Sweden's Nato Workaround: Swedish security and defense policy against the backdrop of Russian revisionism Focus stratégique, No. 64, November 2015
Russia’s revisionist foreign policy and military build-up has considerable security implications for the Baltic Sea region, including for Sweden.
This is also the official perception in Stockholm. Abandoning military non-alignment is yet not on the agenda. Rather, the current Swedish government is addressing the issue through what has come to be labeled the “Hultqvist doctrine” after Swedish minister of defense Peter Hultqvist: on the one hand, boosting national defense capabilities while seeking broader and deeper international defense cooperation short of collective defense on the other. In light of current developments in the Baltic Sea region and beyond, the debate on Sweden’s strategic posture and its position within the European security architecture is also relevant beyond the country’s border. After decades of important financial cuts and reforms aimed at exclusively orienting the Swedish Armed Forces toward expeditionary operations, the task yet proves difficult. Likewise, the NATO issue remains extremely sensitive in the political debate – in particular for the social democrats in power.