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U.S.-Sweden Defense Cooperation Agreement

Washington and Stockholm signed a defense cooperation agreement yesterday, ahead of Sweden’s expected acceptance of membership in NATO. The agreement “will empower our two countries to expand our close security partnership, enhance our cooperation in multilateral security operations, and strengthen transatlantic security together,” according to a statement issued by the State Department yesterday. “By design, the DCA will apply seamlessly before and after Sweden’s accession to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).”

In practical terms, it will mean regular presence, if not basing, of the U.S. military on Swedish military bases. Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson said the deal “will create better conditions for Sweden to be able to receive support from the United States in the event of a war or crisis,” reported The Associated Press. Jonson told Swedish broadcaster SVT that it did not mean that “all 17 locations [of Swedish military bases] will be used,” but “where it is most important from a military perspective for them to be able to store defense equipment, for example.”

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