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Defence analyst: The new money will fill existing gaps

Published onsdag 16 augusti 2017 kl 12.25
Analysis of what the cross-party deal means for defence
(3:02 min)
Två bilder: ena av tre personer i camouflagekläder som springer upp på en väg. Den andra porträtt på en man i slips och kavaj.
Jacob Westberg is a defence analyst at the Swedish Defence University. Credit: Pontus Lundahl/TT and Försvarshögskolan

Defence analyst Jacob Westberg believes that the deal on increased defence spending struck between the government and two parties of the opposition is in line with the expectations from the Swedish Armed Forces.

"The basic problem is that the defence bill of 2015 was under-financed. There was an agreement on what we should focus on.. but that proved to be much more costly than expected, so they needed more funding for this," Westberg told Radio Sweden.

Westberg, who is a lecturer in security policy and strategy at the Swedish Defence University, believes that the deal now reached will basically fill the gaps in what has already been ordered, but it does not mean new capabilities as such.

"This will not be enough to buy more advanced defence material, like the air defence systems, but at least we will be able to increase the operative effect of the Swedish defence forces in the coming years," he said.

Earlier this week, the Christian Democrats left the talks, saying they wanted a ten billion increase. And though Westberg can see the need for more funding, he believes this deal is better than no deal.

"It is important that at least they came to this agreement. The worst case scenario would have been that the Centre Party and the Moderate Party would have followed the Christian Democrats and just left the discussions and we would have had a domestic political turmoil when it came to defence politics. That would have been much worse," he said.

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