STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Members of Sweden's defence readiness committee were given an ultimatum by the United States last month. The ultimatum was delivered by current US ambassador Mark Brzezinski, son of Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Sweden can no longer count on help from NATO or the US if Russia should threaten. Sweden must finally join NATO to be defended.
The ultimatum, conveyed one month ago, was a cold shower for the Swedes. Sweden's long had the assumption that she's protected by NATO guarantees even when not a member - 'one for all, all for one'. The US also had a secret agreement with Sweden during the Cold War to defend Swedish soil if attacked by the Soviet Union. But this is no longer the case, the Swedes were told.
'I've got to be honest', said US ambassador Mark Brzezinski in the 8-page document submitted to the committee. 'You're not guaranteed anything by the previous agreement or any other bilateral agreement. Ukraine had closer ties to NATO than you do.'
'Being a member of the Partnership for Peace is a deterrent, but it's not a guarantee - not as a defence against Russia.'
The message from Washington is that NATO is a sort of insurance policy: if they want help, the Swedes have to sign up before they're attacked.
The reason the US decided to twist the thumbscrews now is Ukraine. This has led to the defence readiness committee, already underway with next year's plan, being given until 15 May to finish their work. The extra time is to be used to research the new security situation now that Crimea is part of the Russian Federation. Several ambassadors have met with the committee to voice their opinions. The US ambassador Mark Brzezinski came to call with his ultimatum on 27 March.
Sweden can join NATO at any time, but the citizenry are opposed to it. The official US policy's been to not pressure too much so as to avoid a backlash. But the tone in Brzezinski's message signaled a change.
'Russia's military activity in Ukraine will assuredly have military, economic, and political consequences', said the Brzezinski statement. 'How will Sweden confront these new strategic realities?'
'It's not realistic to expect additional defence outlays to secure the country. Your own strategy has been to build your security on the help of other nations. What nations are those today?'
'But waiting to apply until you're under attack is dangerous - it's not good enough.'
'There's only one player in Europe today that can guarantee your safety. Waiting until the last minute isn't a good idea, in the same way it's not smart to wait to buy insurance on your house until it's burning down or your neighbour's house is in flames.'
'But of course it's your decision.'
Brzezinski Father & Son
Mark Brzezinski's father is Zbigniew Brzezinski, security adviser to Jimmy Carter and author of The Grand Chessboard, considered even today to be the US blueprint for expansionism in central Asia - Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia.