One of the stated goals of formally non-aligned Sweden’s rearmament is to be able to endure a possible military crisis for three months until international aid arrives, including from NATO.
With the support of its sidekicks the Centre and the Liberals, Sweden’s red-green ruling coalition has adopted the government’s defence bill, which Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist described as “the largest defence investment since the 50s”.
The Defence Bill 2021–2025 lays the foundation for a new military organisation that will be ready by 2030. Among other things, between 2020 and 2025, the defence budget will grow from nearly SEK 29 billion ($3.5 billion) to SEK 89 billion ($10.6 billion).
“It is clear that there will be some challenges for us, but we must manage this,” Supreme Commander Micael Bydén told national broadcaster SVT.
The Defence Bill stipulates a substantial growth in military personnel from 60,000 positions currently to 90,000 positions in 2030. This includes civilian employees and the Home Guard.
Several disbanded regiments will be re-established to train more soldiers. Starting from 2025, the number of conscripts will increase to 8,000 annually, double the 2019 figure.
Bydén called human resources “the biggest challenge”. He pointed out that it takes time to recruit and train personnel, and staff the new organisation.
The Army is the focal point of the build-up. The army will be strengthened, among other things, with a mechanised brigade of about…