The Corner

Sweden, Jolted Awake

In 1982, Alva Myrdal, one half of the famous Swedish couple whose other half was Gunnar, won the Nobel Peace Prize. She shared it with Alfonso García Robles, a Mexican diplomat long involved in disarmament. In her Nobel lecture, Myrdal said, “I should in the beginning like to emphasize that I am particularly gratified that on this occasion the award goes to two citizens of nations which are both denuclearized and non-allied.”

An interesting woman, Mrs. Myrdal, about whom I wrote in my history of the peace prize.

And what of her country today?  Also interesting — very. Not long ago, I went to Sweden to report on its defense standing. The country has been “jolted awake,” as I say in the title of my piece (published at NRO this morning, here). Putin’s Russia has concentrated its mind, as it has concentrated minds throughout the Baltic region.

Will Sweden join NATO, officially? (It has long been something like an unofficial member.) Will it always be a non-nuclear country? What would Alva say? The tale of Sweden and its defense standing tells us a lot about the present moment in history.

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