Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Russians Are Here - Again!

Throughout the centuries my country, Sweden, has - due to it's precarious geopolitical position - had an eternally suspicious attitude towards our immense neighbor to the east.

This situation was aggravated after Sweden lost it's position as one of the major powers in Europe in the 18th century and especially after the Swedish-Russian war ended in 1809, with Sweden proper losing a third of the realm (Finland) to Russia.

King Charles XII (1682-1718) pointing to
the East to tell us from where the enemy
will come.
Depending on who the rulers in Russia have been the situation has been better or worse, but the suspicion has always been there. Whenever we think of the risk of war or aggression, we look to the East.

Since the cold war the official defense policy of Sweden can be summed up in the phrase "non-alignment in peace aiming at neutrality in war".

That policy has served us well for half a century, but it seems to be losing support as we see the Russians, under the present president Vladimir "Little Father" Putin, becoming increasingly aggressive and militant towards it's neighbors.

During the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's Sweden has had it's territorial borders violated repeatedly by Soviet Union/Russian submarines or or other submersibles.

Once one of them even ran aground in the archipelago of Karlskrona in the south of Sweden and created an international incident.
The "Whiskey on the rocks"-incident. 
"Soviet submarine S-363 was a Soviet Navy Whiskey-class submarine of the Baltic Fleet, which became famous under the designation U 137 when it ran aground on October 27, 1981 on the south coast of Sweden, approximately 10 km from Karlskrona, one of the larger Swedish naval bases. U137 was the unofficial Swedish name for the vessel, as the Soviets considered names of most of their submarines to be classified at the time and did not disclose them. The ensuing international incident is often referred to as the Whiskey on the rocks incident." Wikipedia
At this very moment a search is yet again going on, this time in the Stockholm archipelago, for what is suspected to be another Russian submersible.
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I am sad to admit that, like many other Swedes, I am increasingly leaning towards a change of our present defense policy and I am starting to believe in the necessity for us to apply for membership in NATO in the immediate future.

2 comments :

  1. I have a question. What would Sweden do if they identified a Russian sub that was just trolling around in their territorial waters? Sink it by depth charges? Serious question --has Sweden ever done anything over the years? Sweden has some very good anti-submarine Corvettes (the futuristic looking Visby class) and would benefit by building more of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know depth charges have been used frequently in the past, but at a "safe distance" so as to force the submarine up to the surface rather than to sink it.

      Delete

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