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Sweden feels it is Military threatened

By Photo: RAF/MOD, OGL,

Is it a call to arms? There is, in any case, a growing awareness in Sweden of a possible threat coming from across the eastern borders. In a word, Sweden is worried about Russia's baltic military drills. The government which abolished conscription in 2010 has just taken the decision to bring back military conscription, starting in January 2018. A few thousand young men and women will be called up for a period of 12 months. It must be outlined that Sweden had adopted a policy of "armed neutrality" since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century. Sweden declined to join NATO in 1949. But an active cooperation has been steadily strengthened over the years since the country became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. In fact, the idea of a return to conscription was prompted by 2 serious international events: the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the conflict in Ukraine. The Swedish government could only take note of a major security change in its neighborhood. In this context of great tension, the authorities announced recently that 300 Swedish troops with their armored vehicles would be permanently stationed on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea. The Minister for Defense has indeed considered that a foreign power that would control the Island -an area of 3 184 km2 and 57 100 inhabitants- would in fact control the whole Baltic sea. Yet, can we really speak of a re-militarized Sweden? The trend is clear. And what is certain is that we are witnessing a spectacular escalation of this "good old traditional" Cold War!

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