The Swedish government has decided to reintroduce military conscription, abolished in 2010. It means that 4,000 men and women will be called up for service from 1 January 2018, selected from about 13,000 young people born in 1999, who will be asked to undergo a military assessment. The 13,000 who undergo the military tests will be a mixture of volunteers and conscripts. The Swedish recruitment system will be modelled on Norway's. In September, a Swedish garrison was restored to Gotland, a big island lying between the Swedish mainland and the three ex-Soviet Baltic states.
The return to conscription was prompted by the security change in the neighbourhood, Russian "illegal" annexation of Crimea[in 2014, the conflict in Ukraine and the increased military activity in the area. Russian menace pushes Sweden towards NATO, Swedish officials say Russian military aircraft frequently infringe Swedish airspace. 70% of the Swedish parliament is behind the decision to strengthen the military and co-operation with the countries around. The closest co-operation is with Finland, she added. Sweden and Finland are not in NATO, but co-operate closely with the alliance. Their Nordic neighbours Norway and Denmark are in NATO. Sweden has about 52,000 full-time military personnel - 20,000 of them permanent staff and most of the others Home Guard members.
Which other European countries have conscription?
Most of the 28 EU member states abolished military conscription. France and the UK - the main pillars of NATO defence in Western Europe - made their armed forces fully professional (France in 2001, the UK in 1963). Germany suspended conscription in 2011, but provision for it remains in the constitution. There is a debate now about reintroducing some form of national service.
Turkey has the second-largest armed forces in NATO, after the US military. Turkey has conscription for all men over the age of 20. They must serve between six and 15 months.
Greece has compulsory military service (9 months) for men from the age of 19. Cyprus - a longstanding source of Greek-Turkish tension - also has conscription.
Denmark, Norway and Finland have limited conscription, but their forces are overwhelmingly professional. Estonia and Lithuania - small Baltic states wary of Russian moves near their borders - have similar recruitment policies.
Switzerland operates a militia system, whereby men have to serve periods in the armed forces from 19 to 34 years of age, and keep their equipment at home.
In Russia all men aged 18-27 have to spend a year in the armed forces and Ukraine brought back conscription in 2014, when tensions with Russia escalated.
Which other East or Nord European countries, near to Russia or Ukraine, will also choice the same u-turn like Sweden?
Source : BBC.com