As we have been reporting, as economies decline across the globe and the plantation workers of Slavelandia suffer deepening economic pain, nations are stealing more of the plantation workers’ taxes to enrich the war machine.
In Sweden for example, their currency, the crown, is trading at around its weakest level against the euro since the Panic of ’08, and the nation is diving into recession.
“It’s not that no one saw this coming,” Riksbank Governor Erik Thedeen said at the end of February. “The Riksbank has warned about this … for a long time. And now it is clear that it is a problem.”
Yet, despite the economic pain, Swedish forces held their largest military drill in decades, as Europe militarizes over what countries see as the rising threat of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
The exercise, called Aurora 2023, focused on security in the Baltic Sea region and included 26,000 troops.
Sweden, which is increasing its military budget by 63 percent over the next five years, is expected to join the alliance but has been blocked by Turkey and Hungary. Fourteen other countries participated in the drills, including NATO members and Ukrainian troops.
The drills, which spanned from 17 April to 11 May, were first planned in 2015, but Stockholm noted that the ante has been upped since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its likely acceptance into NATO.
Sweden has had a close military relationship with the U.S. and NATO over the past decade. One colonel even said its air force’s “interoperability with NATO is already well established” and that the recent drills only further proved that point, WSWS.org reported.
The exercise focused on countering a large-scale attack on the country, Swedish Brig. Gen. Stefan Andersson said. The exercise was conducted in the air, on the ground, and at sea, according to the Swedish military.
“Together with military units from our partner countries we build security and, concurrently, reinforce the Swedish operational capability,” the statement read. The drills focused on the entire country but mainly the country’s south and the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, which is seen as strategically important.
Some military analysts see the fortified island as an existential stronghold and if it were to be lost, the Baltic states would go with it.
NATO Smells WWIII
The exercises come as the Ukraine War continues to escalate and European countries take further steps to strengthen their own defenses.
WSWS noted that countries like the U.S. and U.K. have provided weapons that Western leaders have identified as “crossing the red line into WWIII.” (See “U.K. SEES BIGGEST DECLINE IN LIVING STANDARDS EVER AS WARMONGERS KEEPS PUMPING UKRAINE WITH WEAPONS AND MONEY” 21 Mar 2023, “FRANCE, U.K. VOW WEAPONS SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE SO KYIV ‘WINS’” 14 Mar 2023, and “U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA: WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES ANOTHER $2 BILLION IN WEAPONS OF DEATH FOR UKRAINE” 28 Feb 2023.)
The WSWS report noted that the weapons now being delivered to Ukraine are tailored for an offensive on Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. (See “UKRAINIAN WAR ESCALATES: KYIV PLANS TO TAKE OVER CRIMEA. BLOWS UP RUSSIAN OIL DEPOT,” 2 May 2023.)
Russia has warned Ukraine against trying to take the peninsula, which is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol and said any major attack would be interpreted as an attack on Russia and Moscow would respond “using weapons of any kind.”
The WSWS report also noted that the Swedish military exercise coincides with the Scottish and Norwegian exercise called Formidable Shield 23 with an eye on the far north.
TRENDPOST: We remind our readers that, unlike the propaganda you read in the mainstream media, Russia did not attack Crimea in 2014.
The Russian military already had a presence there for some 200 years and has stationed its Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol since 1772. Under a lease agreement (which did not expire until 2047), negotiated when Russia granted independence to Ukraine, its Black Sea Fleet is based at Sevastopol port in Crimea.
Furthermore, Crimea would likely still be a part of Ukraine if the U.S. had not orchestrated a coup to overthrow the government of the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. (See “WASHINGTON IS DRIVING THE WORLD TO THE FINAL WAR,” 28 Apr 2014.)
It was Crimeans who voted overwhelmingly—by 97 percent—to rejoin Russia, but it is internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory. The Kremlin sees Crimea as theirs.
Crimea had been part of Ukraine only since 1954, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, designated it as such. In fact, Crimea has been part of Russia longer than the United States has been a country.
Peace has been essentially banned in the West and only small protests have broken out in Sweden over its militarization, while Swedish citizens absorb a cost-of-living crisis. Like other countries in Europe, the increase in military spending is destroying the country’s “once much-vaunted social welfare system.” (See “FU*K PEACE SAYS IMF: AS CITIZENS GO BROKE, EU ROBS THEM TO BUILD UP WAR MACHINE” 9 May 2023.)
Indeed, Sweden’s Ministry of Finance now says its economy will contract by 1 percent on the year due to the “challenging economic environment,” CNBC reported.
WSWS noted that one of the placards held during a protest last month read, “NATO’s war will get our children killed for a dollar.”