Discussing NATO’s Strategic Priorities

On December 2, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative hosted an off-the-record strategy session with General Sverker Göranson, supreme commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, to discuss strategic priorities for NATO’s partnership policy in light of ongoing NATO and Swedish armed forces reforms.

With the pending drawdown in Afghanistan, NATO must seek a new mission focus to face external threats while simultaneously grappling with internal cracks and fissures in Alliance unity. Partnerships offer one way for NATO’s to better shore up its capabilities and ability to operate in a globalized security environment. As NATO seeks to better define its partnership policy, Sweden stands as a model for what an effective partnership entails. Sweden is poised to play a key leadership role in refining NATO’s partnership policy from the partners’ side of the table, as it has participated in all major NATO operations since the end of the Cold War and numerous NATO exercises. 

General Göranson has been the supreme commander of the Swedish Armed Forces since 2009. His current position followed a nearly four decade-long career in the Swedish military, which included key leadership positions in the Nordic and Swedish battalions of UNPROFOR and IFOR in Bosnia in 1995-1996, tenure as military and assistant defense attaché to the United States from 2000-2003, chief of staff of the Swedish Army from 2005-2007, and director of the joint staff from 2007-2009.