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  • 1. Aunesluoma, Juhana
    et al.
    Petersson, Magnus
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division.
    Silva, Charles
    Deterrence or reassurance?: Nordic responses to the First Detente, 1953-19562007In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 32, no 2, p. 183-208Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Historians remember 1953 for the death of Stalin and the ensuing relaxation of East-West tensions, now known as the First Detente. Based on recent Cold War scholarship supplemented by primary documentation, this comparative study looks at the Nordic reaction to the First Wtente 1953-1956 in terms of deterrence and reassurance. The results suggest that, while the Nordic governments uniformly welcomed a more relaxed international atmosphere and entertained hopes of genuine dialogue between East and West, they Often differed in their interpretations of Soviet motives and the genuineness of the post- Stalin foreign policy. The tendency to put added emphasis on reassurance (end hence less deterrence) was most apparent in the cases of Iceland and Finland. Danish and Swedish policy shared this tendency, but lacked the degree of consensus found in Iceland. Norway seems to have been the least amenable to a change in perspective. The course of the First Detente led to an even stronger emphasis on reassurance than had been the case previously. In all of the Nordic countries the invasion of Hungary had a similar alarming effect - it swung the pendulum back toward misgivings about Soviet intentions.

  • 2.
    Petersson, Magnus
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division.
    Defense Transformation and Legitimacy in Scandinavia after the Cold War: Theoretical and Practical Implications2011In: Armed forces and society, ISSN 0095-327X, E-ISSN 1556-0848, Vol. 37, no 4, p. 701-724Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes how defense transformation in Scandinavia has been legitimized and which legitimacy it enjoys. The overall result is that it does not have unambiguous support. There are, however, similarities and differences, both between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members Denmark and Norway and nonaligned Sweden, and between the NATO members. Theoretically, the alliance members should be more willing to transform-even if it implies a "denationalization" of defense. In Denmark, that is, with some reservation, the case but not in Norway. Nonaligned Sweden should, according to the same logic, be resistant to downsizing the armed forces and gearing them for NATO expeditionary war fighting operations. However, that is not the case. A consequence of the negative attitude toward the transformation is less influence, resources, freedom of action, and so on, for the defense forces in general, and an even more lukewarm attitude toward conducting combat operations in a NATO context in particular.

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