Swedish PM Kristersson welcoming of US troops in Sweden

The new cold war

Published 10 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Ulf Kristersson and Joe Biden.

In his speech at the Folk och Försvar national conference, the Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson proudly declared that it is expected that American soldiers will soon be stationed at a large number of military bases in Sweden.

Kristersson also stressed that Swedish citizens are expected to fight and die to defend Sweden “and our values”.

– In December, defense minister Pål Jonsson signed the historic defense agreement with the US. Sweden used to hide American cooperation – brilliantly described in Staffan Carlsson’s recent book on Dag Hammarskjöld. Now we are transparent and identify 17 military sites where we are preparing to receive military support, he said.

He also attacked the “Russian war of aggression” and its “threats, disinformation and cyber-attacks”, which the prime minister said are aimed at “destabilizing the whole of Europe”.

According to the prime minister, the solution is for Sweden, the EU and the US to continue supporting Ukraine in various ways and for Sweden to join NATO wholeheartedly to contribute to its “defense and deterrence”.

– We are connecting the Baltic Sea and the Baltics with the transatlantic link. We will have a central role in basing and transporting Allied forces, allowing NATO to operate in our part of Europe.

“With your life at stake”

More money will be spent on rearmament and defense spending will be doubled between 2020 and 2024 to “reach the NATO standard of two percent of GDP”.

The Swedish population must also be mobilized, says the prime minister, pointing out that compulsory civilian service will be reintroduced later in January. He also said that Swedes must be prepared to die for Sweden in a possible future war.

 Ukraine teaches us that a country’s most important resource in war is the common will to defend itself. We must also start talking out loud about the expectations that come with Swedish citizenship. Ultimately, it is about defending Sweden, our values and our way of life with weapons in hand – and with your life at stake. Citizenship is not a travel document.


However, it is not clear from the prime minister’s speech which particular values Swedes should risk their lives for.

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