The positive review of Swedish military capabilities comes from NATO’s Planning and Review Process (PARP), which looked at Sweden’s defence capabilities as a part of the country’s participation in Nato’s Partnership for Peace (PfP), which began in 1995.
“Even if the Armed Forces in extreme cases will still need to be dependent on a mobilisation of reserves, with support from the Home Guard, Sweden’s newly developed functional combat forces have an operative capacity and combat competence which would in the first instance deter an attack and if that failed can defend the country against all but the most determined and drawn-out attacks,” concluded NATO, according to a document published by the Swedish Defence Ministry.
“When it comes to national defence, Sweden’s land (including the Home Guard), sea, and air combat forces, with support of the Armed Forces logistics organisation, maintain a significant capacity for an independent and coordinated action without support from others.”
Speaking with Sveriges Radio (SR), Swedish defence minister Sten Tolgfors referred to the results of Nato’s review as “unbelievably high marks” for the new Swedish defence model.
The report is based in part on a future constellation for Sweden’s Armed Forces set to be put in place starting in 2014.
Despite the overall positive review from Nato, Fredrik Lindvall, a security analyst with the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), told SR the review is line with the defence and security policy Sweden has had for the last 20 years which presupposes a reliance on other nations.
According to Tolgfors, Sweden’s move to voluntary recruitment of soldiers remains a challenge, something which Nato also points out in its review.
“It’s the main challenge ahead of us but we can also point out that so far we’ve had ten applicants per vacancy in the new basic military training for new volunteers,” he said.