Far Away, So Close: Comparing Danish and Swedish Defence and Security Policies

“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect

in proportion as we know how they are made.”

John Godfrey Saxe[2]

Strategic culture is a fruitful theoretical perspective on Nordic defence policies that has been developed over the last few years.[3] This approach emphasises the historical and internal aspects of a country, much unlike the strategic analyses of the Cold War that often had a systemic perspective.[4] The strategic cultures of Sweden and Denmark could be regarded as very different. Denmark has no historical memories of major military confrontations with Russia, and following the “9 April 1940-syndrome” after WWII it was naturally linked to the collective defence efforts of the transatlantic alliance. Sweden, on the other hand, has regarded Russia as a potential threat and, ever since the Napoleonic wars, has had a policy not to engage its primary rival if other alternatives were available.

Thus, the point of departure of this study is that we can find significant differences between Sweden and Denmark. The aim of this article is to explore this hypothesis through the study of two central defence policy processes that are also products: the Danish Defence Commission of 2008 (ForsvarskommissionFK08)[5] and the Swedish Government Bill on Defence (Försvarspropositionen)[6]. FK08 was comprised of 29 members from political parties in the parliament, as well as representatives from the Danish Armed Forces and various experts. Its task was to provide suggestions for the development of the Danish defence and also to pave the way for a parliamentary agreement on the upcoming defence bill. Quite differently, the Swedish Government Bill represents the defence policy that the current coalition government wants to pursue, even if most of its content has been debated in the Swedish Defence Commission (Försvarsberedningen), a forum with wider political representation. According to the theory of strategic culture, we should not be surprised to find differences when we compare these Swedish and Danish documents.  

Of course, a crucial issue is wheather strategic culture is a product of the strategic policy or if it shapes it.[7] Perhaps it is not possible to ever verify the theory of strategic culture, at least not in orthodox positivist terms. But this caveat gives room for a clarification: history lives in the minds of men and women! It does not explain anything in itself.[8] It is quite possible to tell a different story about Sweden and Denmark: two Lutheran countries in the North of Europe that are shifting to an expeditionary strategy, that use a wider security concept, and two countries that share a constant search for political consensus in the defence- and security domain. The process of concensusbuilding is crucial for the understanding of the Danish defence politics.[9] The Swedish debate has featured reflections about a “politics of consensus”, mostly with negative connotations.[10] The point about these fundamental remarks is that the question we must try to answer is: in which aspects are the defence policies of Sweden and Denmark different? The answer to this question must respect the character of strategic culture as a social construction, and not a structural prison for political actors.

Given the framing of the theory and the subject, one could take the analysis one step further by asking: What are the implications of difference? Then clearly the theory of strategic culture is not the whole story. One could argue that this latter question stimulates policy-relevant thinking, even if a number of normative pitfalls open at the same time. However, moving into the normative domains does not mean that we have to favour any specific policy. Exploring the implications means that a number of defence options could be put on the table for political consideration.[11] Sweden could be inspired by Denmark and Denmark could be inspired by Sweden.

This analysis will feature one dimension that will be regarded as valuable for any strategy: policy coherence. To use policy coherence as a category is in fact linked to the continous assessment of a policy – to find gaps, vague standards, rigidities, and feedback failures.[12] Policy consistancy in the security domain was one of the dimensions used by political scientist Bengt Sundelius in his comparison between the Nordic countries in the 1980s.[13]Except for the previously noted difference regarding reliance on external powers, Sundelius concluded that Sweden and Denmark, although furthest apart among the Nordic countries, both had relatively consistent security policies.[14] The major political shifts after the end of the Cold War provoke the question whether this is still the case.

Policy coherence, according to political scientist Michael Di Francesco, is “both a political imperative that derives from the threat of appearing inconsistent in the electoral arena, and an economic imperative that arises from the need to organise a large and complex organisation to conserve scarce public resources.”[15] Di Franscesco does not point it out, but one could argue that the former imperative is the driving force for the latter. If voters have a low interest in an issue, then incoherence is not a major problem for politicians, even if its consequences are quite costly. This is but one of many arguments for why policy makers might hesitate to correct incoherent policies.

To complicate things, strategy in the Scandinavian context features elements of foreign policy, security policy as well as defence policy.[16] This means that the desired coherence must stretch over relatively wide and complex fields: ideally the strategic analysis must identify threats and relevant organisations to cooperate with, the security doctrine must set relevant aims for the armed forces, and the force structures must be ready to confront the suspected threats, being interoperable with international organisations as well as usable according to doctrine. The defence debate in both Sweden and Denmark, often under the label “defence transformation”, has dealt with these different aspects. The ambition of this text is to provide a helicopter perspective and make an assessment from the perspective of policy coherence.

A policy assessment must be able to display coherence and/or incoherence regarding aims, means and methods of a policy. However, the two relevant documents, the FK08 and the Government Bill are created with different objectives in mind. Not only is the context different but the sheer size of them: the Commission is some 406 pages long, whereas the Government Bill is only 116 pages. It is clear that it is not fair to make a simple cross comparison between the two. To be able to compare we must create categories that capture aims (strategic assessments), methods (the doctrine for defence and security policy), as well as means (the composition of the armed forces). The categories for comparison in this analysis will be labelled strategic analysis, security doctrine, and force structure.

The category strategic analysis concerns the question: “What is the world like?” The strategic analysis is the very foundation for a defence and security policy. It represents the official view of the surrounding world, with its dangers and possibilities, as well as self perception in world politics. Where are the threats and potential threats? What is likely to happen in the future and what is less likely to happen in the future? It is quite possible that the strategic analysis is politically controversial, since so much of the priorities and strategic guidance is based upon it.

The category doctrine concerns the issue: “What shall we do and how shall we do it?” Which are the prioritized security tasks? Which are the tasks and guidelines for the armed forces and the use of armed forces? Here we find a first checkpoint for the coherence of a policy: are the tasks related to the security assessment? If non-territorial threats and a wider security agenda dominate, then it would be quite coherent to transform the armed forces to primarily deal with expeditionary tasks (together with others). We could call this a typical “Anglo-Saxon path”. If territorial military threats dominate the strategic analysis, then it would be quite sensible to give priority to a traditional invasion defence (with or without others). We could call this latter alternative a typical “Finnish path”. If there have been political controversies regarding the strategic analysis, they should be quite visible also in the debate about strategic doctrine.  

Force structure is a category that corresponds to the question: “Can we do what we want to do?” This is another crucial checkpoint for policy coherence. Is the recruitment system feasible? Is the balance between the services satisfactory? Which platforms are relevant? If the doctrine is “Anglo-Saxon” then it would be coherent to have a professionalised recruitment, and focus on expeditionary capabilities. If the doctrine gives priority to invasion defence, then the force structure should favour corresponding capabilities and platforms.

This introduction is short but it satisfies the basic comparative criteria set up by political scientist Roy Macridis – a hypothesis (strategic culture), a theory of politics (policy coherence), and defined categories (strategic analysis, doctrine, force structure).[17] This comparison will be the basis for the analysis of the questions about the aspects of difference and the implications of difference. The next step in this article will then be to focus on the comparative categories in the Swedish and Danish cases.

Sweden

Strategic analysis

The Government Bill on Defence was postponed due to the crisis in Georgia in August 2008. Thus, the document itself is to a large extent motivated by a disturbance in the official strategic analysis.[18] As security analyst Wilhelm Agrell put it: the Georgian crisis would have been impossible if all the assumptions from the 1990s were true.[19] The minister for defence, Sten Tolgfors, argued that there was a need for a deeper strategic assessment due to the rapid deployment of Russian forces.

Given this background, it is of particular interest to note the assessment of Russia in the Government Bill. According to the government the motive behind the intervention in Georgia was to strengthen the Russian presence in its percieved spehere of influence. The Russian government is driven by an expantionist geostrategic agenda in the Caucasus, but not in the Baltic area or towards the former satellites in East- and Central Europe.[20] There are mainly two arguments for this conclusion: deterrence (the Baltic memberships in NATO and the EU), and interdependency (trade with Europe).[21] Thus, the conclusion is that what happened in the Caucasus will not happen in the Baltic and in the Arctic.

So, which are the threats and challenges according to the Swedish government? This question has many answers. According to the Bill the “challenges and threats to the aims of our security are changeable, borderless, and complex.”[22] The plethora of threats includes regional conflicts, terrorism, pandemias, environmental catastrophes, economic crises, and IT threats. The agenda is so wide that Sweden even should “prepare for the unexpected”[23]. However, perhaps not all unexpected threats are included since a single handed attack on Sweden is explicitly discarded, even if some kind of future confrontation is not entirely dismissed.[24]

The government identifies three major security areas in this rather fluid world of threat perceptions: to protect the lives and health of the population, to protect the functions of society, and to protect the ability to uphold fundamental democratic values and fundamental human rights.[25] To use the term security areas is motivated by the rather curious wording in the Bill itself. Many academics would say that security is the aim for the policy, but the Bill consequently uses the phrase “the aims of our security” (“målen för vår säkerhet”).[26] Security is primarily a tool, not a product. According to the government, this tool must be developed in a cross-sectorial manner.[27]

It is not surprising that this strategic analysis is not very controversial – the controversies about this part of the Bill might have existed, but not in political terms. It is a document with many challenges but more or less without priorities. One could find military threats as well as civilian challenges. One could find a nasty Russia, as well as a Russia with no hostile intent. It is basically possible to pick any challenge on the current security agenda and make a case for its importance. The fundamental strategic idea could be summarized as the following: The Swedish strategic interest is to defend Swedish strategic interests. The strategic analysis is coherent in the sense that it brings up a number of inter-linked contemporary challenges, but it is still incoherent since it basically does not provide any strategic guidance.

Doctrine

Given this diverse analysis it is not very surprising that the defence agenda includes almost all imaginable military tasks. Thus, the designated tasks for the Swedish Armed Forces are both ambitious and diverse. The point of departure is the ability to engage in armed combat (väpnad strid). However, this task should not only be perfomed together with other states in international operations, but also on a national basis in case Sweden faces threatsalone. Consequently, the tasks are to defend the country, maintain sovereignty, prevent conflict and war, and protect and support civil society, both alone and together with others, both within the country as well as internationally.[28]

The billion dollar question is then how these tasks should be fulfilled in a credible manner. The government turns to the usual suspects: the EU, the UN, NATO, and a stronger Nordic cooperation. The fundamental proposition is that security is built together with others.[29]

In fact, international cooperation is so important that the Government introduces a solidarity clause for the EU countries as well as the Nordic countries. This statement is a peculiarity, worth a quotation: “Sweden will not remain passive if a catastrophe or an attack should hit another member country or Nordic country. We expect these countries to act similarly should Sweden be hit. Sweden should have the ability to give and recieve military support.”[30]

What does this mean? Clearly, Sweden here declares that it will help Finland and the Baltic states in a military crisis with Russia. Importantly, it states a willingness to help countries within NATO militarily. The government admits that this means that a neutrality option is not possible for a conflict in the nearby region.[31] Thus, after the solidarity clause there is no neutrality, there is no non-alignment[32], and there is no freedom of action in the doctrine any more.

Surprisingly, this shift in doctrine is not politically controversial. One way of understanding this is through the possibilities given to Swedish politicians in the diverse strategic analysis. Neutralists could focus on the softer security challenges in which cross border cooperation is not controversial. Integrationists could focus on hard security cooperation and an even closer association with NATO countries. This is what a policy shift looks like in a non-aligned country without NATO debate.[33]  

However, the Swedish doctrine must be regarded as highly incoherent. Since Sweden should be able to do it alone as well as together with others, it is not very clear which capabilities and which force structure should be maintained. The lack of coherent doctrine is the very foundation for a political controversy about the style and composition of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Force structure

The defence debate has moved away, temporarily at least, from the preoccupation with location of regiments and flotillas. However, force structures are far from as uncontroversial as the strategic analysis and the doctrine. In fact, for the first time since the end of WWII there is now a political controversy regarding the fundamental aspects of the defence system.[34]

The force generation principle is the nexus for any country in defence transformation since it must be able to provide the relevant tools for the political ambitions. The traditional system for force generation has been de juregeneral conscription, but it has developed into a de facto volontary service. The government issued a commission to provide input for a professionalised system, and thus it suggests a de facto abolishment of conscription.[35]However, this policy is controversial. The Social Democrats in opposition have modified their position and seem to be in favour of a modified conscription based system.[36]

A similar syndrome could be noted regarding the military task forces in the transformed system. The system is supposed to be based on an “Anglo-Saxon path” of stand-by units ready for missions, but mobilisation capabilities according to a “Finnish path” are also reinforced.[37] Neither could this be explained by the logic of political opposition since mobilisation capabilities were advocated by the Liberals in government.[38]

As much as the force structure is controversial, it is difficult to make an assessment of policy coherence. Advocates for different systems could simply use different parts of the strategic assessment and the doctrine as arguments for their importance. 

Denmark

Strategic analysis

The strategic analysis of the FK08 have many similarities with previous official commissions and reports. The structure and form are very similar to the cornerstone document of the 1990s, FK97, and the content is close to the post-9/11 document the Bruun-report of 2003.[39]

Even if FK08 primarily is descriptive it also has some specific analytical ambitions. It makes a strategic prognosis for the major powers of the world up until 2025: USA, the EU, Russia, China, and India. It identifies the major threats as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and weak and failed states. Furthermore, it describes a pattern of how these threats interact in a globalised world of demographical, technological, cultural, and climate changes.[40]

The transnational, globalised character of the threats and challenges makes it logical to elaborate on the possibilities for international and multilateral institutions to act and be effective. Three scenarios are identified: international law prevails, competition and rivalry prevails, and a loss of international leadership prevails. One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to understand that the first of these scenarios is regarded as favourable for Danish interests.[41]

The conclusion of this strategic analysis is rather coherent. Since the threats are globalised and transnational, defence should shift focus from traditional territorial defence to operations far away from the borders of the country.[42] Consequently, relevant international institutions like the UN, NATO, and the EU are not only important elements of strategy – good bilateral relations with key countries in these organisations are regarded as crucial. 

One could say many things about the strategic analysis of the FK08, but it is difficult to make a case that it is incoherent. This coherence grants it an inherent capacity to provide strategic guidance. Basically its analysis is also politically uncontroversial. The only aspect that sometimes rocks the boat is the rather favourable view of the possibilities of the EU, since some political actors have strong objections to any project that challenges the national identity.[43]

Doctrine

The doctrine of FK08 is very close to the the one established in the 1990s. The armed forces must be able to perform tasks in international operations (within NATO context or in other international settings.) This is clear regarding the three types of categories of tasks identified: armed conflict, stabilization operations, and operations to uphold international order.[44] This sets the mode for all other tasks, like upholding state sovereignty or supporting civil society.

Furthermore, a new step on this “Anglo-Saxon path” is the introduction of a task to make international capability development.[45] This Security Sector Reform (SSR)-like capability is in line with the strategic analysis. Denmark should be able to help countries get back to stability, and consequently the armed forces should add a classic counter insurgency skill to its arsenal. The same goes for the added section on integrated civil-military relations.[46]

The conclusion is that Denmark basically has prolonged and even reinforced its “Anglo-Saxon path”. This is not only coherent with the strategic assessment, but also highly coherent with the development that started in the early 1990s. In other words: the activistic approach in Afghanistan is according to plan.

Force structure

The great controversy in Danish defence policy is currently regarding the structure and composition of the armed forces. The big challenge has been to walk the “Anglo-Saxon path” in traditional Danish shoes. However, the problem is not only transformation in itself but the fact that the international missions that Denmark has engaged in have been more dangerous and costly than forseen when the expeditionary doctrine was decided upon.

Basically, there are two major alternatives for the politicians in the coming defence debate: to lower the ambitions or to increase the resources.[47] This nexus (“the money or the tasks”) was the focal point for the underlaying party political games in FK08. Representatives from the leading party in the current bourgeouise government have declared that they want to increase the defence budget with ca. 10 percent.[48] The Social Democrats in opposition have stated that they would like to lower the ambitions and keep the current budget.[49]

No single issue illustrates the quarrel about defence capabilities as clearly as the debate about the replacement of the F-16-fighters. Since the very purpose of the FK08 was to manufacture concent, it is rather telling that this billion dollar affair seemed hardly to have been touched upon during the working sessions in the Commission.[50] Not only was the issue a significant budget issue, but a debate about the F-16s would have touched upon critical aspect of balance between the services in the armed forces. Is it feasible to have a top-of-the-line Air Force, a Navy with Arctic capabilities, and an Army engaged in combat in Afghanistan at the same time?[51] In fact, the F-16 question is so hot that a decision has been postponed until the Autumn of 2009. If there will be a decision to buy a new aircraft, there will be a complicated contracting phase over the next years. The F-16 issue will most likely continue to be a hot potatoe in the Danish defence debate.[52]

However, as much as the force structure is politically controversial, it is not a controversy that deals with the the fundamental tasks of the armed forces after the Cold War. That debate died many years ago. The current debate is basically about the best possible way for Denmark to fulfill its expeditionary ambitions. The debate is coherent with the fundamental strategic analysis.

The aspects of difference and the implications of difference

We have seen that there are interesting differences between the Swedish and Danish defence policies. Sweden has identified a broad defence agenda and has many different types of tasks for its armed forces, while simultaneously stating a one-sided solidarity clause with its neighbouring countries. Denmark has formed its activistic doctrine according to a strategic analysis in line with globalisation theory.

It is quite possible to understand these differences with reference to the theory of strategic culture. There are historical roots for the solidarity clause. The Swedish self-perception of neutrality as a third way between capitalism and communism was continuously challenged after the Cold War. One of the first steps in the process was a speech by Carl Bildt 1993 when he declared that the Swedish government would not be neutral in the event of aggression towards the Baltic states.[53] A version very close to a solidarity clause was given in 2004 and the current edition stems from an agreement by the Defence Commission in 2007.[54] There is simply no political problem with a declaration of solidarity with the EU and Nordic countries, since Russia in the Caucasus is not Russia of the Baltic Sea. Accordingly, there is no specific contingency planning for the Baltic states. It is clear that membership in the EU is a protection in itself as far as the Swedish government is concerned.

This “drifting” of the doctrine gives considerable room for political maneuvering – the consequencens of military integration could be appreciated and the identity of Sweden as “militarily non-aligned” could seemingly be maintained. This is the underlaying explanation for this quite peculiar “militarily non-aligned” country that belives that security is built on cooperation with others.

Strategic culture is also useful for understanding the Danish policy. Leaning on foreign help in the security field is not controversial in the Danish context, even if it is far from obvious that the country should bear the relatively heavy burden of international high casulty operations in Asia.

The Swedish strategic analysis has a complete lack of scenarios, clear evaluations, or identification of crucial areas. The assessment, quite frankly, is that the world is a little like this and a little like that! The description of Russia is telling – the shift and delay of the Defence Bill process after the August 2008 crisis in Georgia is symptomatic. The Swedish strategic analysis is a mädchen für alles: everyone can find its favourite challenge. There are many threats in the world, and it is not entirely clear which interests the Swedes have in this world. The significance of this is the lack of guidance for the Swedish security doctrine – it does not give distinct answers to the questions of what to do and how to do it. Since security, according to the Swedish government, is primarily a tool, the development of the toolbox becomes primary and the question about the objectives for the toolbox becomes secondary, at best.

However, with this backdrop it is more or less impossible to know whether the structure of the armed forces is coherent with its tasks. Almost any argument regarding force structure is valid as long as the debate about the doctrine is unsettled. The major challenge for the coming years of defence debate is the lack of coherence in the doctrine, while at the same time this lack of coherence is politically uncontroversial!

The Danish strategic analysis is not subject to any major political controversy, and that goes for the doctrine as well. Therefore it might be tempting for politicians in Sweden to use cherry picking of the Danish example in order to gain political support for the military transformation. However, the political controversies regarding the force structure constitute the major challenge in the Danish case.[55] Thus, in both countries we find controversies about force structure. Sweden and Denmark are surprisingly similar in this respect.

It is easy to misinterpret these political controversies, and it is now that we begin to see the interesting comparative aspect of policy coherence. Even if we understand that Sweden and Denmark are different in terms of strategic culture, the angle of policy coherence has helped us to identify a fundamental difference regarding the controversies about force structure.

The Swedish controversy is based on different implicit concepts of what the armed forces should do. The politics of consensus has pushed fundamental aspects of an “Anglo-Saxon path” to the side. The situation at hand could be summarised from a political perspective in the following sentence: Conscription is controversial since the tasks are diverse, and the tasks are diverse since the analysis does not provide guidance, and nothing happens because the doctrine is uncontroversial. It is difficult to see that one could handle the political controversies regarding force generation without clarification of the strategy – both the analysis and the doctrine.

On the contrary, the Danish controversy does not challenge the fundamental doctrine after the end of the Cold War. To deal with the challenges to force structure one does not have to fundamentally rethink the strategic concept. Questions like conscription[56], fighter aircrafts and the complementary concept of total defence are likely to be continuously controversial in Denmark, but the reaons for this are not because of a major confusion about strategic analysis and doctrine.  

To conclude, the aspects of difference between Sweden and Denmark are as follows: force structure is politically controversial in both countries, but the difference in origin must be taken into account. Importantly, the political controversies should not be seen as some kind of generalized syndrome of defence transition. Rather, it comes from the different ways two strategic cultures deal with the politics of consensus.

What, then, are the implications of these differences? Let us use our insights in strategic culture and policy coherence to elaborate on a few of the most obvious implications.

·         The different strategic cultures set limits to any strategic cooperation between Sweden and Denmark. It is simply very difficult to share assets and capabilities if the strategic analyses and doctrines are too different. The Danish security scholar Peter Viggo Jakob sen once replied to the question about Nordic defence cooperation: “Cooperation? Why not! Just join us Danes in the Helmand province!”[57] This reply sums up the strategic differences quite well. While Sweden uses its international missions and operations to score points on the international arena, Denmark has figured out which actors to receive these points from on the international arena. This is the important lesson when applying policy coherence to understand the controversies regarding force structure. But this is not to say that there cannot be any strategic cooperation at all. To improve policy coherence, if that is indeed what a politician wants, dialogue and exchanges of experience are very important. Rather, a dialogue regarding the gains and pains of a Helmand operation could be fruitful for both countries. This is, after all, why there is legitimacy for a Nordic cooperation (even if “inter-Nordic dialogue” would be a term more to the point).

·         The different institutional settings put certain limits to cooperation between Sweden and Denmark. Any change in this area would require Sweden to abandon its “military non-alignment” and similarly Denmark to abandon its brackets around its EU membership. Since such change is linked to the doctrine it would be the consequence of a shift in the strategic cultures of the countries. This shift is most likely mirrored in the official texts like the Defence Commissions and the Defence Bills, and this is reason enough for a continued study of these documents.

·         The strategic and institutional limitations set the boundaries for any practical and logictical defence cooperation between Sweden and Denmark. Here we can note a general tendency that economic shortcomings are the driving force for further integration.[58] This means, despite the political rhetoric on this, that Nordic defence cooperation is formed residually despite the differences in strategic analysis and doctrine.

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[1] Forfatteren er lektor ved Forsvarshøjskolen i Stokholm. Han har netop deltaget i et komparativt forskningsprojekt om de nordiske landes forsvarspolitik.

Notes

[2] Quoted in Fred R. Shapiro, “Quote…Misquote” in The New York Times 21 July 2008. I am grateful to Jan Ångström at the Swedish National Defence College for his feedback on the draft of this article.

[3] Perhaps the special issue of the Cooperation & Conflict journal is the primary example, see Cooperation and Conflict: Journal of the Nordic International Studies Association Vol. 40(1). For a genaral introcduction to strategic culture theory, see Jeffrey S. Lantis & Darryl Howlett, “Strategic Culture” in John Baylis, James Wirtz, Colin S. Gray & Eliot Cohen, Strategy in the Contemporary World Second Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 82-100.

[4] Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979). However, other Realists used histry as well as geography as key explanatory factors, see for example Ciro Elliott Zoppo, “The Issues of Nordic Secuirity: The Dynamics of East-West Politics, Emerging Technologies, and Definitions of National Defence”, in Ciro Elliott Zoppo (ed.), Nordic Security at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century (Westport: Greenwood, 1992), p. 3-29.

[5] Forsvarsministeriet, Dansk forsvar, globalt engagement – Beretning fra Forsvarskommissionen af 2008 (FK08) (København: Forsvarsministeriet, 2009).

[6] Regeringen, Ett användbart försvar Prop. 2008/2009: 140. This Defence Bill will be followed by another Bill in the Autumn of 2009 regarding the budget and force composition.

[7] John D. Martz, “Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism, Transitions to Democracy, and the Political-Culture Dimension” in Howard J. Wiarda, New Directions in Comparative Politics Revised Edition (Boulder, San Fransisco & Oxford: Westview Press, 1991) p. 209. As Samuel Huntington once pointed out: if no other causes can explain significant differences between societies, it is inviting to attribute them to to culture.

[8] Thus, this text makes a fundamental difference between the past (“reality”) and the stories we tell about the past (history).

[9] The Grand Old Man of Danish defence analysis, Bertel Heurlin, writes at length about the search for consensus in the two previous Commissions (FK88 and FK97), see Bertel Heurlin, Riget, magten og militæret. Dansk forsvars- og sikkerhedspolitik under Forsvarskommissionerne af 1988 og af 1997 (Århus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2004). Danish political scientists Christian Thune och Nikolaj Pedersen concluded in the 1980s: “Defense agreements are usually based on the premise that changes can only be made unanimously.”, see Christian Thune & Nokolaj Pedersen, “Denmark” in William J. Taylor Jr. & Paul M. Cole, Nordic Defence: Comparative Decision Making (Toronto: Lexington Books, 1985) p. 16.

[10] Three examples include Johan Tunberger, ”Järntriangel styr försvarspolitiken” in Svenska Dagbladet 16 May 2008, and Kjell Kallenberg & Einar Lyth “Farlig koncensus i säkerhetspolitiken” in Svenska Dagbladet 3 June 2008, and Wilhelm Agrell, ”Farlig optimism i omvärldsanalysen” in Svenska Dagbladet 22 August 2008.

[11] Political scientist Lennart Lundquist describes this as constructive studies, see Lennart Lundquist, Det vetenskpliga studiet av politik (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1993), p. 60. For an example of a policy relevant constructive study, see Rem Korteweg & Stephan De Spiegeleire, “Future NATOs” in Invocation of Article 5: five years on NATO Review Summer 2006.

[12] Gabriel Marcella, “Understanding the Interagency Process: The Challenge of Adaptation” in Gabriel Marcella (Ed.), Affairs of State: The Interagency and National Security (Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute, 2008), p. 18-19. Marcella refers to strategist John P. Lovell. The normative assumption must be underlined: a politician might not always want to fill the gaps och have clear standards.

[13] Bengt Sundelius, “Northern European Foreign Policies in a Comparative Perspective” in Bengt Sundelius (Ed.), Foreign Policies of Northern Europe (Boulder: Westview Press, 1982), p. 201.

[14] Ibid., p. 203.

[15] Michael Di Francesco, “Process not Outcomes in New Public Management? ‘Policy Coherence’ in Australian Government” in Australian Review of Public Affairs Vol. 1 No. 3 March 2001 p. 105.

[16] Bertel Heurlin makes a distinction between defence policy and security policy in his analysis of the Danish process, see Heurlin, Riget, magten og militæretpassim. Swedish strategy maestro Nils Andrén makes a distinction between introverted and extroverted security policy, see Nils Andrén, Säkerhetspolitik. Analyser och tillämpningar Andra upplagan (Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik, 2002) p. 30-35.

[17] Roy C. Macridis, ”Comparative Analysis: Methods and Concepts” in Bernard E. Brown & Roy C. Macridis (Eds.) Comparative Politics. Notes and Readings Eight Edition (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing, 1996), p. 2-3.

[18] Mikael Holmström, ”Försvarsbeslut kommer först nästa år” in Svenska Dagbladet 9 September 2008.

[19] Wilhelm Agrell, Georgienkrisen ett lackmustest – men på vad? Keynote speech at the annual conference of People & Defence in Sälen 18 January 2009.

[20] Prop. 2008/09:140, Ett användbart försvar, p. 24-25.

[21] Ibid., p. 24-25.

[22] Ibid., p. 15.

[23] Ibid., p. 15.

[24] Ibid., p. 28.

[25] Ibid., p. 14. These security interests have been the same since 2006.

[26] Ibid., p. 14. This phrase is used again on page 34.

[27] Ibid., p. 14.

[28] Ibid., p. 33-34, 36.

[29] Ibid., p. 9, 31-33.

[30] Ibid., p. 9, 29. Translation by the author. Note that the solidarity clause is not binding according to international law.

[31] Ibid., p. 30.

[32] This possibility slowly faded away after the EU membership in 1995.

[33] This lack of debate is analysed from a pro-NATO perspective in Ann-Sofie Dahl, Svenskarna och Nato (Stockholm: Timbro, 1999), see also Ingemar Dörfer, The Nordic Nations in the New Western Security Regime (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), p. 59-90.

[34] Mikael Holmström, ”Riksdagen splittrad om försvaret” in Svenska Dagbladet 12 June 2009.

[35] Statens offentliga utredningar, Totalförsvarsplikt och frivillighet SOU 2009:63. The general conscription is not abolished – it is simply not used anymore. Also, Prop. 2008/09:140, Ett användbart försvar, p. 11.

[36] See for example Anders Karlsson, ”Ett modernt, effektivt och folkligt förankrat försvar” in Perspektiv nr. 3 2009, p. 16. Karlsson is quite clear: ”Vi anser att värnplikten även i framtiden ska utgöra basen för det svenska försvaret.”

[37] Prop. 2008/09:140, Ett användbart försvar, p. 11.

[38] TT, ”Björklund vill ha ett starkare försvar” 19 January 2009. Note that the idea is based on mobilisation.

[39] Forsvarsministeriet, Fremtidens forsvar (FK97) (København: Forsvarsmini­ste­riet, 1998) and Forsvarsministeriet, De sikkerhedspolitiske vilkår for dansk forsvarspolitik (Bruun-rapporten) (København: Forsvarsministeriet, 2003).

[40] FK08, Dansk forsvar, globalt engagement, p. 29-121.

[41] Ibid., p. 66.

[42] Ibid., p. 80.

[43] In FK08 Dansk Folkeparti points out its anti-EU stance, see for example ibid., p. 42.

[44] Ibid., p. 96-97.

[45] Ibid.,  p. 134.

[46] Ibid., 105-106.

[47] Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, ”Kronik: Gønt eller blåt forsvar?” Berlingske Tidene 3 januar 2009.

[48] DR, ”Venstre: To milliarder mere til forsvaret” 25 marts 2009.

[49] Socialdemokraterne, Soldaten i Centrum – Socialdemokraternes oplæg til forsvarsforliget, april 2009.

[50] This has been claimed by members in the commission to the author of this text.

[51] Rasmussen, ”Kronik: Grønt eller blåt forsvar?”, passim.

[52] Ritzau, “Forsvarskommission anbefaler kampfly”, 19 November 2008.

[53] This interpretation of the doctrine was critisised by the Social Democrats and the Left Party in a parliamentary debate in May 1994.

[54] Regeringen, Vårt framtida försvar, Prop. 2004/05:5, p. 23. Försvars­beredningen, Säkerhet i samverkan, Ds 2007:46, p. 11. In 2007 the Left Party was opposed to closer cooperation with NATO, but underlined the need for closer cooperation in a Nordic context.

[55] In “Försvarspolitik – Hur skall morgondagens militära försvar se ut?” speech in Almedalen 9 July 2008, Sten Tolgfors uses Denmark as example for a clarifying debate about capabilities. As we have seen, the Danish track record is mixed in this area. Furthermore, the 11 speeches put on the webpage of the Swedish Defence Ministry in July 2009 only use Denmark as an example regarding defence capabilities. Thus, the point is not that a Swedish audience should find a campaign in the Helmand province attarctive – Denmark is not used as a positive example in foreign policy.

[56] It is interesting to note that it is the leftwingers that wants to abolish conscription and the rightwingers that wants to keep conscription.

[57] Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Nordic defence conference at the Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, May 2008.

[58] Magnus Petersson, ”Introduktion” in Håkan Edström & Magnus Petersson (ed.), Norsk-svenskt försvarssamarbete i en ny tid Oslo Files on Defence and Security 07/2008 (Oslo: IFS, 2008), p. 6.

PDF med originaludgaven af Militært Tidskrift hvor denne artikel er fra:

militaert_tidsskrift_138.aargang_nr.3_2009.pdf

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