Sweden signs DCA with US, facilitating a substantive US military presence in the country


Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson and US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III sign a DCA at the Pentagon on 5 December 2023. The agreement will facilitate a substantive US military presence in Sweden. (Photo: US DoD)


Dec 8, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


As final approval for Sweden to join NATO nears, the country has signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the United States that fosters closer military ties and agrees the conditions for US forces using military facilities in Sweden.

The DCA was signed on 5 December 2023 by Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson and US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III during a visit by Jonson to the Pentagon.

“The DCA is an important step in deepened military co-operation with the US. It strengthens both Sweden’s and its neighbouring countries’ regional security by conveying the engagement and actual presence of the US,” the Swedish Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated in a 6 December press release.

The US Department of Defense has previously concluded DCAs with several European countries such as neighbouring Norway. DCA negotiations are also ongoing with Denmark and have recently been concluded with Finland.

However, the DCA agree with Sweden is particularly extensive. In all it authorises a US presence at no less than 17 Swedish military sites: the regimental area and exercise area facilities at Berga, Boden, Kristinehamn and Visby; the regimental area and air base at Halmstad; the air bases at Luleå, Ronneby, Såtenäs and Uppsala; the airport and test range at Vidsel; the military camp and exercise areas at Älvdalen, Kiruna, Kvarn, Östersund and Ravlunda; the regimental area at Revingehed; and the exercise area and harbour at Härnösand.

In order for the DCA to enter into force, the Riksdag (the Swedish legislature) must approve it and adopt the legislative amendments needed to implement it.

“Consideration in the Riksdag, followed by entry into force, should be possible in 2024,” the Swedish MoD said on its website.

The DCA, in combination with Sweden’s accession into NATO, ends a 200-year-old policy of military non-alignment by Sweden. Although elements within the country had always advocated closer relations with NATO, the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 spurred Stockholm into full-on NATO membership.

During his meeting with Jonson, Austin offered strong support for Sweden’s accession.

“As I’ve seen firsthand, Sweden is already one of our strongest and most capable partners,” he said. “The only thing better than Sweden as a friend is Sweden as an ally. So, I look forward to welcoming Sweden soon as a fellow member of the NATO alliance. … When we add the capabilities of the Swedish armed forces to NATO, which is the greatest defensive alliance in history, we will get even stronger.”

Austin also commended Sweden for its strong support for Ukraine.

“Sweden has shown outstanding leadership in supporting Ukraine as it fights Russian aggression, including providing USD 2.7 Bn (EUR 2.51 Bn) in security and humanitarian assistance,” Austin said, adding that Sweden’s support and donations “have made a huge difference in Ukraine’s battle to defend itself from Russia’s cruel war of choice”.