Sweden to ‘beef up’ army

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The Swedish government has set a new target for the number of annual army recruits, from at least 4,000 per year to at least 5,000. 

The new target, announced Thursday, follows on from a proposal presented last year as part of a government inquiry into expanding Sweden’s military defence capabilities. The aim is successively to increase the number of people enrolling in basic training and, in the long run, to build a bigger Army, Swedish Television reported Thursday.

“This is the first stage in a process where we are testing the possibility of increasing the size of the defence force,” Minister for Defence, Peter Hultqvist, told Swedish Television.

Hultqvist said the government move means that the financial and organizational prerequisites for expanding the army will be reviewed.

Sweden cancelled the draft in 2010 but decided to reintroduce a partial draft in March this year when the government announced that 13,000 young men and women would be called in for army enrolment. Out of those, a total 4,000 would be selected for basic training in 2018 and another 4,000 in 2019. The new target is to have 5,000 recruits per year from 2020.

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