Budget will force units to disband: military

Sweden must decide whether to make its military high-tech or enable it to defend an attack on the country, the commander-in-chief has warned as the Armed Forces submitted a new report about the future of the country's defence to the government.

Budget will force units to disband: military

Commander-in-chief Sverker Göranson told the TT news agency on Tuesday that Sweden must allow the Armed Forces (Försarsmakten) to invest in quality before quantity. Military researchers recently finished a report looking into Swedish defence in the period 2020 to 2030, using the budget space allocated to the armed forces by parliament in 2009 as a reference.

“In the long term, if they don’t amend our mandate and the resources allocated to us, we will have to disband certain units,” Göranson said. With the current resources available to him, Göranson says Sweden should aim for smaller but more effective units – for example by adapting the fighter jet system to 60 Jas 39 planes.

He also said that if current budget levels were maintained, there would have to be fewer tactical transport aircraft and helicopters in the future, and the navy would face cuts in the number of ships and submarines.

The new report, ordered by the government, concluded that such reforms would entail “a more or less intact readiness capacity but less fighting capacity”. The proposed cutbacks would also result in some money being left over, allowing the Armed Forces to make equipment upgrades in the future.

Such reforms would, however, leave Sweden at a loss if attacked by a foreign power – something Göranson warned of earlier this year and which he says the country’s politicians must take into consideration.

“That is the one question where we have to make up our mind,” said Göranson, adding that his department recommended putting the focus on quality and more in-depth international military cooperation. He at the same time said additional resources would not go amiss.

“We can’t shy away from these decisions. We have given our recommendations now,” he concluded.

Defence Minister Karin Enström said the Armed Forces report would be taken into account when Sweden reviews its defence policies in 2015.

GALLERY: Secret pics of foreign war planes over Sweden

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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.