“…Sweden was forced to instate a military draft for both men and women Thursday due to the uncertain environment in Europe.
Up to 4,000 men and women will be called upon to serve the military and this is the first time women are being drafted. The country abolished compulsory service in 2010, but has decided to bring it back to reimburse the military.
The drafted individuals will be selected from 13,000 young people born in 1999 and they will all go under a military assessment.
“You are part of the conscript system once you’ve done the tests – men and women are treated equally,” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, a defence ministry spokeswoman to the BBC. “The authorities choose the ones who are willing, interested and motivated.”
The Swedish armed forces currently have about 20,000 people enlisted. 84% of them are men and 16% are women.
Due to the recent volatile environment in Europe, Sweden wants to be ready for war and its current numbers are apparently not cutting it.
“The all-volunteer recruitment hasn’t provided the Armed Forces with enough trained personnel. The re-activating of conscription is needed for military readiness,” said the Swedish government.
Sweden has recently entered into a state of chaos due to the migrant crisis. On top of that, government leaders are worried about Russia’s recent Baltic military drills.
In September, Sweden made a statement to Russia by stationing troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.
“Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist described the move as sending a signal after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its “increasing pressure” on the neighboring Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,” writes CNS News.
“We have a Russian annexation of Crimea, we have the aggression in Ukraine, we have more exercise activities in our neighborhood. So we have decided to build a stronger national defense,” said Hultqvist, expressing similar sentiments to Reuters. “The decision to activate conscription is part of that.”
“For two decades, our contingency planning was low,” said Christer Stoltz, chief of contingency planning. “Now, we need to look at our plans.”
“70% of parliament is behind the decision to strengthen the military and co-operation with the countries around us,” said Radebo.
However, the country is going to have to channel more funds in order to increase their defense capabilities.
“In 2015, Sweden’s military expenditure dropped to 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product, down from 2.5 percent in 1991 as the Cold War came to an end, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,” writes CNS News.
“On Tuesday, Micael Byden, head of Sweden’s armed forces, said an additional 6.5 billion kronor ($718 million), or a 15 percent budget boost, was needed to increase the country’s military’s capabilities in the coming years. This was to be added to the 45 billion kronor ($5 billion) the government had earmarked for 2017.”
Hultqvist criticized the country’s past leadership for underestimating Russia after the Cold War.
“Politicians at the time maybe thought that the future would be more sunny than the reality is today,” said Hultqvist. “From my point of view, many mistakes have been made over the years. The security situation and what could come in the future was underestimated.”
Author’s note: So Sweden has Russia on their radar, but what about the threats inside its borders? They should also be preparing for internal battles. Although Russia’s recent moves are worrying, it’s unlikely that Sweden will actually fight Russia. It’s much more likely that the more dangerous threat is already there
Kerry Lear : Staff Writer …http://punchingbagpost.com/ “