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Report confirms 'one-week defence' analysis

Published: 15 Feb 2013 10:00 GMT+01:00

"Can We Defend Ourselves For a Week?" the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences (Kungliga Krigsvetenskapsakademin) asked in the title of its report, published this week.

The report echoed comments made by armed forces chief Göranson in the media in early January, when he said the country would only be able to hold off an attack for "about a week", following repeated cuts to the defence budget.

Göranson has since been on sick leave for exhaustion.

The Academy's study, conducted in 2011 and 2012, supported his analysis of the situation.

"We think the military does not have a credible ability to defend all of Sweden," the report authors noted.

"In the event of a possible attack against Sweden, we would always need help from abroad."

Göranson's comments in January, timed in advance of the annual defence conference People and Defence (Folk och Försvar) in the ski resort of Sälen, reignited the debate about Sweden's potential membership of Nato.

The report this week called for greater analysis of whether Sweden had the foreign backup needed in case of conflict.

"We think that the authorities should rapidly study the conditions and possibilities of obtaining such assistance," it read.

"So that any potential crisis in the Baltic region can quickly be resolved, thereby avoiding any act of war from being undertaken."

The Academy highlighted a lack of personnel, logistic capacity to supply troops, anti-air defence, anti-tank weapons and aircraft.

It further noted that the Swedish military's increased engagement on foreign missions had shifted the focus away from domestic defence.

The report singled out the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, located between southern Sweden and Latvia, as particularly strategic and vulnerable.

It said, however, that "the military's capacity for international operations is good, even excellent."

In Sweden's 2013 budget, the defence allowance accounts for only 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, a level that has been in continuous decline. In 2007, it was 1.5 percent.

AFP/The Local/at

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Your comments about this article

10:56 February 15, 2013 by isenhand
- lack of personnel, logistic capacity to supply troops, anti-air defence, anti-tank weapons and aircraft.

Also problems with other equipment; most of the army has no combat vehicles, for example, and the use a lot off out dated equipment.

But there is also problems with the organisation of the army. I doubt if anyone who knows anything about military science can look at IO14 and think that's a good idea!
13:18 February 15, 2013 by Scott McCoy
Sweden,s army couldnt fend off a pack of mad girl scouts for a day,much less another army.
19:52 February 15, 2013 by Mark S.
The story leaves out one important piece of information: One week against who? Denmark? North Korea? Venezuela?

Ok, it's probably Russia. What is Sweden going to do against a country of >100 million people with thousands of nuclear weapons? The two possibilities are an alliance (like NATO) or a technological deterrence (like nuclear weapons).
20:06 February 15, 2013 by isenhand
- One week against who?

Doesn't say size of attack either.

I wouldn't just assume Russia, there are other possibilities. I would think in more general terms; say a mechanised division, with modern MBTs, IFVs and APCs, some social forces and air superiority should be enough to defeat the Swedish army in its current state.
15:05 February 16, 2013 by Grokh
if russia attacked sweden it wouldnt matter if sweden had 100X more army and equipment. so why bother.
18:23 February 16, 2013 by Komhem23
One of the option can be training asylum seekers and international students to make a hybrid marine force to putup a stiff resistance using Swedish forests for camouflage. I am sure if these guys are being trained they will develop their skills to support the Swedish cause. This reminds me second world war when UK used inhabitants from its colonies to fight Germans.
07:21 February 18, 2013 by Kalashnikov
Strongly agree with Komhem23.

Like the Heinlein's scifi novel , only thoese who served the country could get the civil right.
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