STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences recently hosted a pivotal event last year, bringing together esteemed dignitaries, including two former Sweden Ministers of Defence, the Swedish Chief of Operations, and former Ambassadors who have played significant roles in shaping our shared security landscape.
Underscoring Sweden's dedication to addressing evolving security challenges in anticipation of joining NATO, the Academy organized a dialogue on Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) with the Swedish Armed Forces and Academy members, and the United States European Command (USEUCOM).
“Strategic dialogues, such as this discussion on IAMD, enhance our common understanding and enable joint interoperability,” stated Colonel Brian Green, United States Air Force, Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché, Sweden. “This event highlights USEUCOMs continued dedication to re-enforcing partnerships to deter adversaries and improve multinational collaboration. Coupled with the Defense Cooperation Agreement, exercising a shared vision of IAMD integration through the Arctic Challenge Exercise demonstrates United States and Swedish interoperability and our shared commitment to transatlantic security.”
Brandon Eickhoff who supports USEUCOMs plans, policy, strategy, and capabilities directorate, relayed the critical importance of missile defense and global cooperation in the face of evolving threats. Emphasizing on the need for readiness, interoperability, advanced technologies, and the strength of alliances.
The pressing challenges posed by adversaries, especially in the realms of drones and long-range strike capabilities, were candidly discussed. “Interoperability knows no borders and is vital for effective defense. With missile defense, we undermine a potential foe's confidence before a single interceptor is fired,” said Eickhoff, which highlighted the need for a robust deterrence strategy.
The event highlights USEUCOMs dedication to advancing transatlantic partnerships and addressing evolving security challenges. Amid an unpredictable security landscape, the call for global unity in missile defense resonates as nations navigate these challenges. Demonstrating a collaborative spirit, the United States is committed to offering foreign military sales and security cooperation opportunities, including the development of complementary technologies such as counter drones and hypersonic defenses.
Former Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist noted, “Engaging in strategic IAMD activities, such as the Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE), sends a strong signal of deterrence to our adversaries regarding our security policy. By participating in exercises like ACE, we are demonstrating our ability to defend against potential threats in the Arctic region, which can help deter our adversaries from taking aggressive actions.”
“Today, the Swedish Armed Forces described a needed shift in their doctrine,” emphasized Lt Gen Carl-Johan Edström, Swedish Chief of Operations. “The current doctrine of "Engage, Contain, and Defeat: Alone" must be replaced with a new more offensive mindset that emphasizes the importance of working together. This change comes after conversations with NATO and USEUCOM and will ensure that tomorrow's defense, including IAMD, can "Protect, Generate Force, and Defend: Together."
“This new approach to IAMD will enable a safer Sweden and a stronger NATO. By working together, the Swedish Armed Forces will be better equipped to defend against potential threats and protect the country's citizens. The shift in mindset is a positive step forward for the Swedish Armed Forces and demonstrates their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the country and its allies.” said Lt Gen Edström.
Hultqvist's endorsement of strategic IAMD activities and Edström's call for a new doctrine emphasizing collaboration signify a positive step forward in ensuring the safety and security of nations, fostering cooperation, and building a more secure future for all.