Analyst Puzzled By Swedish Gov't Not Pushing Sales Of Gripen Warplanes
In December, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the United Arab Emirates. He left with a $19 billion order for French Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft.
Photo Insert: Oddly, Swedish governments of different stripes have put their faith in an invisible hand that simply does not exist when it comes to defense equipment.
You wouldn’t see Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson performing energetic sales pitches for Sweden’s equally fine Gripen jets the way Macron does for French military equipment—or the way most leaders of other countries with defense industries do for their local companies, Elisabeth Braw wrote in her column for Foreign Policy.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Swedish government has mostly been putting defense exports in the hands of the globalized market. But with other countries’ leaders pitching their companies to governments now investing more in defense, it’s a flawed strategy.
Oddly, Swedish governments of different stripes have put their faith in an invisible hand that simply does not exist when it comes to defense equipment, Braw argued. When it comes to flaunting its defense industry, Stockholm is shy—and it’s hurting Swedish companies and handing lucrative contracts to competitors.
Last September, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia unveiled their so-called AUKUS agreement, which will see Australia build nuclear-powered submarines aided by British and American technology.
That, in turn, meant that Australia relinquished an agreement with the French company Naval Group for diesel-powered submarines. Apoplectic anger ensued from Paris, with allegations that friends had stabbed France in the back.