STOCKHOLM: Sweden, that had abandoned military conscription seven years ago, is all set to reintroduce the compulsory military service (both for men and women) due to Russian ‘assertive behavior’ in the Baltic Sea region.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, while justifying the decision quoted Russian exercises in Sweden’s immediate vicinity as the reason: “We are in a context where Russia has annexed Crimea”.
Commenting on the professional Swedish army staffed by volunteers the Minister said that their units could not be filled on a voluntary basis: “A decision had to be taken to complement the (volunteer) system which is why we are reactivating conscription”.
“The government wants a more stable staff supply system and to boost its military capability because the security situation has changed”, he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that this Scandinavian nation has not seen armed conflict on its territory for two centuries.
The Minority Government of Sweden has introduced the bill to restore 11-month conscription for all Swedes born after 1999.
Swedish Government has decided that young men and women born in 1999 and afterwards will be asked to complete recruitment questionnaires.
13,000 youngsters will be chosen from this pool, including volunteers, who will then be called in for the process of enlistment.
Then (annually not less than) 4,000 youngsters will be selected to undergo basic training in the next two years (2018-19) in order to contain what the Defense Minister of Sweden’s left-leaning Government called a “deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden”.