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Swedish soldiers will be forced to serve abroad

Published: 13 Jul 2010 11:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jul 2010 11:15 GMT+02:00

All Swedish soldiers will in future be liable to be sent abroad on missions against their will. Any soldiers who refuse could lose their jobs, according to SVT.

Until now, overseas service in the Swedish military has been on a voluntary basis. But with the abolition of conscription this month, army chiefs now want to ensure that all soldiers can be deployed to places such as Afghanistan.

“This is a further element of the transformation currently taking place, in which our staff play an important part. We will increase the Armed Forces’ availability to carry our our new duties,” said the military’s supreme commander, Sverker Göransson, in a statement.

All four unions representing military personnel - Seko, Saco, the Pilots’ Union and the Officers Union - are opposed to the new rules, according to SVT.

Military employees have until 20th September to accept their new terms of employment. If they refuse they could be made redundant.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:02 July 13, 2010 by Irishmanabroad
That's like being a Doctor and saying you don't want to do an operation because you hate the sight of blood. Suck it up boys and girls, why would you sign up for the military in the first place?

My brother is a professional soldier and he is annoyed at the moment because he isn't being deployed to do what he trained to do.
12:09 July 13, 2010 by mikmak
Some signed up to defend, not to attack.
12:18 July 13, 2010 by calebian22
Defend Sweden against what? Of course it will be abroad.
12:18 July 13, 2010 by omphus
It would be a pretty weak professional army if the soldiers could choose whether they want to be deployed overseas or not. The government needs to get some return from their investment and this is the only logical step to ensure that.
12:19 July 13, 2010 by Tiddler
They didn't sign up, that is the whole point.

Conscription has just been abandoned, leaving all existing members the choice of accepting the change in terms of employment.
12:26 July 13, 2010 by mikmak
Of course people signed up also during conscription, there has been paid military forever in Sweden.
12:48 July 13, 2010 by engagebrain
You cannot have the government making a decision to deploy parts of the armed forces and the soldiers refusing.
12:51 July 13, 2010 by mikmak
The point here is not whether soldiers should be sent abroad or not in general. The point is that already employed personnel is being shafted because their contracts are being changed without them having any say. The sad part is that most likely gung-ho serve-your-country argumentation is making it even harder for the affected personnel to voice their opinions.

This is why the unions are opposing this, I have to admit that the article isn't very clear in this respect.
13:14 July 13, 2010 by Swedesmith
Can I be sent to Bermuda, Costa RIca or San Diego, please.
13:42 July 13, 2010 by Andersson
The word "SOLDIER" stands for "Save Our Life During Internal & External Revolution". Any External duty must be performed, whenever ordered. Otherwise he or she can not be regarded as SOLDIER. The heading should have been

" Soldiers will be ORDERED to serve abroad".
13:51 July 13, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Proper solidiers do what they are told to do and go where they are told to go.

Now there is no longer conscription in the Swedish militiary, those that truly find it difficult to obey orders can leave.
15:13 July 13, 2010 by Uncle
"All Swedish soldiers will in future be liable to be sent abroad on missions against their will. Any soldiers who refuse could lose their jobs, according to SVT"

It is like saying:"All swedish teachers will in future be liable to teach black kids against their will" OF COURSE they will lose their jobs if they refuse!

As for soldiers - they should go to military prison for insubordination, dishonourably discharged and denied financial benefits. Soldier is a property of a country. It is a tool that can be sent at any time to die without explanations. His brains need to kick in only in a case of obviously illegal order and otherwise he should not have a will or preferences at all.
15:40 July 13, 2010 by Audrian
This is a big mistake; professional military will make it easy for Swedish leaders to participate in America's dirty wars. By so doing Swedish companies will be assured of markets, but is it worth it?

The US is desperate to have a full control of the oil supply in the Middle East. The country that might frustrate this strategy might be Iran, particularly if it succeeds in manufacturing nuclear bombs. The US has succeeded in manipulating western public opinion against Iran. The US might follow this by attacking Iran directly or indirectly through its surrogate, Israel. If the war drags on, Europe would be required to join the fury.

Another area of conflict is in Korea. The disinformation against North Korea is taking a dangerous course. Should the US be driven out of Taiwan and Japan, South Korea will become its last outpost. (The volume of trade between Taiwan and Japan and China is rising in leaps and bounds.) Rember: as an excuse for attacking North Korea by air and sea, President Johnson lied to Congress by saying that North Vietnam's ships had attacked American's war ships in the Gulf of Tonkin unprovoked.

I hope Sweden does not anymore participate in America's aggressive wars?
16:51 July 13, 2010 by krrodman
Let me understand this:

Soldiers in Sweden are unionized?

Is a Fika required twice daily, even in a combat zone?

And,

@Audrian

Of course the leaders of the USA lie to suit their geo-political goals. As do the leaders of every other country on the planet, including your friends in Iran. Do you really believe Ahmadinejad when he tells the world he does not aspire to nuclear weapons? Could you be so naive?
17:29 July 13, 2010 by Ali_khan
@Audrian

You just wrote 3 lines on actual topic and rest of all reflects your pathetic thoughts.

In democratic countries Politicians take decisions with the collaboration of military persons and military react on it. If individual start to work on condition of own wishes then no any organization can ran. So if any service person don't listen or accept order he/she should be court marshal. Swedish soldiers those are in Afghanistan deserve respect for their services.

Middle East sale oil which is a natural resource invented by USA. If no one can buy oil then these nations will die with hungers. So they sale and other countries buy oil. All oil wells are in control of authorizes of countries where they have. No USA, no any European countries have control on it and it is the fact. So oil card is just propaganda. In Iraq USA only providing security at oil wells because terrorist target these well to put whole world in turmoil.

About Iran whole world (USA, Europe and Islamic world) agree to have severe sanction if they don't stop his aim to get nuclear weapons. Even UEA ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba in USA had supported military option last week.

I don't want to comments on your personal wishes about Taiwan Japan and China, and conspiracy theory of President Johanson and North Vietnam.

This is the war against a peoples those want to occupied whole world and impose their pathetic thoughts like few days back 3 arrested in Oslo, Norway and like Somali terrorist group murdered innocent people in Uganda during Football final match.
17:38 July 13, 2010 by calebian22
krrodman,

Audrian lives in a fantasy land where he can armchair general every world situation without actually getting involved. Like I say to my Swedish wife, Sweden is not on the radar of terrorism and extremism only because it is insignificant on the world stage. It's liberalism and secularism will only go unnoticed until the big boys are subdued.
18:07 July 13, 2010 by mikmak
"USA, Europe and Islamic world", umm that's a new geographic term to me...
23:23 July 13, 2010 by wenddiver
Do Swedes ever post here??? A lot of real strange Middle Eastern views. Please keep posting though Audrian: the highlight of my day was reading your list of Good Guys like a nuclear armed Islamic Republic and Communist North Korea that has starved over half of it's own people to death in the name of Glorious leader. Pretty Funny.

Do you really think Iran will be safer with a nuke? I seem to remember Saddam standing on a platform waiving a fifle in the air and screaming that he had weapons of mass destruction, amongst other threats. I don't think it made him safer, I think it finally got the Free world moving.

I don't think the US has to waite for Sweden's Army to settle the hash of a bunch of mad men like Iran or North Korea. We have a Military that goes where ordered, any assistance from Sweden is appreciated, but not a game stopper if it isn't offered.
03:09 July 14, 2010 by ricenbeans
audrian did spit out a bunch of bullshit, but it has actually been proven factual that the gulf of tonkin incident did not happen and was just created as an excuse to go to war. even my stubborn, U.S. Marine, die-hard republican, devout christian father recognizes that fact. audrian just seems like everybody else (well, most people at least) in the world in that antiamerican propaganda has too much influence on people´s opinion. just mind your own business. if these united states attacks somebody for their own benefit, and you dont like it, then either shut up or do something, but nobody likes a complainer. dont eat mcdonalds or drink coke(not that you should anyway, fat-ass) or buy american stuff or listen to american music or watch american movies if you want to do something to get back at us (but DO drink american craft beer cuz it rocks, and sigtuna for that matter). hail king garl (custaf).
15:00 July 14, 2010 by kingdans
Big mistake... Biiiiiiiig mistake.
15:54 July 14, 2010 by Uncle
Everyone had their go at Audrian, so I will just join. Iran declared several times that its wish is to destroy the state of Israel, rather than protect it's oil fields.

I believe that it trusts that the left wing friends of nature like Audrian will block the world to delete Iran as a country if it actually uses nuclear weapons, since "the decision was made by fanatical leadership and the people of Iran should not suffer (and of course we are deeply sorry for additional 6 million Jews, but they had it coming, as usual)".

Fact of the matter is that US does not attack Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, UAE, Qatar. It actually protected Kuwait from someone who actually DID attack for the sake of oil, but it was an arab rather than an american.

In regards to the desinformation about North Korea. 10% of its population is sitting in concentration camps at this very moment. Hundreds are trying to escape this country every month and who knows how many are getting killed while doing so? With starving population, N. Korea invests into nuclear weapons and blackmails like a bandit its neighbours to provide it with food.

And lets recall who actually attacked in Korean war and then relax in regards to who is the "bad guy" here.
18:01 July 15, 2010 by d_s
This is a natural extension of the decision to discontinue conscription. I think that this decision will cause the military to evolve further to a certain direction due to changing type of personnel that it will only be able to attract. Military capability and the role in the monopoly of violence needs to be general - that is one of the big societal advantages gained via conscription. Alas, Swedish decision makers are showing a serious streak of recklessness. In a democracy its the voters' fault. I am not going to say: Bad Swedes! It really is so that often a nation deserves its leaders. We reap what we sow, say.

And yes, its amusing to see how this discussion inevitably goes geopolitics. In the war of words poor ol' Audrian gets a lot of 'flak', despite of the fact that the core of what he says could be like: "Now a nation needs to be careful and clear-headed in these things (especially a small nation); did we actually do the analysis of what is the bottom line for us or did we just serve someone else's interests and got a shitty deal in terms of PR, blood and money..".

Naturally this thread would not be much fun without some references to all the super-villains steering their rotten totalitarian barges down the Styx of history. It seems that our American friends are very very eager to point out time and again that the justification to their actions lies in the fact that they protect the "free world" from all the nasties, and a long track record of doing this successfully. However, some have advanced to the point where they reservedly admit that US has acted and does act in its own interest and reasons in addition to saving the world. Of course, in saying this one must also make sure to mention that one is patriotic and loyal to the flag. Just in case. Is that weak self-confidence from the designated positive-thinkers among nations?

I think its the job of the American voter to think hard on these issues. What really is the point with the current policy towards countries like Iran or N-Korea? The strangest thing is that the governments of the both countries mentioned are in serious trouble without any outside help. Iranian leadership is faced with a growing young population who are more interested all the things the young, urban professionals of the free world get to do. N-K is just teetering on the disaster, ready to implode. The only thing that gives justification, momentum and credibility to their policies and propaganda is the external enemy, who is generous with threats. Certain types of countries and empires always need enemies. Always. Otherwise the national consciousness might turn to look inward, and that would absolutely lead to huge problems for those in power.
20:36 July 15, 2010 by Uncle
d_s - cool writing. Thought through and eloquent. Frankly - I am impressed.

May I disagree here? What we see now is not a policy of the US that was born through the fall of any checks and balances due to fall of the USSR. There is a famous lecture in Columbia Uni that shows an interactive presentation of the closing of american bases around the "axis of evil" since the 50's. There was a clear purpose and a plan of many smart people and recent events are the climax of these actions.

US miscalculated with North Korea. They calculated well with the attack on Taliban regime and Iraq. After this attack Lybia and Nigeria left any idea of nuclear weapons development. Syria was halted for a while. Iran became isolated. N. Korea will never implode since it lives in an actual 1984 of George Orwell - "The Village" movie style. Iran will survive internal opposition the way the Warsaw block survived Hungarian and Czech rebellions.

There are a lot of positive things in pounding on the bad guys. (I mean Bad for their own people as well as others). Sweden must assist there even if it is just for the sake of being a reliable and good ally. Is it better to sit and do nothing at all when thousands or millions are dying in Africa and Middle East?

As for the matter at hand - soldiers are not the ones who decide whether the transfer abroad is good or not. They have to obey or be court marshalled.
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