In the face of NATO’s uncertain future, many nations of Europe are preparing their own defenses. As the United States signals that it will not be around to provide military support for Europe, and with Russia increasing its military presence on Europe’s borders, many European nations are taking greater action to re-arm. As the Guardian reported last year, “Sweden’s navy HQ is returning to a vast underground cold war fortress designed to withstand a nuclear attack, in what has been seen as a defensive move against a resurgent Russia” (September 30, 2019).
The massive underground fortress, which has been closed for 25 years, contains large docks, a hospital, and miles of tunnels. The Swedish government fears that Russia might use some of its advanced weaponry against them and sees this underground fortress as the only location safe enough to withstand such an attack. “Sweden’s army and airforce commands are also moving out of the capital and into more fortified locations, spreading their headquarters geographically to make them less vulnerable to attack.”
Meanwhile, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s “Commissioner-designate for a Stronger Europe in the World” and incoming foreign policy chief, publicly shared his personal concern that if the EU does not “speak with one voice” and develop a “military capacity to act,” it may soon be seen as irrelevant on the world stage (Reuters, October 7, 2019). Several EU nations have already begun increasing their military spending, and the EU has created a central command location.