Mandatory military service to be reinstated

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.

Click on the top article linked below to hear an interview in English with the director of human resources for the Swedish Armed Forces, who explains why the military feels this move is necessary.