The PJ Tatler

The Swedish Bikini Team vs. the Russian Bear

Sweden is going to pursue a “feminist foreign policy.” No, seriously:

Margot Wallström, the newly minted foreign minister, has said that under her leadership Sweden will become the only country in the world to conduct a “feminist foreign policy.” That’s a perspective that flows from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, a landmark measure that recognized both the disproportionate impact war has on women and the role women must play in ensuring peace and security.

But questions about what this means in practice and Wallström’s foreign-policy moves come at a time of unusual instability for Sweden. The country is headed for a snap election in March after the Sweden Democrats, an ascendant right-wing populist group, blocked the government’s budget on Wednesday, Dec. 3. It will be Sweden’s first snap election since 1958. Meanwhile, the Russian military is challenging its Swedish counterpart in ways that haven’t been seen since the Cold War.

This ought to work out well. The Swedes haven’t been a military factor since Gustavus Adolphus, and whatever Viking is left in them is barely traceable. Never mind that Russian subs are now sailing in Swedish waters; what’s important is that “the new Swedish government is working hard to send a message to the world that Vladimir Putin’s bluster represents machismo’s death knell.” Time to appoint Dorothy Michaels as the new Swedish ambassador to Russia?