A National Security Strategy for Sweden: Balancing Risks and Opportunities in the 21st Century
Air Command and Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
Pagination or Media Count:
National security strategies should entail all instruments of power and not just the military. Furthermore, the strategy needs to identify both threats and opportunities. A national security strategy must consider the long-term if the state concerned shall stand any chance to take appropriate action and try to shape the environment in order to avoid or counter threats, mitigate undesired effects, and benefit from arising opportunities. Strategy development requires predictions of the future. A method well suited to strategy development is trend analysis. Trends are broad enough to capture all overarching patterns of change and do not include the degree of detail and speculation that scenario analysis can contain. Each trend consists of drivers and consequences. The role of strategy is to shape undesired drivers, support desired drivers, mitigate undesired consequences, and take advantage of desired consequences, in accordance with core national interests and the strategic situation of a particular country. The paper begins by identifying four foundational trends climate change, globalization, energy transformation, and global demographic change. It goes on to describe Swedish core national values and interests, and evaluates the Swedish strategic position in the world. Finally, it develops a suggestion for a Swedish national security strategy focusing on global, regional, and local actions. The paper illustrates a method for small states to develop a national security strategy.