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ARMY

Swedish army to be cut by one third

Government policies will result in Sweden’s army being reduced by one third and the number of tanks being cut in half, Armed Forces Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén is set to announce on Friday.

Swedish army to be cut by one third

Advance word about the massive cuts comes from a report in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, citing sources within military headquarters.

A government directive to the Supreme Commander from November confirms that the military budget will be frozen at 38.9 billion kronor ($4.9 billion) per year through 2014.

But at the same time must every unit within the military’s operational forces be able to deploy more rapidly.

On Friday, the Supreme Commander will respond that the new requirements will mean dissolving operational units and a reduction in vital weapons systems, say several military headquarters sources to SvD.

The army will be hit the hardest.

“There will be a 30 percent reduction of ground forces units,” once source told the newspaper.

The number of soldiers and officers deployable for combat will be cut to 12,500, down from the current level of 20,000.

According to SvD, the cuts mean that the army will retain seven tactical battalions and that one battalion will be take from the amphibious corps and instead counted in ground combat forces.

In total, Sweden’s army will be left with eight battalions.

The military is also expected to shed half of its battle tanks. The government has said that tank battle groups should consist of lighter units which can easily be transported. In other words, according to SvD, the request means reducing the number of tanks.

NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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