Mandatory military service to be reinstated in Sweden

A Swedish Navy fast-attack craft patrols in the the Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden, on October 18 2014. (Pontus Lundahl/AFP/Getty Images)
A Swedish Navy fast-attack craft patrols in the Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden. (Pontus Lundahl/AFP/Getty Images)
The red-green government has formally decided to reintroduce compulsory military service for all those born in or after 1999.

Sweden had suspended the draft in 2010 and since then the military has struggled to enlist new recruits. With increasing military activity in the Baltic region, Sweden is working to build up its preparedness.

“We have had a difficult time manning the war units on a voluntary basis and it has to be addressed in some way. Therefore, it is necessary to reactivate conscription,” Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish Radio.

The conscription means that both men and women born in 1999 or after would need to be registered for service as of July 1, 2017, but only a portion of those will be required to actually undergo military training. Under the new law, an estimated 4,000 people would be called-up for training in 2018 and 2019.

The opposition Moderate Party as well as the Liberal Party support the idea.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian Army Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 challenged by winter thaw, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Finnish Air force to take part in joint Finnish-Swedish-US military exercises, Yle News

Norway:  Norway patrolling Russia’s military activity in Arctic with new intelligence vessel, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Paratrooper exercises over Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  National draft may be reintroduced in Sweden by 2019, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. general says Alaska military cuts not final without Arctic plan, Alaska Public Radio Network

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