Over the past decade, European security and defence has been characterised by uncertainty, fragmentation and reluctance. This report maps out possible future scenarios by identifying and analysing four key uncertainties thought to shape the future of European security and defence policy: order, integration, capabilities and cohesion.
First, the liberal world order is becoming increasingly fragmented, partly as a result of increased US transactionalism and reluctance to act as the main security provider for the West. In addition, increased Russian aggression and an outward-looking China are causing unrest and division in Europe. At the same time, European integration has been hampered by the politicization of international cooperation and the rise of populism and nationalism in EU member states.
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Roughly 220 miles of ocean separates Sweden from the heavily militarized Russian port of Kaliningrad. The country’s long, narrow shape leaves it vulnerable to air assault from multiple sides. And Sweden, along with neighboring Finland, are in the unique position as the only non-NATO aligned nations on the Baltic Sea.
Hence, the nation spent the Cold War years preparing to fend for itself against a great power invasion, drawing up plans for how to mobilize the entirety of the civilian population and infrastructure to defend its territory. And then the Soviet Union collapsed, a new era of peace dawned and those plans were left to fall fallow.
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