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Military Cuts Cancelled

Published fredag 13 mars 2009 kl 11.02

The Swedish government did an unexpected u-turn in their defence policies on Thursday. Instead of cutting down on military units, Sweden will increase ground troops by 50 %.  And 14 of the country’s most advanced battle tanks will be placed on the island of Gotland, on the east coast of Sweden.

The last few years have been all about economizing the military and the process was expected to continue, as the Supreme Commander presented his proposal for the next 4 years. But according to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet the government decided to change direction,

Instead, a new concept has been introduced to Swedish military policy, namely “mobilization reserve” – with 4 battalions which can be called in if needed. According to Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors, there will be no extra cost in peace time, and only “very small expenses” if the country would be put in a state of alert.

”Through these four reserve battalions we create, in a cheap and clever way, more resources, should we need them in the future,” Tolgfors told Svenska Dagbladet. 

In interview with Swedish news agency TT, Tolgfors plays down the importance of the change of direction, claiming the new ideas are simply a complement to the proposal presented by the Supreme Commmander. However, other sources within the Armed Forces called it an “important Swedish signal to the rest of the world”, in interview with Svenska Dagbladet.

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