• Sweden edition
 

Sweden’s defence 'not fit for battle': expert

Published: 30 Apr 2012 11:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Apr 2012 11:59 GMT+02:00

“The Swedish armed forces could not be deployed if the situation would require it,” said defence analyst Johan Tunberger, formerly of Sweden's Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

The government, prioritizing a “balanced economy” thinks that the armed forces should be reformed without a new cash injection; something Tunberger says is a recipe for disaster.

When the new minister for defence Karin Enström was appointed in mid-April, prime minister Reinfeldt said that one of the more fundamental tasks the new minister would face is to keep the armed forces’ finances in order.

However, this may be a tall order, as SvD showed that the need for a balanced economy in the military has meant that planned material investments have been postponed.

The military budget for 2012 amounts to 8.9 billion kronor ($1.3 billion), according to SvD. But the 27 material investments requirements that the military will file over 2012 will amount to 9 billion kronor, and so eat up all the allocated funds.

And according to SvD, this is not even counting orders that have already been despatched, not to mention the Gripen fighter jet project.

Without these investments, Sweden is at risk, according to Tunberger.

If Sweden would find itself in battle and suffer great personal injuries to the personnel, it is “utterly demoralizing” not being able to treat them or transport them to safety, he told the paper.

And that the Navy’s corvettes and the Army in general are lacking anti-aircraft missiles could have devastating effects, according to Tunberger.

“The Navy is already depleted and weakened. The ships haven’t got enough arms and are not a credible force if they needed to into battle. That we have 100 modern JAS fighter jets don’t matter if the lack of anti-aircraft defences in the army means we can’t protect our bases and the air force is defeated while on the ground," Tunberger told SvD.

The problem, Tunberger told the paper, is that there are systems that are functioning as they should but that they have no chance to work together.

”The armed forces can’t perform large scale operations and the overall result is that the Swedish defence won’t be able to be deployed if necessary,” Tunberger told the paper.

The Local/rm

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:05 April 30, 2012 by entry
What country would attack Sweden?

Sweden does need a military but let us be realistic. This is not the WWII era. The Finns heroics in the winter war is not something I see them replicating nor us mimicking. If for some reason Russia wanted to roll over Sweden tomorrow there really isn't anything Sweden would be able to do about it. I really do not see a situation for all out war here in Scandinavia on the long range forecast.
19:41 April 30, 2012 by mibrooks27
Don't worry about that. The US will protect you, maybe even tie you a couple billion dollars in exchange for being allowed to use drones to assassinate terrorists ...and more than a few bystanders, children, wives, police officers, etc.
20:21 April 30, 2012 by Uncle
mibrooks27

"The US will protect you, maybe even tie you a couple billion dollars in exchange for being allowed to use drones to assassinate terrorists ...and more than a few bystanders, children, wives, police officers, etc."

I am sure that such amount of sarcasm would not be funny for citizens of South Korea, Kuwait and Kosovo, which behinds were saved by the evildoer US and A. Also the Lybian "revolutionaries" did not mind that some american drones hit some tanks that shot on crowds.

Sweden either needs a military or not. Not something in between, that would be sucking funds, but still be ineffective.

I tend to believe that appointing a woman naval captain, who never in her life even dreamed of being able to coordinate armored divisions with NAVY and airforce, while thousands infantry are dying in a theoretical battle, where hospitals are needed, was an error that came out polit-correctness and not a real ability.

But the above is a bull, since if radiation and bio equipment are needed, there is no point of further warfare. We all need shovels then.

The ONLY thing Sweden needs of a conventional warfare, is special forces to assist NATO, guerilla trained infantry (of which a lot combat engineers and alpine infantry), effective anti-arcraft and anti-armor forces and fast and deadly NAVY that can do hit and run with long range surface to surface missiles and hunt submarines.

This force will make any invasion of Russians, or whoever else, simply disappear in the Swedish forests, swamps and northern mountains. Otherwise close the business and invest the funds in other stuff.

As for Gripen, it is supposedly paying for itself from sales to others.
20:26 April 30, 2012 by Kublai
There is not so much an outer threat Sweden needs to worry about, more a threat from within. As far as I know the following terroristorganisations have either official (paid for by swedish tax money) offices or leadership structures or operators and followers - Al Aqsa Martyrs, Hamas, Hezbollah, Tulo, Hezb-ut-Tharir, Jaamat Islamyia, Al Qaida, Al Shabaab, Islamic Jihad, Talibans and probably several others. I know that the swedish government end especially media thinks the best of them but I still fear that those people are the biggest threat to Sweden and Europe.
09:28 May 1, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Sweden needs to be willing to put more into it's military otherwise get out of the way. Sweden insisted in being involved in the action in Libya for the sake of keeping up appearances. The problem is that Sweden was actually a hindrance to other coalition members. Same situation in Afghanistan. Just pack it in if you're not really committed. At least it would be an honest position. Sweden is a free rider with its military allies.
17:44 May 1, 2012 by isenhand
lack of protection against radiation, chemical and biological warfare - Interesting to pick that as Sweden has a good CBRN facility in Umeå + new CBRN platoons in Hv.

That fact that the Swedish army does not form an effective defence we have known for some time now, so nothing new here. It has so many things wrong I would find it hard to know where to start. Certainly, lack of air defence would come towards the top but we also have an overly heavy reliance on light infantry and insufficient support units. The army also needs more combat orientated training (this includes Hv) - see the current Försvarsutbildning catalogue; no combat training but they still train artists! I could go on ...

Basically the current government has made a mess of the defence of this country. Lack of finances certain forms part of that but the whole thinking and way the government has done things has gone wrong!

I think Sweden has too much of we wont ever go to war mentality that leads to the problems with the defence but as Sun Tzu says :

The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

But I don't think the government has ever heard of Sun Tzu!!
01:25 May 2, 2012 by SecondGen
Seems to me a Swedish sub was leased to the USA for a year or more and in various tests managed to sink super-carriers multiple times.

So, if they can hide in the sea and not be found, and the JAS can control the air, then they just need to worry about overland routes and the bridge.

Norway, Finland, Denmark probably aren't massing forces on the border. They probably don't have a whole lot to fear in the long run but someone wants to make a case to spend a whole lotta money.
08:53 May 2, 2012 by isenhand
Norway, Finland, Denmark probably aren't massing forces on the border. - not forgetting that Sweden has a commitment to aid in the defence of those countries and we have seen an increase in the Russian military in the Western military district and the new Russian Arctic brigades. Sweden also has a commitment to defend the EU as a whole as well. So, we should look to the boarders of Sweden but to the boarders of the EU and Norway.
09:23 May 2, 2012 by robban70226
Sweden does not need a military but let us be realistic, maybe they can be used better as polis?? much needed there
10:42 May 2, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
Never understood Swedens objection to a professional armed forces akin to the UK or USA. An article in DN last year showed that for every infantryman there were 3-4 officers doing deskjobs..hardly an efficient way to run an army. As a Swedish officer in a military career...what exactly is the best you can do ...maybe be a blue-beret in some third world country, no I think its time for them to radically rethink .....after all Sweden is no longer of any strategic importance & has no natural resources that the USA needs, during the cold war Sweden was never invaded by the Soviets...NOT because Sweden was neutral..but because the SOVIETS were NEVER interested !!!!! Sweden is a backwater.....& thats OK ...right ?
Today's headlines
Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

Business & Money
Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall
A Vattenfall plant in Germany. Photo: TT

Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has reported losses for the third quarter in a row. READ  

International
Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza
Malala receives the Children's Prize from Queen Silvia. Photo: TT

Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza

UPDATED: Girls' rights champion Malala Yousafzai, who was in Sweden to accept the World's Children's Prize on Wednesday, said she would use all her winnings to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,005
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN