Sweden reintroduces military service

The draft will cover people born in 1999 or later, with some 13,000 being called upon and 4,000 selected to receive military training in 2018 and 2019.

Public broadcaster SR said the decision to bring back the draft comes after an official investigation found the military only recruited 2,500 troops annually despite needing 4,000.

Ms Radebo told the BBC the decision to reintroduce conscription was sparked by "the change in our neighbourhood".

Non-NATO member Sweden is to reintroduce compulsory military service amid a Russian military buildup in the Baltic Sea.

Last year, traditionally non-aligned Sweden responded by placing soldiers on a permanent basis on the island of Gotland. Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist described the move as sending a signal after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its "increasing pressure" on the neighboring Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

"I think it's good if you have both women and men in the workplace, both civilian and military, and there is a good mix".

About 20,000 people now work for the Swedish armed forces, 84 percent of them men and 16 percent women, according to the force's website.

A government investigation past year found that with unemployment near zero among the talented youngsters the armed forces targets, only about 2,500 were recruited annually while the military needed 4,000. Nordic neighbors Denmark and Norway are part of the alliance. Sweden's Baltic Sea island of Gotland is once again home to a permanent military presence, the military said, amid speculation over the country's ability to defend itself against a more assertive Russian Federation. That made Norway the first North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member to draft both men and women, joining a tiny group of countries around the world, including Israel.

  • Leroy Wright