Sweden seeks largest mass mobilization of forces to deal with ‘Russian threat’
[ALMASDARNEWS] A final report submitted by the Swedish Defence Forum to Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist proposes a major defence overhaul, dubbed "the greatest reinforcement since the 1940s".
The goal of the defence expansion is to allow the country to survive three months without international assistance in case of a military attack.
Among other things, the report suggests restoring the Norrland regiment stationed in Arvidsjaur and the Gothenburg amphibian battalion on Sweden’s west coast alongside two brand new regiments, whose location is yet to be defined. Furthermore, an air wing in Uppsala shall be restored. The number of submarines will be increased from four to five, and more of the current-generation Jas Gripen fighter jets will be retained, the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported.
Sweden’s war organization shall also be expanded from 60,000 to 90,000, including the Home Guard and civilians. The annual number of conscripts shall also be increased, from 3,000 to 8,000 people.
The entire defence logistics, management and other support functions must be expanded, the report said, calling for major investments in quantity equipment such as trucks, special vehicles and ammunition. The acquisition of new material must be guided by the "design to cost" principle.
In total, military spending will be increased by SEK 5 billion ($500 million) per year by 2025, ultimately reaching 1.5 percent of the GDP.
Defence Secretary Björn von Sydow warned of a deteriorated security situation, in which "an armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out", in effect repeating the "Russian threat" mantra often employed by Swedish top brass to justify defence allocations or military beef-ups, such as re-militarising the Baltic island of Gotland after only a decade of demilitarisation.
"The security policy situation has tanked in Sweden’s neighbourhood and in Europe. The Russian action in Georgia in 2008, in Ukraine since 2014, as well as in Syria since 2015, shows a Russia willing to use military means to achieve political goals", von Sydow said, citing "significant limitations in operational ability" the Swedish Armed Forces are currently facing due to personnel shortage and material deficiencies.
Posted by: Fred 2019-05-16