Sweden’s establishment media promotes criticized DCA agreement


Published 18 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
"The DCA with the United States makes Sweden a safer country", it is claimed.

The Swedish media establishment seems to be in agreement with Sweden’s ruling politicians, unanimously praising the military cooperation agreement with the US that will be voted on today.

“Sweden now has the protection of NATO’s nuclear umbrella and should also be ready to contribute in whatever way it can. For example, by not banning our allies’ nuclear-armed aircraft from landing here forever. Agree to the DCA. The fact that the US can come to our aid quickly makes Sweden safer”, claims Expressen.

Today, the Swedish parliament is expected to approve the highly controversial DCA, which means, among other things, that US soldiers will have access to Swedish territory, airspace, water and Swedish military bases, and will be able to operate in Sweden without transparency, possibly even deploying US nuclear weapons on Swedish soil or using Sweden as a base for attacks against Russian targets.

A poll shows that a large majority of the Swedish people oppose crucial parts of the DCA – and three out of four have not even understood what the agreement entails.

But in the run-up to the parliamentary vote, Sweden’s major newspapers are launching what appears to be a joint campaign, with all major editorials declaring how important they think the military cooperation agreement is.

“Security policy is not suitable for referendums, but for compromises across bloc borders. That’s why such referendums have never been held”, declares Aftonbladet’s Anders Lindberg, adding that the agreement is “a prerequisite for NATO cooperation to work in practice”.

“Neutrality”  a “myth divorced from reality”

Under the headline “DCA agreement with the US makes Sweden a safer country”, the Bonnier-owned Dagens Nyheter claims that “if Russia had behaved like a civilized neighbor, no agreement would have been necessary”.

Dagens Industri’s Erik Sziga argues that Swedish neutrality is a “myth divorced from reality” and that it is “naive” to believe that Sweden could stay out of another major European war.

“The treaty means that Sweden shares rights, but this is nothing compared to the rights that are threatened in the event of an attack. It is no coincidence that our Nordic neighbors have similar agreements. It is a natural extension of NATO membership. Both membership and the agreement strengthen our security, so it is natural that they also involve sacrifices”, he says.

Sydsvenskan, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Göteborgsposten follow the same line with headlines such as “Friends of Russia talk about peace, but mean oppression”, “Don’t believe the ghost stories about the Yanks’ nuclear weapons” and “Necessary cooperation – without nuclear weapons”, and there seems to be an almost unanimous view that the agreement with the US is a positive must.

Yes to American nuclear weapons

Expressen goes perhaps furthest in arguing for the supposedly positive effects of American nuclear weapons on Swedish soil.

“For the West, nuclear weapons are the ultimate guarantee of our existence. The certainty that a nuclear attack would be met with death and destruction is what should ultimately deter the Kremlin from carrying out its threats”, they write.

“But for nuclear deterrence to be effective, it must be credible. That means keeping your arsenal up to date and practicing how to use it. Sweden now has the protection of NATO’s nuclear umbrella, and should also be prepared to contribute in whatever way it can. For example, by not forever banning our allies’ nuclear-armed aircraft from landing here. Agree to the DCA. The fact that the US can come to our aid quickly makes Sweden safer”, it continues.

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