Little interest in military service – warning

Little interest in military service - warning
A lack of volunteers could lead to severe manpower shortages in Sweden's armed services, an organization representing conscripts has warned.

Sweden’s government and military chiefs overestimated interest in voluntary military service when they abolished conscription, Värnpliktsrådet (‘the Conscripts’ Council’) said, alleging the government calculations were based on wishful thinking.

Only ten percent of young people said they were ‘very interested’ in undertaking the three-month basic military training course set to replace compulsory military service on July 1st, according to a survey commissioned by Värnpliktsrådet.

“Of those who have expressed interest, only one in three would consider signing up to serve as a soldier under the employment conditions that will be applied,” the organization wrote in a statement.

Värnpliktsrådet’s chairman Jesper Holm said it was “time for the defence minister and military leaders to remove their blinkers. Otherwise they are going to get an unpleasant surprise on 1st July.

The government and military have previous claimed that interest in joining the military was more than sufficient to match the requirement for 4,000 soldiers per year.

The survey was carried out by market research company Markör. Some 1,000 men and women aged 17-25 were interviewed.

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