critics in sweden thing that this is a step to increase to defence spendings in the nordic armies and also a way for Sweden to join Nato.

I think this is a good step. The armed forces will get more material, for less money, and the nordic countires would also get stronger, and show some mussles to threats. This could also mean a better equiped force in peacekeeping mission, with better logistics, such as obtaing some bigger ships that have the ability to transport a brigade, such as a LHD or simarly, also a greater fleet of C130 and maby in the future A400M and C17, that Europe at the moment dosīt have in any great numbers. its also good for the military industry that can keep producing good products, that will have a larger market. To have the same core product but with a special touch to adjust to each counties needs.

note that this is only a proposal.

So what are your thoughts about this? you think its a good step for the future?

/edit - I have the link to the newpaper, but there is something wrong with it atm, so ill post it later today or tomorrow.
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Old December 10th, 2007   #2
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Has been debated widely in the Danish media today. Public, expert and analyst opinions are 95% against. Of the remaining 5%, half argue along the lines of "We are all democratic nations with similar values. This should be enough, so let's do it!" The other half of the 5% see it as tool for abolishing the military.

What the 95% agree upon:
  • Foreign and security policies are not compatible
  • Swedish track record as a garantor of security is not good (sucks)
  • NATO already provide what we need
  • Previous experience with joint procurement, etc is bad

For example. the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian military are heavily into territorial defence. The Danish military is an expeditionary force.

To enter into such integration on the operational level, Sweden has to enter NATO as an absolute minimum, before it is even an item for serious debate.

Edit: Re-reading it, it seems like I'm coming down like a ton of bricks on you - that is not intended. Btw, the reason you cannot post links is because yuo need 15 post before you can do so.
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Last edited by Grand Danois; December 10th, 2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2007   #3
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I understand the danish, but durring the last decade Sweden has changed its way of thinkin alot, to become more and more of a "expeditionary force" Just if you read the latest defence budget, the goverment have thoughts to buy or produce some ships like the Absalon class, its also been a hot debate around the logistics if the NBG would enter some kind of conflict. And sweden not a garantor?! Not been that many wars in modern time, sure the 2ww, but what could sweden do to pretect denmark, not much, neither norway, maby Finland. And durring the coldwar, Sweden had a large army if you consider its size, with the a very largest airforce. But i have a hard time to see Sweden join Nato, since alot of foks here dosīt like the USA invading Iraq, and see Nato as a offensive alliance and not a defensive as it once was.
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Old December 10th, 2007   #4
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Maybe Sweden and Finland could form an alliance together but I think Norway and Denmark are better off with NATO. Norway is focused on oil and fish in the Barents sea and Denmark is an expeditionary force. What can Sweden do for Norway or Denmark that NATO couldn't do many times better?
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Old December 10th, 2007   #5
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Well you are proberly right, sweden will proberly profit more from this then the other countires, with a big defence industry but to few orders. But done see this as an alliance, i didīt know what to call the topic, more of a corporation. To reduce military costs. But well, ill hope this will lead to something.
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Old December 10th, 2007   #6
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The idea of a Nordic Alliance goes back to the early days of nationalism in Europe and pan-Scandinavism. 1840's was the first time it was up, however Sweden did not come to the aid of Denmark when it fought Prussia. Neither in the second war in the 1860's did sweden join in. It was a dead duck in 1930's and it was effectively killed off in 1947-48, which made it clear NATO was the best path for Denmark.

I'd suggest Norway and Finland have a similar perspective.

It has a history you know.

I'm aware that Sweden have established the Nordic Battlegroup and has other initiatives. But there is also a vast difference from that to the deep integration NATO offers.

Basically, Sweden will have to join NATO.

Edit: As you suggest, there should be possibilities for joint procurement, etc., but it has very great difficulty manifesting itself despite lots of goodwill and effort. :p
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Old December 11th, 2007   #7
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To supplement Grand Danois:
The thought of a united Scandinavia was ripe in student circles (especially the university of Lund) in 1860 - and died in 1864 as stated. There is a sideissue there; Some swedish citizens volunteered to serve in the Danish Army against the Preussians - mainly as officers, a personel group of which we were in desperately short supply.

Secondly: During WW2 there was a close cooperation between the resistance and the Swedish government - unofficially, but nevertheless very institutionalised. We and Norway used Sweden as a safe heaven for "burned" resistance fighters and jews.
Sweden benefitted from the military intelligence coming out from Denmark - the Danish military intelligence continued with only minor hickups during the entire war - for the British. Perhaps only parallellel by the excellent service the norwegean performed.

The thought of an alliance today seems farfetched, not the least because Sweden will need access to the next generation of weapons.
The problem is what interest Nato could possibly have in a Swedish membership?
The difficulties are apparent: Nato has today reorganised itself with a division of labour and tasks as a consequence of the end of the cold war.
The threat is very much reduced and it is difficult to see what positive contribution to Nato Sweden could have. Why Denmark and Norway should leave Nato is an absolute mystery.

Let me be blunt: Sweden is useless to Nato and Nato does not owe Sweden the time of day.

So in the present context the suggestion can only be seen as a ploy to flog their Gripen to Denmark and Norway. A move quickly countered by a major order to Terma by the Americans.
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Old December 11th, 2007   #8
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I too think this would greatly benefit Sweden, but no other of the mentioned nations.

On a side note: Finland today came to the conclusion that it isnt a bad idea to join NATO. Finlands Minister of Defence, Ilkka Kanerva, says its a good idea obviously as he doesnt see any problem with this approach. Link (in Swedish).


NATO is the only option if sweden wants to play with the big boys.
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Old December 11th, 2007   #9
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The problem is what interest Nato could possibly have in a Swedish membership?
Well, what interest does nato have in denmark and norway? there are really no different between us, more then they joined nato almost from the start, or am i missing your point?

And what do you mean that sweden need access to the next generation of weapons. Today, atleast from my point of view we have pretty advanced material, muntion and other militray systems, why shouldīt we be able to get that in the future.
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Old December 12th, 2007   #10
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In the end NATO would get alot more capability from Sweden joining it than from a lot of the other countries which recently joined NATO...

Capability is not a defining factor of NATO membership and Sweden would be far away from the last place, capability wise, in NATO.
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Old December 12th, 2007   #11
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Nato interest in Norway and Denmark.

1. For starters there is the Russian Northern Fleet. People mucking about in SSBN's with ICBM's are a nuisance to the USNavy. If you want to put a cork in Murmansk you need both Norway and Denmark.
2. If you want to keep the Baltic Fleet out of the Atlantic you need Denmark and Norway as a backup.. How this is done has always been an ongoing debate between The USA and especially the British - going back more than 100 years. The Anglo-American position is that it has to be done at the Skaw. Whereas the Danish contention is that domestic Danish waters is the place. The new twist to the diskussion is - as far as I'm able to fathom - is that domestic Danish waters in the perspective of Rear Admiral Niels Wang is that they streach from Krohnstadt to den Helder. Blue water admirals might think he has a "Jesus-complex" - thinking he can walk on water. To which he joyrided into the Peter and Paul in the biggest minelayer the world has seen.

Sweden has none of these qualities.

As to weapons:
As I pointed out: The problem is not the present day, but the next generation.
One of the major reasons causing Denmark to lie flat on the belly in 1939 was the impossibility to aquire modern arms. In WW! we managed with domestic production - just. In WW2 even the recently purchased weapons were outdated.

Sweden has used just about all its development money on the Gripen - the rest of the defence is starved - a secretrary of defence stepped down in protest over the insufficient funding. The Gripen is sufficient for the next 10-15 years - just and only in the context of a Swedish defence scenario with the Swedish infrastructure.
The next generation of fighters and ships are going to be so expensive, that the development is beond Sweden - and the weapon that can be purchased will be second best.

Finally the defence of Nato (and Denmark in particular) is best performed in the 3 Baltic Nations, which will mean an ability to dominate the seá. I fear the Sedish corvettes are in sufficient in endurance for that purpose.
I do agree with kilo that the Baltic is a sideshow compared to central Europe.

Denmark and Norway are not only different from Sweden in a defence perspective - they are worlds apart.
Sweden is not able to back the Baltic Nations up. Niether is Denmark on its own; but we are a part of Nato and integrated in the command structure with of what that entails. Sweden is not.
The very considerable investment needed for Sweden to become an integrated part of Nato is prohibitive.
The New Nato Members - well they started from scratch - and can contribute with two vital commodities:
1. Territory: Nato has gained strategic depth with Poland and the Baltic States.
2. Light forces: They are - for the time being,due to low labour cost - cheap to form in the old WAPA nations and they are supplyable.

Sweden can provide neither - if Sweden could contribute anything it would be expeditionary forces, but they will be expensive to form and difficult to operate and control at a distance - as Denmark is learning.
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Old December 12th, 2007   #12
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Waylander: I beg to differ!

The Swedish defence designed around the defence of Swedish territory with a huge investment in infrastructure. Swedes operating in Europe wóuld be more a hindrance than a benefit. The equipment will need modification and replacement - that could be done; but more importantly it will mean changed tactics and procedures. The only positive contribution will be defence of Swedish airspace - which we can suppose they will defend anyway - so why pay them for it?

As to territory: Sweden is a place nobody wants to go to - it certainly doesn't make much military sense in the present enviroment. Suppose an enemy conquered Sweden - then what?? Alice Springs in Australia is just about as centrally placed: I fail to see the purpose.

Finally Sweden always sets conditions to membership - in this case they are in no positions to demand anything.
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Old December 12th, 2007   #13
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Well, i agree that Sweden wont be able to develop a 5,5 or 6th generation fighter, this one we will have to buy, and hopefuly be apart of some project with som other countries. Same goes with some other equipment, but i dont see why we cant buy a 6th generation combat aircraft, can Denmark? since Nato countries aint allowed to buy the F-35 / F-22, read the greek thread and you will find that info.

And please stop to insult my country. i feel insulted in every post you post here, becasue you throw garbage on us all the time, saying we are shit etc.. and you dont seem to know much about the swedish defence, and our strategy.. thu iam not an expert either.

So no more post for me in this thread..

over and out
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Old December 12th, 2007   #14
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Originally Posted by JHC View Post
Well, i agree that Sweden wont be able to develop a 5,5 or 6th generation fighter, this one we will have to buy, and hopefuly be apart of some project with som other countries. Same goes with some other equipment, but i dont see why we cant buy a 6th generation combat aircraft, can Denmark? since Nato countries aint allowed to buy the F-35 / F-22, read the greek thread and you will find that info.

And please stop to insult my country. i feel insulted in every post you post here, becasue you throw garbage on us all the time, saying we are shit etc.. and you dont seem to know much about the swedish defence, and our strategy.. thu iam not an expert either.

So no more post for me in this thread..

over and out

Speaking in general terms about alliances, one must remember who the participants, what motivates them, and what the different members would get out of an alliance.

In terms of a Nordic defensive pact, I see it taking form in one of three ways.

1. Any combination of the five Nordic nations (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden) enter into a mutual defence pact exclusively, and do not participate in any other military/defence alliances.

2. Some combination of the Nordic nations enter into a mutual defence pact, and at the same time participate in external defence alliances.

3. The Nordic nations all become members of the same, non-Nordic based defence alliance.

In the first case, three of the five mentioned (Denmark, Iceland & Norway) are already members of a larger defensive alliance (NATO) and if they exited, they would be exchanging the assistance and support of 23 additional NATO members, for 2 Nordic members. IMV not a good exchange, particularly since some of the NATO members are amongst the strongest and most advanced countries in terms of technology, and military and economic power.

In the second case, this would assume that the NATO-member Nordic nations would remain members of NATO, but also participate in a separate alliance with Finland and/or Sweden. While the NATO members might some benefit from such an arrangement, I envision a number of conflicts arising due to incompatible systems and doctrines between those used by a Nordic alliance, and those of NATO. In order to successfully interact, I would imagine that either Denmark and Norway would need to add and integrate an additional command/comm system their equipment to function alongside such systems for use with NATO, or Sweden would need to make their C3/C4systems interoperable with NATO systems. And again, at least of the NATO-members, I do not see a significant advantage to them in entering such an alliance, even in remaining in NATO.

The third case would see Finland and/or Sweden become members of NATO. While the potential benefits to Finland and Sweden from joining a fairly obvious, the question would be, what benefit does NATO get? Presumably the 'new' NATO members would have to spend defence funding on making their respective forces interoperable with NATO forces, it could be done. Then Finland/Sweden would be able to draw upon the resources of 26 other nations in the event something occurred. Of less certainty is how well it would be for NATO. While the inclusion of two developed and reasonably stable countries could help the alliance, at this point it could be argued that NATO does not really need anymore available power. Instead, what seems to be of greater merit would be a willingness to use what it does have in some areas (Afghanistan perhaps) and/or have additional locations available for use. While Finland and Sweden obviously consist of additional land, it is arguable whether it is of strategic value in terms of a Defence of Europe situation, or as sites for support or forward bases to operate in areas adjacent to or near Europe.

Additionally, I would think any sort of defensive alliance Finland or Sweden would enter into would require significant changes in doctrine given history and their neutral status.

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Old December 12th, 2007   #15
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I'd say Sweden and Finland has a lot to offer NATO. First of all, they would be net contributors of security in the Baltic area. The three Baltic states are almost impossible to defend with any sense of realism today. They are to isolated and doesn't have manpower or money (yet!) to invest in volume.

Having Sweden and Finland in NATO would offer proximity of some relatively strong countries, critical basing, and removal of red tape prior to any crisis.

For instance the 100 or so Gripens would be able to take part in a defence of Baltic airspace, from secure bases in Sweden, just as the Swedish and Finnish navies provide additional overmatch in the Baltic.

The armies are competent and relatively large and would be abe to take care of themselves - at least until reinforcement arrives, if needed.

But most important would the political aspect be, as policies integrate into a common security perspective, both regionally and globally.
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