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Sweden’s hunt for Russian sub 5 years ago got its military more cash, but was based on faulty intelligence, new report says

Sweden’s hunt for Russian sub 5 years ago got its military more cash, but was based on faulty intelligence, new report says
The Swedish Navy’s fruitless hunt for a Russian sub was reportedly based on an inconclusive analysis of intelligence which was overstated under pressure from the government. MPs only learned of it after boosting defense spending.

In October 2014, Sweden was gripped by spy fever. People were watching relentlessly as its military was hunting for an elusive Russian mini-sub off Stockholm. The hunters returned empty-handed, but top brass assured the public that it was not for lack of a foreign intrusion. It took months for Swedish officials to acknowledge that the intercepted “Russian submarine distress signal” that triggered the hunt actually came from a local civilian boat. Though some of the failed hunters insisted otherwise.

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Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) says some details of how Sweden got into this embarrassment is yet to be revealed and offered information provided by a military insider. According to its source, the analysis of a sound signature, which was touted as definitive evidence of a submarine presence in Swedish waters, was actually preliminary.

“The criteria for a confirmed submarine are rock hard, and they were not fulfilled,” the insider said, explaining that under regular circumstances the military would not go public with such intelligence at all.

SvD’s source suggests that the Swedish military command had been pressured by both the national government and some of its fellow generals to go along with the narrative. Interestingly, when the evidence was properly reviewed and a classified final report into the hunt was compiled in May 2015, nobody rushed to share the conclusions with the Swedish lawmakers.

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist allegedly waited until September 2015 before reporting to the Swedish Parliament, SvD noted, which conveniently happened after it approved a hefty $700 million hike in defense spending over five years.

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If it looks like a ruse to secure extra funding and stir anti-Russian sentiment in a non-NATO nation and swims like a ruse to secure extra funding and stir anti-Russian sentiment in a non-NATO nation, then it’s probably just an honest mistake. No hard feelings.

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