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Nato gives high marks to Swedish military

Published: 26 Jul 2011 16:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jul 2011 16:46 GMT+02:00

Sweden's defence capabilities would allow it to independently defend itself against all but the most severe attacks, according to an analysis by Nato, which also found that Sweden's Armed Forces served as a strong deterrent against potential attacks.

The positive review of Swedish military capabilities comes from NATO's Planning and Review Process (PARP), which looked at Sweden's defence capabilities as a part of the country's participation in Nato's Partnership for Peace (PfP), which began in 1995.

"Even if the Armed Forces in extreme cases will still need to be dependent on a mobilisation of reserves, with support from the Home Guard, Sweden's newly developed functional combat forces have an operative capacity and combat competence which would in the first instance deter an attack and if that failed can defend the country against all but the most determined and drawn-out attacks," concluded NATO, according to a document published by the Swedish Defence Ministry.

"When it comes to national defence, Sweden's land (including the Home Guard), sea, and air combat forces, with support of the Armed Forces logistics organisation, maintain a significant capacity for an independent and coordinated action without support from others."

Speaking with Sveriges Radio (SR), Swedish defence minister Sten Tolgfors referred to the results of Nato's review as "unbelievably high marks" for the new Swedish defence model.

The report is based in part on a future constellation for Sweden's Armed Forces set to be put in place starting in 2014.

Despite the overall positive review from Nato, Fredrik Lindvall, a security analyst with the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), told SR the review is line with the defence and security policy Sweden has had for the last 20 years which presupposes a reliance on other nations.

According to Tolgfors, Sweden's move to voluntary recruitment of soldiers remains a challenge, something which Nato also points out in its review.

"It's the main challenge ahead of us but we can also point out that so far we've had ten applicants per vacancy in the new basic military training for new volunteers," he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:23 July 26, 2011 by HolySmoke
I do not know about the regular army but the swedish reserve (so called "home guard" above) is a fraud ! I served in the hemvärnet (dual citizenship) and these guys can not even handle their weapons... do not trust this NATO report.

It is total bull*t
08:30 July 27, 2011 by RobinHood
This has got to be one of the most pointless evaluations ever. What other county might ever want to attack Sweden's homeland? The Danes? The Norwegians? The Mongolians? The Klingons?

How much did this evaluation cost? Who paid for it?
12:13 July 27, 2011 by rise
@ RobinHood

"What other county might ever want to attack Sweden's homeland?"

Who knows? I don't think the Americans would ever dream of being attacked by Japan either... And that's only some 70 years ago or so.
16:51 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Of course NATO gives high marks to Swedish military. Sweden is one of the very few countries contributing with war planes in the stupid NATO war in Libya.The evaluation is nothing but something paid by the Swedish government to support its NATO involvement and nothing more. And RobinHood is write by asking "what other country might ever want to attack Sweden's homeland? Well, maybe the nincompoopians, because...
10:26 July 30, 2011 by rise
The question about who would attack Sweden is as naive as it is stupid. Hopefully none whatsoever would attack, however with the lack of military, some country would of course have a hard time keeping their fingers out of Sweden. If nothing else so just because of Sweden's many rich natural resources.

Every country has a military. Either their own military or some other country's dito. I would prefer that Sweden is going to keep having its own.
22:52 September 17, 2011 by ro4ch
@J. L. Belmar is correct but there is another aspect to it. There are large enemies of Nato(Russia and China). When they make their moves they could use Sweden as a staging are to launch further attacks on bigger and more important Nato targets from Sweden. Nato wants Sweden to be able to defend itself instead of doing what Sweden did in WW2 just allowing Hitler in to grab resources and hide equipment.
08:30 September 25, 2011 by rise
@ ro4ch

"Nato wants Sweden to be able to defend itself instead of doing what Sweden did in WW2 just allowing Hitler in to grab resources and hide equipment."

The allies should be glad that Sweden was left fully intact so that for example England could keep up its import of our Bofors canons - after all it was thanks to England's royal air force as well as other air defenses that Hitler didn't succeed in taking England.

And by the way Hitler bought resources from Sweden, not just grabbing them. Neither did he hide equipment since his troops weren't even allowed to leave the trains but just passing trough - for example to Finland to help in defending against Soviet (I guess Sweden didn't want the Soviets coming too close).
08:41 May 25, 2012 by JohanJohan
@HolySmoke - You have no idea what you are talking about. The "home guard" you are referring to wouldn't be a part of our main offense/defense. Not even close. The military service you talk about is nothing more than a discipline school.
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