Sweden Brings Back Military Conscription

The following is shared from BBC:

The Swedish government has decided to reintroduce military conscription – a move backed by the country’s MPs.

The decision means that 4,000 men and women will be called up for service from 1 January 2018, a defence ministry spokeswoman told the BBC.

They will be selected from about 13,000 young people born in 1999, who will be asked to undergo a military assessment, Marinette Nyh Radebo said.

Non-aligned Sweden is worried about Russia’s Baltic military drills.

In September, a Swedish garrison was restored to Gotland, a big island lying between the Swedish mainland and the three ex-Soviet Baltic states.

Why is this happening?

Ms Nyh Radebo said the return to conscription was prompted by “the security change in our neighbourhood”.

“The Russian illegal annexation of Crimea [in 2014], the conflict in Ukraine and the increased military activity in our neighbourhood are some of the reasons,” she said.

How will it work?

The 13,000 who undergo the military tests will be a mixture of volunteers and conscripts. “You are part of the conscript system once you’ve done the tests – men and women are treated equally,” Ms Nyh Radebo said.

“The authorities choose the ones who are willing, interesting and motivated.”

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The conscripts will serve for nine to 12 months. The aim is to encourage them either to become military professionals or, later, to join the reserves.

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