View Full Version : Sweden: From Neutrality to NATO

Magda Hassan
10-19-2009, 07:43 AM
Sweden: From Neutrality to NATO

In his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Harold Pinter excoriated the U.S. empire and noted that it “now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course”.

Alas, he was misinformed about the honourable exceptionalism of Sweden. Around the same time that the mortally ill Pinter was video-recording his speech, an official of its Defence Ministry correctly observed that Sweden was already so deeply involved in USA/NATO that no one would be able to tell the difference if it were to formally become a member.

As yet, no U.S. military installation has been established within Sweden’s borders, but that is hardly necessary. The Swedish armed forces are now almost completely incorporated into the USA/NATO system; and joint military exercises are carried out in the air, on the land and in the territorial waters of Sweden with increasing frequency. This past June, for example, a huge area of northern Sweden and adjoining Baltic waters were devoted to a war game that was dubbed “Loyal Arrow” and clearly aimed at Russia.

The process by which Sweden has been transformed from a comparatively independent nation with a strong peace tradition to just another vassal-state within the U.S. empire is the subject of “From Neutrality to NATO”, a review of the various large and small steps involved during the period from World War II to the present.

Although the focus is on Sweden, the process reflects some basic trends in Norden and Europe, including the ever-deepening crisis of social democracy and of democracy in general, the furtive methods used by USA/NATO to absorb additional member-states, the complicity of mainstream media, etc.

The historical review is part of a developing movement, in which I am involved, to extricate Sweden from the claws of USA/NATO. We are eager to enlist the advice and support of knowledgeable and sympathetic souls everywhere-- for our own sake, but also because the fate of Sweden in this matter has potentially large implications for the rest of the world. Anyone who is interested in the issue and would like to learn more is urged to read the review via the links below and/or to contact me at this e-mail address: <samordna@stoppanato.se>

Best regards,
Al Burke
E-mail: samordna@stoppanato.se

>From Neutrality to NATO
The PDF document can be downloaded in its entirety or in five smaller parts via these links:

Complete document (8.2 MB)

Five separate documents
Part 1 (1,7 MB): http://www.stoppanato.se/utred/steps-1.pdf
Part 2 (1,6 MB): http://www.stoppanato.se/utred/steps-2.pdf
Part 3 (1,7 MB): http://www.stoppanato.se/utred/steps-3.pdf
Part 4 (1,8 MB): http://www.stoppanato.se/utred/steps-4.pdf
Part 5 (1,7 MB): http://www.stoppanato.se/utred/steps-5.pdf

Peter Lemkin
10-19-2009, 08:15 AM
Least we forget the nobility (sic) and corporatists in Sweden were mostly pro-Nazi during WW2 and some Swedes have been cooperative in things like getting rid of Palme for the USA Oligarchy - to whom he was a stone in their shoe. There are many other such things that could be cited. It is hard to find, in fact, elites in any country now who don't cooperate in some ways with the current Hegemenon - the USA.

Magda Hassan
03-08-2012, 12:34 PM
Sweden has in secret been helping Saudi Arabia plan the construction of an arms factory to produce anti-tank missiles, public broadcaster Swedish Radio reported Tuesday.
The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) has helped Saudi Arabia since 2007, though construction on "Project Simoom" has yet to begin, the radio said citing hundreds of classified documents and interviews with key players.Sweden has in the past sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, but classified government documents state that Project Simoom "pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a Swedish authority," the radio said."The fact that an authority such as FOI is involved in the planning of a weapons factory for a government in a dictatorship such as Saudi Arabia is quite unique," the radio said.FOI director general Jan-Olof Lind denied the existence of the project."We do not have a project agreement with that country," he told the radio.Asked specifically if there has been a Project Simoom with Saudi Arabia, Lind replied: "No. And I do not wish to comment on discussions that may or may not have occurred between Sweden and Saudi Arabia. These discussions are classified."But several former FOI employees confirmed the existence of the project to Swedish Radio, including Dick Straeng who led the project until 2010 and was one of Lind's closest colleagues."If I were to contradict your claims I would have to say that the documents you are showing me are fakes, and they are not," he said when presented with the classified material.He said the Swedish government was fully aware of the plans."Here is a document that the director general signed and sent to the ministry," he said.The defence ministry refused to comment on the radio's report because of the classified nature of the project."I can't comment on the cooperation," state secretary Haakan Jevrell told the radio.The radio claimed that to avoid any direct links to FOI and the government, FOI set up a company that would handle the dealings with Saudi Arabia."FOI has, as far as the defence ministry knows, no collaboration with the company mentioned in the radio report," Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors wrote on his blog."There are no government decisions giving FOI a mandate to build a factory for weapons production," he added.Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had only a brief comment Tuesday."The government is responsible for ensuring that legislation and regulations are in place and followed, and I presume that the responsible authorities have respected the law," he told news agency TT.

Magda Hassan
03-30-2012, 01:21 AM
Spy agency cash used for Saudi arms plant: report

Published: 27 Mar 12 10:31 CET

The shell company set up to carry out Sweden's secret plans to build a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia (http://www.thelocal.se/tag/saudi_arabia) was financed with cash borrowed from the country's military intelligence agency, according to a new report.

Criminal probe into 'secret' Saudi arms plant (http://www.thelocal.se/39824/20120322/) (22 Mar 12)
Saudis toured 'top secret' Swedish army bunker (http://www.thelocal.se/39808/20120321/) (21 Mar 12)
Secret documents reveal further arms cooperation (http://www.thelocal.se/39776/20120320/) (20 Mar 12)

The company, Swedish Security Technology and Innovation (SSTI), was reportedly set up by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut – FOI (http://www.thelocal.se/tag/FOI)) in order to oversee the construction of a factory for the maintenance and upgrade of anti-tank missile systems.

In order to keep the company secret, FOI needed cash in order to set it up, according to Svergies Radio (SR), which first reported on the secret plans for the Saudi weapons plant earlier this month.

However, FOI was unable to procure the necessary cash on its own, but instead had to rely on help from the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service (Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten – MUST (http://www.thelocal.se/tag/MUST)).

MUST provided the cash to FOI in the form of a loan, according to SR.

Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) spokesperson Erik Lagersten confirmed for the radio station that money was transferred to FOI, but claims that MUST didn't know that the funds were to be used to set up the shell company.

"That's something for the preliminary investigation to reveal," he told SR, referring to the preliminary criminal investigation launched by prosecutors last week in order to determine whether the secret Saudi weapons deal may have violated the law.

FOI’s own investigation has revealed information leading the agency to believe “there are suspicions that a crime may have been committed”, it said in a statement, prompting FOI head Jan-Olof Lind to report the incident to prosecutors.

As FOI is a state agency, it isn't allowed to start any companies without the approval of the government – something which, according to SR, did not occur in the case of SSTI, which was started in 2009.

The company was launched as part of what is referred to in confidential documents reviewed by SR as Project Simoom, a project started by FOI in 2007 with the aim of helping build an advanced weapons plant in Saudi Arabia.

At the time of SR's revelations, SSTI CEO Dick Sträng, who is also a high ranking official at FOI, refused to divulge how the company was funded.

"I refuse to answer that question," he told SR.

"I can't answer it without lying."

SR has subsequently learned, however, that SSTI was financed by FOI and that the start-up capital came in the form of a cash loan from MUST.

On Tuesday, FOI head Lind is scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee to answer questions about his agency's connections to SSTI and its involvements in the Saudi arms plant construction project.

Keith Millea
04-02-2012, 03:45 PM
April 02, 2012 http://www.counterpunch.org/images/printer.gif (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/02/sweden-the-saudis-and-the-simoom-project/print)

Sweden's Arms Trade

Sweden, the Saudis and the Simoom Project

Malmö, Sweden.

“What I feared most”, said the former Swedish minister of defense during his final press conference last week, “was receiving a text message that another Swedish soldier had died in Afghanistan.”

The defense minister also spoke of his two year old son who enthusiastically used to shout “Daddy!” whenever his father appeared on national television. Recently the toddler had panicked and tried to turn the TV off.

Last week Sten Tolgfors, Sweden´s defense minister since 2007, decided to call it quits. Preparing for his televised press conference, Tolgfors obviously had been advised by his spin doctors to play the emotional card, bringing up his own and his family´s Angst, but also emphasizing a job well done, cutting costs and getting favorable marks from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Sweden is not a member of Nato but has diligently provided troops for the ISAF forces in Afghanistan and JAS Gripen aircraft to help topple Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

What toppled Mr Tolgfors were disclosures on Radio Sweden a couple of weeks ago that there is a far-reaching Swedish commitment to build a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia
In spite of its reputation as a peace-loving nation, Sweden is a major producer and exporter of arms. The Bofors gun became famous during World War II.The anti-tank weapon AT 4 was praised by US officers in Vietnam as a very efficient weapon against the enemy once known as “Viet Cong” and seen as ideal for urban warfare in places like Falluja in Iraq. Recently Saudi Arabia and Pakistan bought Ericsson´s EyriEye radar system, useful among other things for bombing Somali pirates off the coast of East Africa.

Of course, peace-loving Sweden does not really want to sell arms to customers who might actually use them. In the 1980s, there was a ban on Swedish arms sales to the Middle East. This the Bofors company avoided by smuggling its renowned product Robot 70 via Singapore to the Emirates of Dubai and Bahrein.

The Middle East sales ban has since been lifted, but there is renewed concern among the right-minded that Saudi Arabia may not be the paragon of democracy and peace, preferred as the ideal customer for Swedish arms. In fact, last year Saudi Arabia intervened to crush the Arab spring, as it emerged in the Emirate of Bahrein, a Saudi ally.

Sweden’s present-day non-Socialist coalition claims it is carrying out the same policies as its Social Democratic predecessor. It is true that a memorandum of understanding was signed between Sweden and Saudi Arabia in 2005, when the Social Democrats were still in power.
According to the memorandum, both parties have committed themselves to start joint projects for the composition or production of military equipment. This would be more like a consultancy business on which there has never been a ban. But Sweden´s present government seems to have felt that plans for building a Saudi arms factory, even though it was not strictly forbidden, was a touchy issue about which Mr Tolgfors felt he had to keep mum. To carry out that kind of joint Swedish-Saudi projects, a secret company was created, baptized Simoom after the dust-laden desert storm which often afflicts North Africa and the Arab peninsula. Whether this was legal or not is being investigated by the Swedish special branch.

Sweden’s defense industry has a long history but is in fact no longer particularly Swedish. Until recently, Bofors and a string of other arms producers in Sweden were owned by the US conglomerate United Defense which in turn was controlled by the Carlyle Group, an illustrious association of former politicians and businessmen. In the Carlyle Group one could find George Bush senior, Frank Carlucci, the former US secretary of defense, the Saudi prince Alwaleed Sin Talal bin Abdulazis Alsaud and, surprise! surprise! members of the Bin Laden family. Later on, United Defense has been replaced as owner of the major Swedish arms producers by Britain´s BAE Systems.

BJÖRN KUMM is a journalist based in Malmö, Sweden.


Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 03:55 AM
Not to be forgotten is that Karl Rove and his neo-con helpers have been busy behind the scenes in Sweden.

Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today. The question that remains is what Sweden gets in return.
The story begins with a reporter’s feature (http://falkvinge.net/files/2013/07/FRA03_04.pdf) in 2005 about the secretive Swedish intelligence agency FRA (http://fra.se/snabblankar/english.10.html), Försvarets Radioanstalt, translated loosely to National Defense Radio Establishment. The story of Echelon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON) had just broke, and the reporter Martin Jönsson dug far below the dirty surface. One thing that comes across in this new context is this passage:

The NSA is the largest intelligence organization of the United States of America and of the world. [...] The NSA is the center of the wiretapping network, where the FRA is also plays a part. The NSA is considerably larger than the CIA, and is targeted at signals intelligence. It operates planet-wide through wiretapping stations on the ground, on aircraft, on ships, and on satellites. Through an agreement from early Cold War days, there are close ties to the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. One of the common computer systems, Echelon, has erroneously come to be used synonymously with the entire surveillance network.
It’s also important to note just how deep the rabbit hole goes in the cooperation between the Swedish FRA and the U.S. NSA, and how questionable the real allegiance of the FRA is. A former Navy captain recalls when he had had FRA troops on board (part of the story (http://falkvinge.net/files/2013/07/FRA03_04.pdf)):

“They had important information they didn’t share with the Swedish Defense. We were developing countermeasures against Soviet missiles to protect our ships. At that point, the FRA had detailed information about the missiles in question; information they had received from the Americans. They didn’t give it to the Navy, and that was to protect their source, the NSA. It was more important to protect the cooperation with the NSA than it was to protect Swedish lives and interests.”
We know since the Echelon debate that the key players in the NSA wiretapping network areknown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON) to be five countries – the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Early 2007, reports surfaced (https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=83&artikel=1227380) in media that Sweden would get access to U.S. information and security research through an “exclusive agreement”, where Sweden would be “the sixth country”. This was a very conspicuous wording, but makes sense in context. According to the media reports, the agreement between Sweden and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be signed “late March”.
At the same time, a horrible piece of legislation had appeared in Sweden. Known as the FRA law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRA_law), it allowed and mandated wiretapping of everything if it happened to cross Sweden’s borders at some point – web surfing, phone calls, mail, video conferences, the works. It was a violation of constitutionally and conventionally guaranteed privacy rights on every conceivable level. It changed the standard from “you have a right to expectation of privacy” to “for all intents and purposes, you are always wiretapped”.
There were huge protests against the wiretapping law at the time, in no small amountcoordinated (http://falkvinge.net/2008/06/10/visa-trycket-nar-riksdagen-rostar/) by myself and other pirate activists. With the administration having a very narrow parliamentary majority, the media drama logic was perfect. Unfortunately, the administration won, and the law passed – but I’ve learned since that the protests outside Parliament on that day really shook the administration to the core. To no avail, unfortunately.

“If we’re coordinating, it’s a rally, and we would need a permit, which we won’t get since it’s on the steps of Parliament. I’m going there as a private individual, completely unorganized. And then, perhaps a couple thousand other people are doing the same thing, how would I know?”
Back to the Sweden-U.S. security agreement:
http://falkvinge.net/files/2013/07/6a00d8341c881e53ef00e5532d75de8834.jpg (http://falkvinge.net/files/2013/07/6a00d8341c881e53ef00e5532d75de8834.jpg)
April 13, 2007. Swedish Minister of Defense, Odenberg (right), signs an agreement with the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chertoff (left). Put in context, the effect of the agreement is to wiretap all of Russia's international traffic and share it with the NSA. What did Sweden get in return?
As the Minister of Defense Odenberg signed the security cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the debate intensified in Sweden, to the point where the U.S. Embassy took an interest (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08STOCKHOLM704&q=fra-law) in the FRA law (according to the WikiLeaks cables).
Media reacted to this, and asked pertinent and important questions at the time, none of which got a response. In a piece titled “A deal with Washington is not a tea party (http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/avtal-med-washington-ar-ingen-tebjudning_219655.svd)“, one of Sweden’s largest dailies were sharply critical. Other newspapers, and the entire cadre of bloggers, echoed that sentiment.
Some time later, the actual agreement leaked (http://falkvinge.net/files/2013/07/90057dc9.pdf) through an unknown mechanism. It states that the U.S. and Sweden are basically to share surveillance and wiretapping data for security purposes, and much more. (Do note that the metadata of the document says it’s an agreement between Australia and the U.S., suggesting that there is a similar agreement in place between those countries, and that the metadata remained after the U.S. re-edited the agreement for Sweden.)

“The objective of this Agreement is to establish a framework to encourage, develop and facilitate bilateral Cooperative Activity in science and technology that contributes to the homeland security capabilities of both Parties in: a) the prevention and detection of, response to, and forensics and attribution applied to, terrorist or other homeland security threats and/or indicators [...] The Parties shall seek to achieve the objectives [...] by means which may include, but are not limited to: a) facilitating a systematic exchange of technologies, personnel, and information derived from or applied to similar and complementary operational Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation; b) collaborating to develop technologies and prototype systems that assist in countering present and anticipated terrorist actions in their respective territories and other homeland threats that satisfy their common strategic interests and requirements” [etc]
Back to the FRA law. The concept of wiretapping everybody warrantlessly all the time was hugely controversial (rightly so), and the administration tried to justify it with every trick in the book. Among the less credible attempts was the statement that the wiretapping was necessary to protect our troops in Afghanistan against insurgents there. The obvious counterquestion – why on this green Earth insurgents in Afghanistan would use e-mail and phonecalls over Swedish servers – was met with a telling silence.
Then, Swedish media broke the story of what the FRA law was for: wiretapping (http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/ryssland-malet-for-fra-lagen_1444077.svd) Russia (http://www.svt.se/nyheter/sverige/fra-lagen-ska-anvandas-mot-ryssland). 80% of all international Russian internet traffic passes through Sweden, making it an ideal wiretapping point if you want to keep tabs on an adversary. It made perfect sense. It was still a violation of fundamental privacy rights, but at least it made sense, especially in combination with the high-profile data-sharing agreement.

“TeliaSonera has one of the world’s biggest global fiberoptic cable networks. The company maps show that the cabling is routed so all traffic to and from Russia goes through Sweden. All Russian mail and phonecalls abroad go through Stockholm, regardless of where the recipients are located.”
The administration protested loudly against those media breaks at the time, stating that the reports “hurt Swedish security”. That language is familiar by now.
Putting it all together, Sweden is wiretapping Russia for the NSA, and has been doing so since the FRA law took effect in Sweden. The FRA agency is continuously wiretapping Russia based on the agreement signed in April, 2007, and sharing the data with the NSA.
In this context, it is no coincidence that Sweden and the UK, as the only two European countries, recently chose to block (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/05/us-blocks-espionage-talks-europe-nsa-prism) EU investigations into U.S. wiretapping of European officials and industries.