Sweden’s gov’t proposes a 40% increase in defence spending

Sweden’s left-leaning government proposes biggest increase in defence spending in 70 years.

In December 2017, Sweden decided to establish the nation’s first new military regiment since World War II - a unit of 350 soldiers based on the strategically important Baltic Sea island of Gotland [File: TT News Agency/Adam Ihse via Reuters]
In December 2017, Sweden decided to establish the nation’s first new military regiment since World War II – a unit of 350 soldiers based on the strategically important Baltic Sea island of Gotland [File: TT News Agency/Adam Ihse via Reuters]

15 Oct 2020

Sweden’s left-leaning government on Thursday proposed a 40 percent increase for its defence budget from 2021-2025 with the defence minister saying the move came because the region’s security policy situation “has deteriorated over time” as “a consequence of Russia’s actions”.

“It is the largest increase in defence capability in 70 years,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told a news conference. “An armed attack on Sweden can’t be ruled out.

The government’s proposal said that if an attack happens, it can start with assaults on important civilian and military targets, sabotage and “liquidation of key people”. The whole territory “will be affected by intensive combat activities with major consequences locally and regionally,” it said.

Sweden’s Social Democrat-Green Party minority government said it has the backing of the two smaller opposition groups — the Centre Party and the Liberals. The defence bill included increased expenditures of 27 billion kronor ($3.1 billion), or up to 40 percent compared with the previous deal.

The defence expenditures of Sweden, which is not a NATO member, is currently 1.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

It was not clear when a vote on the plan could be held in the Swedish parliament.

Hultqvist said that if approved, Sweden will have a third army brigade, equipped with artillery and several local defence battalions. In addition, the number of conscripts will increase.

In December 2017, Sweden decided to establish the nation’s first new military regiment since World War II – a unit of 350 soldiers based on the strategically important Baltic Sea island of Gotland. The permanent unit was deployed during 2018 to the island’s main town, Visby.

The infantry regiment there was dismantled in 2005. Earlier that year, Sweden introduced a military draft for both men and women. The Scandinavian country abolished compulsory military service for men in 2010, because there were enough volunteers to meet its military needs. It has never had a military draft for women.

(C)ALJAZEERA 2020

3 comments

  • Welcome to the real world Sweden.

    Liked by 3 people

  • That’s just one more consequence and evidence of the utter failure of Putinism.

    Liked by 3 people

  • I am glad the Swedes are getting their heads in the game.
    Ukraine should put a special effort into developing relations with Sweden. Thay have a wealthy economy and modern military technology. As a practical matter Ukraine will not be able to get much from Europe and the US defense companies do not share their technology willingly.
    In the example of new fighters Sweded would allow Ukraine to produce a large part of any fighters purchased for them in country. changing from Soviet era designs to western will make the huge aviation support industry obsolete. Ukraine need to have a their own repair and maintenance capability for their air force if a war happens. That is just not going to happen with a US fighter.
    Like energy have diverse suppliers is not a bad idea.

    Liked by 1 person

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