Several debaters are worried that the DCA military agreement between Sweden and the USA could, among other things, enable nuclear weapons on Swedish soil. Photo: NATO. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 16: Demand for a written no against nuclear weapons on Swedish soil in military agreements

A proposal for the bilateral military agreement is due in May Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Sweden and the USA is submitted to the Riksdag. This has created debate over the past week, as several debaters believe that there is no guarantee in the agreement that excludes nuclear weapons in Sweden. Swedish government representatives, on the other hand, believe that the agreement will not lead to nuclear weapons or permanent foreign bases on Swedish territory.  

The agreement, which the Riksdag will vote on in June, means that the US will have access to 17 regimental and training areas in Sweden. It also enables the storage of military equipment, weapons and ammunition in Sweden.  

Defense Minister Pål Jonson (M) and others write in SvD Debate that the DCA agreement will increase Sweden's security.  

- In Sweden, we have a broad political consensus regarding how we view nuclear weapons. That does not change with the conclusion of the DCA agreement, they write. 

Several debaters however, opposes this and believes that there are no writings or regulations about nuclear weapons in the agreement. Kerstin Bergeå, chairwoman of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Association, writes at Aftonbladet Debatt that the organization requires a written reservation against nuclear weapons on Swedish soil. 

- The Swedish people must be guaranteed that neither this nor future governments allow nuclear weapons in Sweden. 

The Left Party is on the same line, and believes that the agreement means an increased risk for Sweden and Swedish citizens.  

- Our Nordic neighboring countries have taken other positions and included a specific reservation for nuclear weapons in their DCA agreements. Finland even has national legislation that prohibits nuclear weapons on the country's territory, write the leftists Håkan Svenneling, foreign policy spokesperson, and Hanna Gunnarsson, defense policy spokesperson, in SvD Debatt.  

Kerstin Bergeå at Svenska freds believes that a reservation against nuclear weapons in the agreement can contribute to a joint de-escalation vis-à-vis Russian nuclear weapons.   

- A reservation in the Swedish DCA agreement would strengthen the Nordic region and be in solidarity with our Nordic neighbors who have clearly distanced themselves, she writes. 

Opponents of the DCA agreement also point out that US forces receive immunity when they commit crimes in Sweden. 

- Soldiers who commit crimes against Swedish citizens will be brought before an American military court, not Swedish courts, write the leftists Håkan Svenneling and Hanna Gunnarsson.  

Annie Croona, lead writer at Dagens ETC, is also critical of the fact that the agreement lacks wording on nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory. But she believes the biggest problem is something else.  

- The popular anchoring that did not happen, the public debate that never took place, she writes.  

The military agreement between Sweden and the United States

That is why Sweden needs the DCA agreement 

Pål Jonson (M), Mikael Oscarsson (KD) and Anna Starbrink (L), Svenska Dagbladet 

The DCA agreement makes Sweden more insecure 

Håkan Svenneling (V) and Hanna Gunnarsson (V), Svenska Dagbladet 

The DCA agreement opens up nuclear weapons in Sweden 

Kerstin Bergeå, chairman, Swedish Peace and Arbitration Association  

In three weeks we can submit to the United States 

Annie Croona, editorial writer, Dagens ETC 

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