Peace researcher: “Sweden’s defence ministry makes us a vassal state of Washington”


Published 22 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
American soldiers during an exercise.

Peace researcher Frida Stranne and political scientist Trita Parsi write in the left-wing magazine ETC that the DCA agreement signed by the government in December means that “no less than 17 military facilities on Swedish soil will be opened to US military bases or US troops”.

“American personnel will be able to operate outside Swedish law in Sweden, and not even the Swedish security police will be allowed to monitor them”, the authors warn.

It is not clear when parliament will vote on the proposal, but if it is approved, the authors argue that it represents a negative paradigm shift for Sweden.

“It is a decision that fundamentally changes Swedish defence policy, where we give up our sovereignty and place much of the power for Swedish security considerations in the hands of the increasingly unpredictable US political leadership”.

“The little-discussed agreement gives the US “unrestricted access to and use of Swedish facilities and areas”. Some parts of Swedish territory will only be used by the US military and fall under US jurisdiction”, the authors add.

“Swedish territory loses its meaning”

Worse still, the agreement is worded in such a way that Swedish law is no longer guaranteed to apply to the parts of Sweden where the US military is based, so that the Swedish authorities will not be able to act if the Americans commit crimes or engage in other forms of suspicious activity.

“American personnel will be able to act outside Swedish law in Sweden, and not even the Swedish security police will be allowed to monitor them. Swedish authorities will also lose the right to inspect US aircraft and ships when they are on Swedish territory”.

“The very concept of ‘Swedish territory’ loses its meaning if Sweden now intends to give up its independence in this remarkable way”, the article continues.

“A vassal of Washington”

The authors go so far as to claim that the defence ministry is making Sweden “Sweden’s defence ministry is turning us into a vassal state of Washington – but under the guise of joining NATO” and that the agreement means that we will “remain on the sinking ship” even if NATO is dissolved.

“NATO membership was claimed by its supporters to be important for Swedish independence, to strengthen us by being part of an association as a sovereign and equal partner, and to avoid falling under Russian domination. With this agreement we will instead fall under US domination by selling our sovereignty to Washington and thus becoming dependent on a US that is getting weaker every year”, the authors warn.

“Sweden does not have to give up a good relationship with the US if we withdraw from this agreement. But a good relationship for Sweden is based on mutual respect, where Sweden is not forced to subordinate itself to a set of interests formulated in the Pentagon that do not coincide with ours”, they stress.

“Work for détente”

Instead of being “intertwined with a thoroughly militarised economy”, the authors prefer that Sweden as a NATO member “manage the role we have historically had and actively work for détente” – for example by mediating the potential conflict between China and the US.

They also see Donald Trump as a potentially unpredictable president whose leadership could involve great “risks” and therefore urge the Swedish parliament to “think twice about surrendering Sweden’s independence to Washington under these circumstances”.

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