Swedish support for joining Nato swells

More Swedes are now in favour of their country joining Nato than are against the idea, according to a new survey by pollsters Novus.

37 percent of Swedes questioned said they supported joining Nato compared with 36 percent who were against the idea.

It is the first time a survey has suggested that a larger proportion of Swedes back joining Nato as opposed to keeping out of the organisation.

In May 2014, just 28 percent of Swedes polled wanted to join Nato, compared with 56 percent of people who rejected the idea of signing up.

Nato’s aim is to ensure that its members don’t fight each other, rather that they work together to safeguard security and cooperate on defence and security issues.

If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the capacity to organise and carry out joint defence operations when urgent military action is needed, for example in Afghanistan.

Crucially, member states are obliged to come to the aid of fellow members if they are subject to a military attack.

Sweden already has strong links to Nato and takes part in joint training exercises with Nato troops as part of the Partnership for Peace programme. Some see this as being Nato members in all but name, while others point out that Sweden isn’t covered by security guarantees.

The Novus study, which was commissioned by TV4 News, comes less than a week after the Swedish military carried out its largest military operation in years in Stockholm’s archipelago.

The Swedish military’s ability to defend the country if it came under attack has been under scrutiny since Supreme Commander Sverker Göransson said in 2013 that Sweden could hold its own for more than a week.

Full article: Swedish support for joining Nato swells (The Local)

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