Sweden to reintroduce permanent troops to an Island Eyed by Russia

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Source: Daily Signal

Sweden’s decision to reintroduce permanent troops to the island province of Gotland is wise in light of recent Russian aggression.

Swedish soldiers exercising on Gotland received an order Sept. 14 not to leave. The 150 troops will remain on the island until mid-2017, when a planned permanent unit should be fully established there.

Sweden, which is not a member of NATO, has maintained a neutral status since the 19th century. However, it plays a vital role—both direct and indirect—in guaranteeing the security of the Baltic states, which are NATO members.

Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, is strategically located halfway between Sweden and Latvia in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Control over Gotland would prove crucial in the event of any future conflict in the region.

Due to its central location, Russia almost certainly factors the island into its Baltic Sea contingency planning.

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