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Jan Milld. Photo supplied
Stockholm

What will be the price of Sweden joining NATO?

Not all Swedes agree that joining NATO was such a good idea. Jan Milld explained to a Swedish weekly what the move would mean for the country. Milld is a member of the Alternative for Sweden.

Published: August 3, 2022, 10:14 am

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    Milld told Swedish news outlet Nya Tider that with Sweden becoming a member of the Atlantic Alliance, no parliamentary party has come out against it – not even conservative parties such as the Sweden Democrats. “The price for Sweden will be high. What does Swedish NATO membership mean for our national security and for Swedish soldiers? How does it affect democracy and independence? What is it that we are joining? Does anyone know?”

    According to Milld, from the beginning, NATO has been a defensive alliance, against a threat from the east. The pact was also geographically limited, to countries on the North Atlantic. Today, neither applies anymore.

    Anglo-American World Police

    NATO is now a global organization with an offensive strategy, as Libya found out in 2011. NATO’s ambitions are evident from a continuous expansion to the east, instead of being shut down in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. For decades, NATO has simply ignored Russian security interests.

    China is apparently next on the menu – Japan and South Korea have also been invited to NATO meetings and may become candidates for this “North Atlantic” pact. The notion that it is “defensive”, is therefore evidently not true, Milld pointed out.

    “NATO has become an Anglo-American world policeman and a security threat to many of the world’s countries,” said Milld.

    The Intercept has described the usefulness of the alliance for a belligerent United States: “The US has found it particularly useful as a way to create legitimacy for wars when the United Nations won’t authorize them, as with the bombing of Serbia in 1999 and Libya in 2011. In both cases, the American government pointed to NATO’s involvement as making the wars ‘multilateral’ — that is, not unilateral acts by the US.”

    Author Jon Schwarz highlighted that the alliance was designed for conflict in the first place. “It now seems quite possible that NATO will accomplish in the near future what it did 70 years ago — that is, push countries outside it into their own alliance in what they perceive as necessary self-defense. Thus just as NATO helped create the Cold War then, it’s well on its way to creating a sequel now.”

    Freedom brings peace, NATO brings war

    Milld has spotted the same trend: “Freedom of alliance has served Sweden well, thanks to it we have been able to live for so long in peace and prosperity. Our country managed to stay out of both world wars during the 20th century. The Pact before 1914 did not give Europe peace. NATO now has 30 member countries and any attack on one of them must be seen as an attack on Sweden as well. The risk of war for us thus increases dramatically.

    “It may also happen that Swedish soldiers are sent to distant countries to kill or be killed – not to defend our country’s borders. We can act as aggressors and become actors for war instead of peace.

    “At the same time, membership can mean that Swedish territory is opened up to foreign troops, who without scruples would shoot at demonstrating Swedish workers (cf. Ådalen 1931). We lose all independence, and can no longer be the ‘master of our own house’.”

    According to Milld, those members of the Riksdag parties tasked with researching the issue have not thought through the risks entailed in joining the alliance.

    Anti-NATO party has no parliamentary voice

    The AfS ran in the Swedish general election in 2018, but failed to enter the Riksdag. With 0,31 percent of the vote, AfS is the second largest party without representation in parliament. In November 2020, the AfS announced their intention to run in the 2021 election to the Church of Sweden council, in which they won 3 seats.

    Unlike the Sweden Democrats, Alternative for Sweden is a non-interventionist, Eurosceptic party since it considers the European Union a threat to Sweden’s independence. It also seeks to rearm the military and form a Nordic defense alliance, instead of making Sweden dependent on NATO. It wants to restrict welfare benefits to Swedish citizens, shift from progressive to flat income tax, replace the differentiated VAT rates with a fixed rate, re-nationalise all schools, and combat the idea of a cashless society.

    Notably, the AfS also wishes to make the country self-sufficient and end the use of fossil fuels, citing both environmental protection and national security reasons.

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