Skip to comments.Military tradition in Sweden abolished
Posted on 07/01/2010 6:55:47 PM PDT by mylife
STOCKHOLM - A 100-year tradition of military conscription, also known as the draft, was abolished today according to the Associated Press.
Sweden, population approximately 9 million with well over 1.5 million in greater Stockholm, has adopted a new policy which means that 'required military service' will only be enacted if the country feels threatened. In peacetime, a voluntary system will be in place with more stringent requirements that must be met in order to join the military. The new system applies to both men and women.
Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors is quoted as saying "Sweden's defense capacity is strengthened by the increased professionalism"
In the last few decades, the percentage of conscripts entering Sweden's military from the population of 18 year-old males has dropped as the government adopted more lenient policies and allowed eligible males to opt out. The compulsory service ranged from 80 to 450 days and was adopted in 1901. The currently active conscripts, numbering approximately 1,700 will be allowed to choose whether to stay in the military or not.
On March 19, 2009 Sweden's government voted to end conscription, setting forth a 'mid-2010' target date to shelve the policy for compulsory military service.
Sweden is a monarchy, Kind Carl XVI Gustaf acceded to the throne in 1973. He is a member of the Bernadotte dynasty which has ruled Sweden since 1818.
IMO a Volunteer Military is more professional.
Sweden can take ordinary gamers ~ 14 year old boys if they wish ~ and quickly bring them up to speed to handle Predator Drones and such.
The main idea is that people who want to serve, serve best.
It’s probably better that way (less Euro-Mussies) with military training! ;).
The last time that Sweden was a real military power, the Vasa was a first class warship in active service. Color me unimpressed. We’ll give you a call when we need help.
Is that correct?
Sweden is totally irrelevant
She sank on her maiden voyage after sailing a few hundred meters. Yes, impressive.
Thank you. How could FR exist without your penetrating insight?
There are several possible angles.
“the Vasa was a first class warship”
The Titanic had Vasa skinned a mile. At least Big T didn’t sink in the same harbor where she sailed from.
Anyway, hope those fifty-something year old Draken III fighters will continue to secure Swedish airspace.
It’s the groundspace around Malmoe that’s the big problem. Full of hostile Muslims who don’t even talk in Swedish with the traditional Volvo-ad lilt anymore.
Swedish burquini parachute team, anyone?
I just thought it was an interesting change in foreign affairs.
The main idea is that there are those who want a strong military and feel that serving with a bunch of whiners that don’t want to be there only drags down the folks who do.
I realize Sweden is not a significant military power.
Compared with what? Your views? Our dear readers only know that you don’t agree with me, nothing else. As for my insights, they are based on casual observations of the history of Europe in the 20th Century, and of the world in the 21st. Through those tumultuous times, Sweden chose to sit on the sidelines, often profiting while others sacrificed their sons, their treasure, and their sacred soil for the freedom of the world.
Sweden does have the world’s most beautiful women, but her military men cannot make any claim that justifies their existance.
Yet, Sweden had mandatory conscription, while we sat on our fat asses and watched TV, expecting someone else to pick up the slack.
Speak for yourself
“What America can learn from Switzerland is that the best way to reduce gun misuse is to promote responsible gun ownership.”
By David B. Kopel and Stephen D’Andrilli (American Rifleman, February 1990)
In the right to bear arms debate, pro-gun Americans point to Switzerland, where almost every adult male is legally required to possess a gun. One of the few nations with a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States, Switzerland has virtually no gun crime. Therefore, argue the pro-gunners, America doesn’t need gun control.
Yet Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI), in its brochure “Handgun Facts,” points to Switzerland as one of the advanced nations with strict handgun laws.” The brochure states that all guns are registered, and handgun purchases require a background check and a permit. Gun crime in Switzerland is virtually non-existent. Therefore, concludes Handgun Control, America needs strict gun control.
Who’s right? As usual, Handgun Control is wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily make the pro-gun side right. Gun ownership in Switzerland defies the simple categories of the American gun debate.
Like America, Switzerland won its independence in a revolutionary war fought by an armed citizenry. In 1291, several cantons (states) began a war of national liberation against Austria’s Hapsburg Empire. In legend, the revolution was precipitated by William Tell, although there is no definitive proof of his existence.
Over the next century, the Swiss militia liberated most Switzerland from the Austrians. The ordinary citizens who composed the militia used the deadliest assault weapons the time, swords and bows. Crucial to the Swiss victory was the motivation of the free Swiss troops.
From the very first years of Swiss independence, the Swiss were commanded to keep and bear arms. After 1515. Switzerland adopted a policy of armed neutrality. For the next four centuries, the great empires of Europe rose and fell, swallowing many weaker countries. Russia and France both invaded, and the Habsburgs and later the Austro Hungarian Empire remained special threats. But Switzerland almost always retained its independence. The Swiss policy was Prévention de Ia guerre par Ia volonté de se défendre During World War I, both France and Germany considered invading Switzerland to attack each other’s flank. In World War II, Hitler wanted the Swiss gold reserves and needed free communications and transit through Switzerland to supply Axis forces in the Mediterranean. But when military planners looked at Switzerland’s well-armed citizenry, mountainous terrain, and civil defence fortifications, Switzerland lost its appeal as an invasion target. While two World Wars raged, Switzerland enjoyed a secure peace.
At home, the “Swiss Confederation” developed only a weak central government, leaving most authority in the hands of the cantons or lower levels of government. The tradition of local autonomy helped keep Switzerland from experiencing the bitter civil wars between Catholics and Protestants that devastated Germany, France and England.
In 1847-48, liberals throughout Europe revolted against aristocratic rule. Only in Switzerland did they succeed, taking control of the whole nation following a brief conflict called the Sonderbrund War. (Total casualties were only 128.) Civil rights were firmly guaranteed, and all vestiges of feudalism were abolished.
Despite the hopes of German reformers, the Swiss did not send their people’s army into Germany in 1848 to assist popular revolution there. When the German revolution failed, autocratic Prussia considered invading Switzerland, but decided the task was impossible.
As one historian summarises: “Switzerland was created in battle, reached its present dimensions by conquest and defended its existence by armed neutrality thereafter.” The experience of Swiss history has made national independence and power virtually synonymous with an armed citizenry.
Today, military service for Swiss males is universal. At about age 20, every Swiss male goes through 118 consecutive days of recruit training in the Rekrutenschule. This training may be a young man’s first encounter with his countrymen who speak different languages. (Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch.)
Even before required training begins, young men and women may take optional courses with the Swiss army’s M57 assault rifle. They keep that gun at home for three months and receive six half-day training sessions.
From age 21 to 32, a Swiss man serves as a “frontline” troop in the Auszug, and devotes three weeks a year (in eight of the 12 years) to continued training. From age 33 to 42, he serves in the Landwehr (like America’s National Guard); every few years, he reports for two-week training periods. Finally, from ages 43, to 50, he serves in the Landsturm; in this period, he only spends 13 days total in “home guard courses.”
Over a soldier’s career he also spends scattered days on mandatory equipment inspections and required target practice. Thus, in a 30-year mandatory military career, a Swiss man only spends about one year in direct military service. Following discharge from the regular army, men serve on reserve status until age 50 (55 for officers).
By the Federal Constitution of 1874, military servicemen are given their first equipment, clothing and arms. After the first training period, conscripts must keep gun, ammunition and equipment an ihrem Wohnort (”in their homes”) until the end of their term of service.
Today, enlisted men are issued M57 automatic assault rifles and officers are given pistol, Each reservist is issued 24 rounds of ammunition in sealed packs for emergency use. (Contrary to Handgun Control’s claim that “all ammunition must be accounted for,” the emergency ammunition is the only ammo that requires accounting.)
After discharge from service, the man is given a bolt rifle free from registration or obligation. Starting in the 1994, the government will give ex-reservists assault rifles. Officers carry pistols rather than rifles and are given their pistols the end of their service.
When the government adopts a new infantry rifle, it sells the old ones to the public.
Reservists are encouraged to buy military ammunition (7.5 and 5.6mm-5.56 mm in other countries-for rifles and 9 and 7.65 mm Luger for pistols, which is sold at cost by the government, for target practice Non-military ammunition for long-gun hunting and .22 Long Rifle (LR) ammo are not subsidised, but are subiect to no sales controls. Non-military non-hunting ammunition more powerful than .22 LR (such as .38 Spl.) is registered at the time of sale.
Swiss military ammo must be registered if bought at a private store, but need not be registered if bought at a range The nation’s 3,000 shooting ranges sell the overwhelming majority of ammunition. Technically, ammunition bought at the range must be used at the range, but the rule is barely known and almost never obeyed.
The army sells a variety of machine guns, submachine guns, anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft guns, howitzers and cannons. Purchasers of these weapons require an easily obtained cantonal license, and the weapons are registered, In a nation of six million people, there are at least two million guns, including 600,00 fully automatic assault rifles, half a million pistols, and numerous machine guns. Virtually every home has a gun.
Yeah, and piss on the Swedish soldiers lost in Afghanistan. Eff ‘em, they are irrelevant.
Impressive rifle. Straight pull bolt is an engineering marvel. The accuracy is excellent, and it kicks like a mule!
HK 93 is the standard issue rifle there these days. Wish I had one.
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