Sweden to lift compulsory military service

Until now, most conscripts have normally served two periods totalling around 11 months in the armed forces.

Sweden to lift compulsory military service

Sweden will halt compulsory military service under reforms presented by the government on Thursday, breaking with more than 100 years of the draft.

Sweden, which has not been to war since early in the 19th century, is the first Nordic country to propose basing its defence on voluntary peacetime military participation.

"Staff support will be modernised so that voluntary service constitutes the foundation for the staffing of the force instead of compulsory military service," the defence ministry said in a statement.

Until now, most conscripts have normally served two periods totalling around 11 months in the armed forces.

Ministry spokeswoman Sofia Krigsman said the government planned to shelve the draft in mid-2010 and bring it back only if the country's security situation worsened. Sweden will instead rely on a part-volunteer, part-professional military.


Reuters

Last Mod: 20 Mart 2009, 14:15
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