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Europe

Sweden To Activate Conscription In Response To War In Ukraine

Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson

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Due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Scandinavian countries have begun strengthening their military capabilities, with Sweden being the latest to update its military policies.

On Monday, Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, announced that steps are being taken to reintroduce conscription for civilians in order to improve Sweden’s emergency response services. It is an unusual move for a country with a longtime history of peace and neutrality. The changes come as the war in Ukraine approaches the one-year mark.

Kristersson said in a press conference with Defense Minister Pal Johnson and Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin that the civil service is “going back to a situation where we have a formalized civil duty.”

The reason given for the reactivation of Sweden’s conscription was the war in Ukraine, but also Russian aggression and a need to bulk up the country’s readiness in case of a state of emergency or an attack.

While conscription details are being sorted out, local media has reported that as many as 3,000 individuals could be called to service during the initial phase of the plan. Sweden has not had a conscription plan in place for emergency services since the height of the Cold War.

Bohlin emphasized that the plan is being implemented in response to the conflict in Ukraine, saying, “Experiences from Ukraine are clear – when it comes to protecting the civilian population, rescue services are put under very heavy pressure.”

“We do not know exactly how many may be covered by the duty. We see that the municipal rescue service today is not designed fo the demands of a high alert and ultimately an armed attack,” Bohlin added.

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Although Sweden had maintained civil conscription throughout much of the 20th century, the government decided to cancel it in the mid-2000s as the Cold War had ended more than a decade prior, and Europe had not had a major conflict since WWII. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the actions of other countries increasing their military power, have since changed Sweden’s outlook.

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1 comment

Opting Out January 10, 2023 at 11:57 am

So very glad to be living in America, where conscription hasn’t been seen for decades.

Let us also note that despite this concession to individual liberty, and the possession of a population that at roughly 1/3 of a billion, is far smaller than that of the NATO countries in Europe, that the US still manages to be more powerful militarily than Europe.

Perhaps the people of Europe should start asking themselves why that is, preferably before more of their countries get invaded, but I’ll give part of the answer to the question of why freedom works where compulsion fails. Because people are naturally drawn to that at which they are best. The American soldier isn’t in uniform because he was put in it at gunpoint. He is in it because that’s his calling, and it means something to him. Another man is studying to be an engineer, and that’s his calling. You could drag him away from that which he is at best at, and for two years, what would you get? A poor excuse for a soldier, while the country delayed its gaining of a first rate engineer for two more years.

This doesn’t make the country stronger, because the soldiers, themselves, are not the only source of a country’s strength, as important and worthy of honor as they are. Each contributes to the national defense in his own way, the engineer because somebody has to design the weapons and other equipment the soldier uses, and the rest of the society, too, because without a strong economy, a strong military can not be maintained, as the Russians learned the hard way.

Collectivism fails, because it fails to see the value of the individual, dismissing it for the sake of the petty envy of those who’ve found no calling of their own, and are willing to speak so loudly about their discontent as to drown out the voices of those more sensible than themselves. Europe has been failing, going from being the center of civilization to being a dependent of the US, because it has come to prize that pettiness, celebrating the worst that is in Man instead of the best. The day it stops doing that is the day it need no longer call on the Americans for help, because it will be more than a match for poor Russia, or any other threat it might encounter. There is no such thing as American exceptionalism. What we’ve done, you can do.

If you’d do it soon, that might be for the best.

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