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Last Conscripts Training in Sweden

Published måndag 18 januari 2010 kl 10.33
Swedish soldiers on the way to Afghanistan.

The last male and female military conscripts have been called in for their tour of duty - ending a 100 years of compulsory service which started only for the young men here in Sweden.

The new military policy calls for contracted military service. Some critics are against the move - claiming this will create an elitist, professional military instead of being based on conscription for the average man.

However, cutback in the Swedish military in recent years has meant that most 18-year-old men were never conscripted at all since there was no training programs available for all those qualified, and opening the service to interested women meant even fewer places for the men.

The new policy will also mean that the contracted soldiers will rotate duty abroad and here in Sweden - so no special training will be set up for Swedish peace keeping troops sent to foreign crisis areas.

In the meantime, Swedish politicians, military experts continue their discussion of defense policies at the annual gathering in northern Sweden.

The center-right coalition government defends its decisions to freeze present military spending, although one of the parties – the Liberals - have been calling a bigger defense budget.

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