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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Swedish boarders has been violated at least 42 times over the last five years

Based on a request from the Swedish news paper Dagens Nyheter  the Swedish Department of Defence has released a list of the documented violations of Swedish borders in the air and at sea for the years 2011 to 2014. In total the list contains 42 incidents and 16 countries (out of which 12 are NATO countries).

The list is based on information provided by the Swedish Armed Forces and new a praxis in force since October first 2015 makes the information available to the public. This new praxis is mostly a result of political needs to put defense issues on the agenda.

The amount of violations has increased from three in 2011 to twelve in 2014 (not counting the submarine in the Stockholm Archipelago in October 2014) and so far eleven times in 2015.

Personally I don't want to put too much focus on the violations because every serious nation will train their forces and easiest way to do this is from your country and outwards, i.e. towards your neighbors. During such training an over eager pilot can easily turn away to late even though there is no aggression involved.

The highest number of violations are performed by the US, seven in five years. Russia only six during the same period. This in itself is nothing to get all fired up about and also Sweden manages to do the same to our neighbors. However, two things worries me:
- Russia does not acknowledge their mistakes which could lead to problems if there was a more serious incident; and
- the increased numbers of incidents is a proof of more activity and probably also more tension over the Baltic Sea.

With more activity (and tension) comes an increase in the probability of something going wrong or being interpreted the wrong way which could lead to consequences, i.e. there is an increase in security risk on and above the Baltic Sea.

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