Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland are in talks to join the U.S. National Guard’s Partnership Program as part of an expansion of the United States’ military ties with Europe amidst the Ukraine conflict, Voice of America radio reported on Tuesday.
The outlet quoted General Daniel Hokanson, who spoke about the ongoing discussions with Swedish, Finnish, and Swiss authorities at a conference in Washington. While it was previously reported that several countries were interested in joining the programme, no specific nations were named until now.
“With pleasure, I announce that we will soon deepen and expand our security cooperation across Europe,” Gen. Hokanson stated, revealing that Finland and Sweden are currently negotiating to join the programme. Switzerland, meanwhile, is reviewing relations of other countries with the U.S. National Guard and assessing the possibility of joining the programme in the future.
The U.S. National Guard Partnership Program is a lesser-known but important tool that enables the U.S. armed forces to build relationships with foreign military forces through regular joint training and officer exchange programmes. Voice of America noted that the interest from Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland signals that the war with Russia has compelled each of these countries to consider abandoning their long-standing policy of non-engagement.
The U.S. National Guard is a comprehensive military organization of the U.S. Armed Forces. It has an extensive network of land and air units distributed across the country, closely linked with state authorities and local administrations. While fulfilling federal missions, it functions as a specialized reserve formation of the U.S. Armed Forces, supporting combat, peace, and humanitarian missions worldwide. At the state level, it supports authorities and society in terms of general security. Established in 1636, it continues to play a critical role in ensuring both domestic and international security.
Source : TVP World