Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

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Sweden, NATO, and the Future

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Sweden, a land filled with rich history, has ended their reign of military neutrality that has lasted over 200 years with them officially joining NATO as of March 7th, 2024. This historic event has unforeseen outcomes but it also has an enormous impact on the geopolitical situation within Europe. The Membership of Sweden has been disputed between NATO for a while due to problems that nations, such as Hungary and Turkey, have had with Sweden’s Membership. These troubles started in 2022 with Sweden being accused by Turkey of harboring members of certain organizations such as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party), and journalists that had spoken out against the many human rights violations committed by the Turkish state. The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, would reinforce the idea by claiming that Sweden was harboring “terrorists” or members of the PKK, even though the PKK is not considered a terrorist group with the U.S, E.U, and in Sweden itself. Later on, Hungary had taken back its vote to commit Sweden to NATO due to Sweden speaking out against the current government of Hungary for being undemocratic. 

Sweden has played a massive role within the political landscape throughout the years, from being one of the progressive countries in Europe to helping give international aid to countries such as the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) during decolonization, and supporting Palestinian independence throughout the years. As such, Sweden ending their stance on neutrality is a massive deal within the political landscape of Europe and the world. These developments are due to the aggressive nature of the Russian state as well as Sweden, being in close proximity to Russia, at risk of potentially getting invaded by the Russians if they were to keep their stance on neutrality.  Just like the progression of Ukraine with Russian aggression comes the end of neutrality.

Sweden joining NATO is also a major strategic victory for the organization due to it being the last state in Scandinavia to join the alliance. This will allow NATO ships and warplanes to control one of the most crucial trade routes to Russia. The membership also allows Sweden to send heavy military aid, examples of these pieces would be fighter jets such as the Swedish made Jas-39 Gripen, which has been made to counter Russian planes and air defenses. They would also be able to send such things as tanks and artillery pieces, heavily affecting the situation in Ukraine with this new and modern equipment. Sweden’s NATO membership would also allow it to get more involved with the Ukraine war due to them being under the protection of NATO and them finally being able to criticize Russia for their war crimes without any form of aggression, such as when Russian submarines were found to violate Swedish waters in 2014, and the nuclear bomber exercise Russia did to simulate nuclear bombing of Swedish cities in 2016. 

Sweden’s membership has been long awaited and this development has also brought one of the largest potential military strategies regarding the Baltics and Scandinavia. With the largest navy and air force in the area, Sweden’s newfound entrance could allow NATO to block Russia’s access to the Baltic Sea in the event of war. 

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Elias Varesis
Elias Varesis, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Elias Varesis and I am a new member at Stinger as of February 2024. I joined Stinger due to my interest in journalism and photography. Outside of Stinger, I am a member of clubs such as Model UN and Key club. I am also a member of the men’s swim team. In my spare time, I like to watch movies and fish.

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