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After 200 years of neutrality, Sweden weighs joining NATO

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The Gotland regiment of the Swedish army was going through its paces, practicing how to use its Swedish-designed lightweight anti-tank missiles, the NLAWs, that are proving so effective in Ukraine.

The regiment, which was resurrected in 2018 on this strategic island that helps control the air and naval space of the Baltic Sea, is in the process of rebuilding with the aim of expanding to 4,000 soldiers from the current 400 — still a far cry from the 25,000 that served here during the Cold War.

In a major recalculation of its security posture precipitated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sweden is relearning how to be a military power. And pulled along by its strategic partner, Finland, it is about to apply to join NATO, ending more than 200 years of neutrality and military nonalignment.

The new commander of the Gotland regiment, Col. Magnus Frykvall, has a clear view of this mission to rebuild Sweden’s defenses, as well as the importance of the…

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