Sweden is planning large investments in its military forces – the financing of the billion-dollar bill is still unresolved | Foreign countries

Sweden is planning large investments in its military forces –

The defense policy preparatory group proposes such large reinforcements for the military that in 2030 Sweden’s defense spending would be 2.61 percent of the gross national product.

STOCKHOLM The parliamentary preparatory group finished its work on Friday and the filings have been made to the last detail. The group included members from all parliamentary parties.

In the end result both the effect of NATO membership and the threat spreading from Russia’s attack on Ukraine can be seen.

Chairman of the working group By Hans Wallmark ( kok.) says that a military threat to Sweden or the defense alliance towards other NATO member countries cannot be ruled out, even if the spread of war does not seem likely now.

Wallmark was clearly an impressed president by Alexander Stubb about the visit at the beginning of the week and Stubb’s assessment that it is better to talk less and prepare more.

More for all defense branches

The working group’s guidelines serve as the basis for the government’s defense policy report to be completed in the fall. Not everything goes directly to the report, but the role of the preparatory working group is key, especially in those aspects where the working group was unanimous.

The parties were in complete agreement that the defense forces must be strengthened. The list of featured additions is long, and here are a few picks.

  • The parliamentary group proposes that Sweden accelerates the establishment of two brigades, and the brigade responsible for the defense of Stockholm will be expanded from half to a whole one. Previously, for example, the commander of the defense forces Micael Bydén has hoped to postpone the timetable until 2035. In Sweden, a brigade is a unit of 5,000 soldiers and officers capable of fighting independently.
  • The group proposes increasing the annual number of recruits so that in 2032 the number of those completing conscript service would be 12,000 and 14,000 in 2035. Now there are 8,000 recruits per year.
  • Rehearsals will be increased, as will officer training.
  • The group proposes improving the transport links that NATO needs.
  • In addition, it is proposed to acquire four new ships for the navy, as well as increasing the naval officers.
  • Air defense is being strengthened. Acquisition of new fighter jets is also planned.
  • They want to change Ukraine’s support to a long-term one.
  • No agreement was reached on the financing

    The plans are so big that, if implemented, they will increase Sweden’s defense spending to 2.61 percent of gross domestic product. NATO’s current requirement for member countries is at least 2%.

    53 billion crowns, or 4.5 billion euros, would be invested in additional money by 2030. In addition to this, there would be an increase of 15 billion kroner, or 1.3 billion euros, to the expenses of civil defense.

    But the working group could not agree on the financing of the project.

    Former defense minister of the largest opposition party, the Social Democrats Peter Hultqvist considers it a great shortcoming.

    According to Hultqvist, the plan is not on a solid foundation as long as the financing is not resolved. The Social Democrats have previously proposed a separate defense tax, which would be levied on the wealthiest and on capital income, so that care, education and care, protected by the party, would be spared from cuts.

    Another issue on which the parliamentary working group could not reach a consensus is whether conscripts can be sent to NATO missions.