Magazine

What's going on with Sweden bringing back the military draft?

What's going on with Sweden bringing back the military draft?

Mandatory conscription is returning to Sweden for the first time in seven years.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What exactly will conscription involve?

swedish royal guard (EP-stock/Thinkstock)
(EP-stock/Thinkstock)

Starting next January, at least 4,000 18-year-olds could be called up each year. The policy affects residents born after 1999.

Can people volunteer?

military hands holding a gun (VladKol/Thinkstock)
(VladKol/Thinkstock)

Yes – as in the current system, other Swedes will still be able to volunteer for military service.

Is it just men?

swedish soldier (Ramberg/Thinkstock)
(Ramberg/Thinkstock)

No – for the first time, women will also be drafted.

Before conscription was abolished in 2010, only men were eligible, but the self-proclaimed “feminist” Swedish government said: “Modern conscription is gender neutral and will include both women and men.”

Why is it happening?

swedish flag waving (balltorp/Thinkstock)
(balltorp/Thinkstock)

Seven years ago, the draft was scrapped because enough people were volunteering, but now – with ministers citing the deteriorating security environment in Europe and around the country – more personnel are needed.

Sweden’s armed forces lack 1,000 active troops as well as 7,000 reservists, according to the coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens who introduced the plan.

What will Swedes make of this?

swedish military armpatch (johan_h/Thinkstock)
(johan_h/Thinkstock)

The majority of Swedes actually back a return to compulsory military service, according to a recent survey.

70% of respondents supported conscription for men and women while only 16% thought it was a bad idea.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Magazine