Financial crisis rocks Swedish military

Sweden's armed forces are mulling extensive cutbacks as a deepening economic crisis looms in 2008.

Financial crisis rocks Swedish military
Photo: Peter Modigh/Försvarets Bildbyrå

The cost of running the Armed Forces is expected to exceed the military budget by between 1 and 1.5 billion kronor, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

Lietenant General Jan Salestrand confirmed that the military was experiencing considerable financial problems.

“I want to underline the fact that we are sticking to our allocation and looking after our finances – but this also means that we have to put measures in place to reduce our ambitions and operations,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

The military is weighing up drastic action in its bid to balance the books, with new directives scheduled to be sent out to its various units next week.

Measures under consideration include: terminating the contracts of soldiers in the Nordic Battlegroup in August; grounding 40 percent of fighter plane pilots; mothballing half of all JAS Gripen planes; reducing the size of military units; introducing shorter training periods for new recruits.

“We underestimated the costs of developing the Armed Forces into a mission-based force,” said Jan Salestrand in a statement.