Sweden to reintroduce conscription amid rising Baltic tensions: Draft will cover men and women born in 1999 or later, though only small minority will be selected to serve
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Sweden is to reintroduce conscription due to difficulties filling the ranks on a voluntary basis at a time of increased security concerns, the defence minister has said.
Sweden ended compulsory military service in 2010 but military activity in the Baltic region has increased after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, prompting Sweden to strengthen its military preparedness.
Military service was the norm for young Swedish men during the cold war but conscription was watered down after the collapse of the Soviet Union as the prospect of conflict in the region faded.
A resurgent Russia and tensions over the battle in Ukraine have prompted politicians to consider bolstering military capability while addressing the shortfall of people willing to pursue a career as a professional soldier.
The lack of military preparedness has been exposed in recent years, such as when Russian warplanes carrying out a mock bombing run on Sweden in 2013 caught air defences off guard.
A government investigation last year found that, with unemployment near zero, only about 2,500 young people were recruited annually, while the military needed 4,000.
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