The Swedish government has announced the reintroduction of compulsory military service, as part of aims to rebuild national defences amid rising tensions in the region.
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told a news conference said:
“I hope that we are going to find a path to a more stable, robust and functional means of recruitment.”
The new policy will affect Swedes born after 1999, according to a report by a former member of parliament for the defence ministry. Around 4,000 young Swedes are expected to be called up.
The new model will be a lighter version of Sweden’s former conscription system. This time only a few thousand people from each year group will be drafted into compulsory service. People will still, as is the current system, be able to volunteer for military service.
In mid-1995, with the national service system based on universal military training, the Swedish Army consisted of 15 maneuver brigades and, in addition, 100 battalions of various sorts (artillery, engineers, rangers, air defense, amphibious, security, surveillance etc.) with a mobilisation-time of between one and two days.
When national service was replaced by a selective service system, fewer and fewer young men were drafted due to the reduction in size of the armed forces.
Units from the Swedish Armed Forces are currently on deployment in several international operations either actively or as military observers, including Afghanistan as part of ISAF and in Kosovo. Moreover, Swedish Armed Forces contribute as the lead nation for an EU Battle Group approximately once every three years.