This article was written with the assistance of A.I. technology, and has been edited and fact-checked by Colman Andrews.
Swedish law stipulates that all able-bodied citizens between the ages of 18 and 27 must serve in the military. Both men and women are required to serve for 9-12 months.
There are a number of exceptions, however: Exemptions are granted to those with certain psychological or functional impairments, to members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to conscientious objectors who choose alternate non-military service. In addition, Swedish citizens who have a permanent residence permit in another country and those who have already served in the military of another country are also exempt. Swedes who have served prison sentences are not allowed to serve.
The Swedish military is divided into three branches – army, navy, and the air force. The army is the largest branch, with around 30,000 active personnel. The navy has around 15,000 active personnel, while the air force has around 10,000. Military spending in Sweden was $7.9 billion in 2021, or 1.3% of GDP.
The Swedish military has a long history, dating back to the 12th century. It is professional and well-trained, and equipped with modern weapons and technology. In times of war, the Swedish military is responsible for the defense of the country. In peacetime, it focuses on international peacekeeping missions. Swedish troops are often deployed to a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.
Click here for the 13 countries that have required military service for both men and women.
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