Norsk-svenskt försvarssamarbete i en ny tid
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Nordic defence cooperation has been limited in recent history. Although during the interwar years of 1918–39 and World War II, there were proposals aiming at a coordinated, or joint, Finnish-Swedish-Norwegian defence policy, they failed to produce concrete results. Negotiations about a Scandinavian Defence Union in 1948–49 also floundered. In April 1949 Norway, Denmark and Iceland joined NATO, while Finland and Sweden remained non-aligned in no small part due to fearing Soviet reactions. The end of the Cold War has brought dramatic changes to Northern Europe: Finland and Sweden have become members of the European Union, and the former Soviet republics have become sovereign states. In addition, practically all Western countries have radically cut defence spending and are undergoing a massive defence transformation from a focus on territorial defence and quantity to a focus on expeditionary peace operations and quality. This process has prompted closer defence cooperation between Norway, Finland and Sweden, especially in recent years. The rationale for this is primarily economic: small states can no longer afford to maintain large (transformed) defence forces. In this book, the Norwegian-Swedish defence cooperation envisioned is analysed from three perspectives: Ove Härnqvist characterizes it using the concepts of “integration” and “dependence”, arguing that the military integration could be more comprehensive than NATO’s. However, the cooperation proposed is not as mutually binding as that within the Alliance. Håkan Edström analyses it from a policy perspective, while Ole Anders Øie focuses on doctrine. Both authors conclude that there are many strong foundations for wider and deeper cooperation, but they also identify several linguistic barriers that might weaken the conceptual base. At neither the level of policy nor doctrine do the two countries use the same terminology or definitions.