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US must close foreign bases: opposition

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US must close foreign bases: opposition
17:54 CEST+02:00
Sweden will 'demand' that the United States closes all foreign military bases if the red-green opposition wins power.

The policy is contained is a joint document from the alliance of the Social Democratic, Green and Left parties. It states:

“A red-green government will demand that the USA decommissions its nuclear weapons and military bases outside the country’s borders.”

The policy document only mentions US bases, and does not call for Russia or EU allies France and Britain close bases outside their territory.

The document does not mention what means Sweden might use to persuade the world's most powerful country to give up its facilities abroad.

Security analyst Fredrik Lindvall of the FOI defence research institute said any move by the Americans to close foreign bases would be destabilising in the Middle East and East Asia.

“It would undeniably bring to the fore the need for countries like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan to have their own nuclear weapons. The need for offensive weapons would also become greater in the Middle East,” he said.

The current government condemned the opposition policy. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said he was astonished that the Social Democrats had agreed to the passages about US bases, saying that it indicated that the Left Party was devising the opposition’s policies:

“It confirms that [Left Party foreign affairs spokesman] Hans Linde is holding the pen, but [Social Democrat counterpart] Urban Ahlin feels bound by this as well. It would lead to huge problems; it’s pure anti-Americanism,” Bildt said.

“We would get problems both in relation to the United States and to countries that want the US’s help. The diplomatic service would have to devote significant amounts of time to limiting the damage of an anti-American foreign policy.”

Urban Ahlin downplayed the significance of the passages:

“We demand this of all great powers. We don’t write it about Russia, because there we have greater problems with human rights and press freedom than in the US."

He agreed that a unilateral withdrawal would destabilize parts of the world:

“Yes, of course it would. But we aren’t demanding that. This applies to all great powers. But it’s possible that we could have been clearer here,” he said.

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