Secret Swedish-American Military Cooperation Revealed
An unexpected report has appeared of closer relations than previously revealed between neutral Sweden and the United States during the Cold War.
During the Cold War Sweden was officially neutral, in between the American-led NATO and the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact. But over the years a number of reports have appeared about secret Swedish cooperation with the Western military alliance against the Soviets.
As early as the 1950’s, a Swedish spy plane carrying NATO radio listening equipment was shot down by the Soviets over the Baltic. The truth of that mission was kept secret for decades. Pilot error during a training mission was the official explanation.
Now a writer and journalist who worked for the National Defence Radio Establishment has come forward and revealed secret cooperation with the United States as late as the mid-80’s. The radio establishment, like its American counterpart the National Security Agency and GCHQ in Britain, monitors foreign radio transmissions to gain intelligence.
In a regular summer series on Swedish Radio where guests play favorite records and talk about their lives, writer Mikael Engström says that during his time at the radio spy agency, twice a year American transport planes would land at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, carrying the latest in signal surveillance equipment to be used at the establishment’s bases. He also describes how a Swedish signals surveillance ship actually carried American equipment, which was operated by American personnel.
Experts point out that the government here has always claimed that foreign military personnel have never carried out operations on Swedish soil.