Home > Uncategorized > Sweden and Finland Join NATO’s Militarization in the Arctic North

Sweden and Finland Join NATO’s Militarization in the Arctic North

Space Alert!
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
December 2012

Sweden and Finland Join NATO’s Militarization in the Arctic North
By Agneta Norberg

My intervention here is about Sweden and Finland, two countries in NATO’s “Partnership for Peace.” The US National Security Directive #66 states: “The US has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region and is prepared to operate either independently or in conjunction with other states to safeguard these interests.

“These interests include missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence and maritime security operations; and freedom of navigation and over-flight.”

In November 2009 the US Navy released a paper called “Navy Arctic Roadmap.” The paper refers to the directive quoted above and the roadmap speaks about the intent to “Preserve the global mobility of US military and civilian vessels and aircrafts throughout the Arctic region.”

Less than three weeks after unveiling this Arctic strategy, NATO held a two-day meeting in Iceland attended by US/NATO top-military commanders and the NATO Secretary General. They proclaimed that the high north is going to get more NATO attention. (Now that Arctic ice is melting due to climate change and energy corporations can drill for oil.) Russia was not invited to send an observer.

Norway has now moved its operational command into the Arctic, the only command centre above the polar circle, and purchased 48 F–35 fighter jets for Arctic patrol. Denmark is said to have plans to establish an Arctic Command, an Arctic response force and military buildup at the Thule airbase in Greenland. The US and Britain are conducting joint submarine warfare exercises under the shrinking Polar ice cap.

Today all countries bordering Russia are members of NATO or in the Partnership for Peace, which most people describe as an antechamber to NATO.

US military airfields are set up in all Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Hungary. Fighters from the US, Great Britain, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden are training on daily missions close to St Petersburg, Russia. All this is a breach of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. Russia is today totally encircled by hostile installations and some of these are radars, which will serve the dangerous missile defense program.

Also for this purpose huge radar installations are installed in northern Norway (at Vardö), Romania and in Turkey.

How do Sweden and Finland fit into this pattern? Both countries have taken part in numerous recent war exercises held in northern and southern Sweden and northern Norway with the NATO countries as well and in the waters in the Baltic Sea.

On the December 15, 2004 the Swedish parliament passed a decision about Sweden’s adjustment to NATO, and the US military’s need for a large training area for their many wars. A large part of Northern Sweden will be opened up for military training of combat vehicles, fighter planes, weapons and drones.

At North European Aerospace Test range (NEAT), weapons corporations were invited to test systems of different kinds and join war exercises. The new type of satellite-directed war requires larger areas for training as do weapon systems like AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).

The area is ideal because it’s as large as the country of Macedonia. In July 2010, The US Air Force conducted bomb training for a couple of weeks at NEAT and British Royal Air Force was allowed to train almost the entire year 2011. But already in 2002 Israel got permission to train their drones, which later were used in the war on Gaza.

Esrange, the world’s biggest downloading station for satellites, not far from the city of Kiruna, is situated within NEAT. Every state or corporation, which are ready to pay, can buy maps from Esrange over any area on the earth.

When in South Korea, I came to know that Esrange serves the South Korean Air Force with maps covering North Korean territory. Another example of Esrange´s role in warfare is the following story: At a lecture in Kiruna, by Bruce Gagnon a couple of years ago about how space is used in modern warfare, one young woman in the audience confessed that she as a student trainee at Esrange, had questioned the practice of downloading maps of Russian territory. She asked why these maps were sent to receivers in the US. She never got a good explanation, she told us.

There is a rather strong resistance towards joining NATO in both Sweden and Finland according to recent polls. What can the governments do to circumvent these anti-NATO sentiments and bring us into this dangerous alliance?

One way is to drag non-NATO countries into the alliance without mentioning NATO. This was done in 2011 when British Prime Minister Cameron hosted a meeting in London and invited all Nordic countries, including the Baltic states, to consolidate common interests with the Nordic nations. The common interests were about air space, sea areas, security in Northern regions, cyber security, training in equipment and of troops.

“Interoperability” it is called. The reason for this cooperation was said to be the increasing tensions in the Arctic area. We have to understand these realities and make pressures on the parliamentarians in political parties who proclaim in their party programme that they are against NATO membership. We have to start a serious debate about these dangerous step-by-step developments.

Many Swedish and Finnish people still believe we are non-aligned and neutral countries.

We who see the dangerous developments have to work together with other Nordic activists to counter these war preparations and stop it. One step we are planning is to hold the 21st annual Global Network space organizing conference in Kiruna, Sweden on June 27–30, 2013. By bringing key peace movement leaders from around the world to northern Sweden we intend to shine a bright light on these offensive and destabilizing NATO plans for war to control Arctic resources. Please plan to join us.

Agneta Norberg is vice chair of Swedish Peace Council, a member of the IPB Steering Committee and serves on the Global Network board.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Mark Golding
    December 1, 2012 at 2:16 am

    This latest news should come as no surprise to people who have made the effort to study in detail the document called PNAC released by the US Ministry of War back in 1997. In this document the authors, William Kristol – who classifies war as ‘liberation’ – Robert Kagan – who argues for military power in the neurotic language of ‘us’ and ‘them’ – have set out a very clear strategy for Western security that involves the hegemonic principle of building an economic buffer zone where ‘Western’ means Merchant Banks and ‘buffer zone’ means Europe. First strikes will be carried out by NATO, while Eagle soars aloft 24/7 in AWACS but the European man and woman in the street will again take the brunt of what evolves from wars created by privateers.
    The US Military planners at the Pentagon went for the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine well before PNAC touched on multi-dimensional military planning. The world is being shaped by a terrorist network of military planners, armaments manufacturers and military establishments run by Governments under the duress of a bourgeois collective consciousness that expresses through education, the media and national institutions a common purpose to preserve their extravagant life form, regardless of human cost, under the convenient euphemistic banner of ‘defense’. ‘They’ comprise a large section of society who quietly argue the pre-emptive war theory in places where they can secrete it into public networks, and thereby shape public consciousness in a subliminal way by using the whitewashing technique of repeating the same old war narrative through a variety of mediums and canvasses. They are all connected spiritually. All well dressed, well spoken, well educated, well healed, well placed, and very very very militaristic, ready to defend the destruction of those they deem a threat to their affluence and privilege.

  2. rosemerry
    December 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Soon we will hear the chant “we are all americans now” as all except the Designated Enemies and Terrorists, are drawn into the net of wonderful freedom for the judeo-christian good guys.What a prospect!

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