Sweden is a country located in northern Europe and is known for its strong military and defense. The Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) is the military branch of the country and consists of three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force. The total active personnel stands at around 28,000 with an additional reserve force of around 19,000 personnel. Sweden has a higher defense budget compared to its GDP as it spends about 1.2% of its GDP on defense. The country also imports weapons from countries such as France, Germany, and the United States. Sweden also has strong ties with other countries in the region such as Norway which allows them to cooperate militarily when needed. As a result of this strong military presence in the region Sweden has become an important regional player in security issues and is able to maintain peace and stability within northern Europe effectively. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Sweden.
According to Abbreviationfinder, the defense of Sweden encompasses the civilian and military defense, collectively referred to as the total defense. Defense is one of the instruments of security policy. The resources of the total defense must be able to contribute to society’s ability to deal with serious events and severe stress in peace. Since World War II, the most important task of the total defense has been to prevent, through sufficient force and preparedness, from attacks against the country. After all, if we were attacked, we could avert an invasion.
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After the end of the Cold War and consequent upheavals in Europe, the Riksdag 2000, 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2010 decided on major changes. It was considered that Sweden’s security had been significantly strengthened with increasing European integration, in particular through the Baltic States and Poland’s membership of the EU and NATO. At the same time, other types of serious, cross-border threats to our security arose. The new threats were due, among other things, to regional conflicts, organized crime, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. These threats were assessed in a wider perspective than the national ones and were considered to be best addressed through international cooperation. The favorable development in our surroundings enabled a reduction in the volume of the total defense. In the years 2010–17, the provisions for carrying out basic training with military service were not applied. Instead, soldiers and sailors were recruited on a voluntary basis to be employed as full-time or part-time personnel or to be part of the home defense. However, the regulations regarding military duty remained dormant.
In 2017, the government decided to reintroduce the obligation to design and carry out basic education with military service. The decision meant that the women and men who were deemed suitable could be called to design and enroll for basic education with military service. The first basic education with conscription was started in 2018. The individual’s will to carry out conscription is an important selection criterion. Prior to 2010, women were not covered by the duty of military service. The woman who wanted to do the military service had to voluntarily apply for a design in order to carry out military service after enrollment under the same conditions as the men. The four main tasks are to defend Sweden against armed attacks, to assert our territorial integrity, to contribute to peace and security in the outside world and to strengthen Swedish society in the face of severe pressure in peace.
In 2017, there were just over 50,000 women and men in the Armed Forces, about half of whom were in the Home Guard. See the Armed Forces and the Home Guard.
The civil defense is not an authority but encompasses all the social functions required both in peace and in crises and in war. Everyone who lives in Sweden and is between the ages of 16 and 70 must, if necessary, participate in the total defense in accordance with the law on total defense obligation. A large number of citizens are affiliated with one of the many voluntary defense organizations, which have tasks in both civil and military defense. Since 2009, the Civil Defense Coordination and Responsibility Authority has been responsible for coordination within the civil defense.
1870-1918 The early industrialization
Economically and classically, this period was characterized by the rapid industrialization. From the beginning, industrialization was characterized by extensive exports, which was a consequence of rising demand for the classic export products of timber and iron. The traditional way of life and the division of class in the old stand society were changed by the new mode of production. Landless and other poor people from the country came to form the new working class in the ever-growing cities – or were forced to emigrate.
The working class organized early – both professionally and politically. It happened already in the 1880s. During the rapid industrial growth, the antiquated work organization of the craftsmen was soon out-competed. In parallel with the professional work for higher wages and shorter working hours, the political struggles were to fight for ordinary and equal suffrage. The right to vote was the most important issue for the young labor movement during the first four decades.
Unlike the conditions in the Scandinavian neighboring countries, Denmark and Norway, the Swedish upper class, which consisted of the earth aristocracy, the peasants, the officials and the new bourgeois layers were united in the opposition to a more democratic state structure. Liberalism was not very developed in Sweden, and it made the labor movement largely characterized by a democratic-socialist consciousness. Parliamentary work was put at the top. The Social Democratic strategy, which was to obtain a majority in the Riksdag and then to revise the Constitution, was considered the key issue of socialism. With representation in this field, the working class was to gain the necessary power to guide the development of society. In 1908, then universal suffrage was introduced – for men. The women were given the right to vote in 1918.
Political conditions tightened during the run-up to World War I. The contradictions between the big blocks manifested among other things. in two cases. One was the 1909 strike when the trade union movement suffered a major defeat. The second was the so-called “Borggårdskup” in 1912, when the circle around the court and the Conservatives got rid of the Liberal government with coup-like methods and shattered the plans for a limited voting reform.
The world war and the dramatic political events of the end of the war – the Russian revolution and the collapse of the German empire – also caused a political climate change in Sweden. Conservative politicians capitulated and opened the way for a more democratic state form. It was the labor movement and the liberals who first and foremost supported this political breakthrough, but it was the industrial interests that made the final impression. It was the large industry in particular who wanted to relax in the labor market and understood the importance of having a broad political agreement to achieve this goal.
Split in the labor movement
The Swedish labor movement was given a reformist impression early on. The policy was to improve the social and economic conditions of the working class. This should be done through cooperation and negotiation. But the movement also contained many oppositionists who reacted to the ruling ideology. The younger generation in the party – especially around the Socialist Youth League – wanted a sharper class policy with a clearer profile and a break with parliamentary cooperation with the Liberals.
The conflict was compounded by the outbreak of war and the explosion of the international labor movement. The party would not be able to hold together in the long run. In 1917, the Swedish Social Democracy was blown up, and the opposition forces formed Sweden’s Left Social Democratic Party. This party later joined the Communist International and was renamed the Communist Party of Sweden.