Up to 4,000 men and women will be called upon to serve the military and this is the first time women are being drafted. The country abolished compulsory service in 2010, but has decided to bring it back to reimburse the military.
The drafted individuals will be selected from 13,000 young people born in 1999 and they will all go under a military assessment.
“You are part of the conscript system once you’ve done the tests – men and women are treated equally,” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, a defence ministry spokeswoman to the BBC. “The authorities choose the ones who are willing, interested and motivated.”
Sweden has recently entered into a state of chaos due to the migrant crisis. On top of that, government leaders are worried about Russia’s recent Baltic military drills.
“Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist described the move as sending a signal after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its “increasing pressure” on the neighboring Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,” writes CNS News.
“For two decades, our contingency planning was low,” said Christer Stoltz, chief of contingency planning. “Now, we need to look at our plans.”
“70% of parliament is behind the decision to strengthen the military and co-operation with the countries around us,” said Radebo.
“On Tuesday, Micael Byden, head of Sweden’s armed forces, said an additional 6.5 billion kronor ($718 million), or a 15 percent budget boost, was needed to increase the country’s military’s capabilities in the coming years. This was to be added to the 45 billion kronor ($5 billion) the government had earmarked for 2017.”
“Politicians at the time maybe thought that the future would be more sunny than the reality is today,” said Hultqvist. “From my point of view, many mistakes have been made over the years. The security situation and what could come in the future was underestimated.”