Sweden to Reactivate Conscription for Defense Preparedness

On Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the government this week will begin preparing to reinstate the conscription of up to 3K civilians for its emergency services in an effort to bolster its defense and preparedness.

Sweden to Reactivate Conscription for Defense Preparedness
Image credit: Al Jazeera

Facts

  • On Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the government this week will begin preparing to reinstate the conscription of up to 3K civilians for its emergency services in an effort to bolster its defense and preparedness. The decision was made in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • This comes after both Sweden and Finland, as another means of bolstering their defense, began seeking entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in May.
  • Following the revival of conscription in 2017, Sweden pledged to increase its military spending to up to 2% of its GDP. The government will now ask the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency to begin educating the enlisted civilians in the field of emergency services and service at the municipal level in the event of a conflict.
  • Sweden's conscription system, or civilplikten, largely went dormant in 2010. Through the system, civilian residents are given societal functions such as emergency services, healthcare, and childcare with a commitment to switch to a military role in times of crisis.
  • In March 2022, conscription was supported by every party in the Swedish parliament. Given Russia's invasion, Pål Jonson of the Moderate Party said the government has so far "acted slowly," adding that "now it's crucial that every part of civil defence [sic] is brought back into place."
  • Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several security incidents reportedly pushed Sweden to reconsider its defensive preparedness — including reports of military drones flying over nuclear power plants, airports, and the royal family palace.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Archive, The Local, and France24.

Narratives

  • Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by Fox News. Sweden's entry and participation in NATO are long overdue. The Swedish government has completed its due diligence and should be confident in its NATO membership following a long and arduous admissions process. This is vital in the face of Russian aggression — as shown by the brutality of the invasion of Ukraine. Sweden is absolutely correct to be re-evaluating its defensive posture.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by RT.
  • Sweden and Finland have unfortunately abandoned a long history of neutrality. By abandoning its relationship with Moscow and engaging in the West's "russophobia," Sweden is actually putting its citizens in more danger.

Predictions