The dynamic in our immediate vicinity

"Even though the direct military threat to Sweden is today judged to be small, the future security environment may contain significant risks and uncertainties." This is how the Armed Forces put it in the letter covering the supplementary budget proposals submitted last Thursday.This view differs in part from that previously expressed by the Defence Commission in their recent report. In the spirit of open communication, the Armed Forces wish to clarify the import of this assessment.

On 11 March the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service (MUST) finalised its annual assessment of the global security situation. The document, produced on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces, constitutes an overall analysis and assessment of global developments and is distributed to senior officials and commanders at various levels in the defence organisation and to certain authorities as well as to the Government and Government Offices.

"Our role is to provide independent assessments in accordance with the assignments that we receive. These are based on an honest and balanced analysis of the available intelligence on matters including the position in our immediate vicinity", says Major General Stefan Kristiansson, Head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service.
"The assessments were made as long ago as early spring and the work is thus not directly linked to the Armed Forces' report of 15 May", stresses Major General Kristiansson.

One of the passages in the global assessment states that: "The military threat to Sweden and Swedish interests continues to be assessed as low for the period covered by this assessment. On the other hand our immediate vicinity is characterised by a new strategic dynamic involving significant uncertainties. By our immediate vicinity we mean not only the Baltic Sea region but also the Nordic region including the Barents Sea and Arctic areas".

"This is neither alarmist nor entirely new information. We have on a number of occasions reported our assessments in response to the assignments that we have received", says Major General Stefan Kristiansson.