Military Review

Swedish military budget: expensive defense


Sweden long ago proclaimed its military and political neutrality, but this position does not exclude the need for the construction and development of the armed forces. In recent years, Stockholm has taken some measures to restore and build up military power in order to maintain the desired combat effectiveness. To implement such plans, an increase in the military budget has taken place in recent years, and similar measures will be taken in the foreseeable future.

Loud words

The other day, Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist once again raised the topic of risks, challenges and military spending to answer them. The head of the military department explained why the budget for next year again provides for an increase in army spending.

The Minister indicated that such measures are directly related to the actions of Russia. The security situation is changing. Everyone saw what happened in Georgia, the Crimea and Ukraine. In addition, Russia is modernizing its armed forces and strengthening its presence in the Baltic region. As a result, Sweden is at the forefront and may face well-known risks.

However, P. Hultqvist does not believe that Russia is a direct threat to Sweden. However, the capabilities of the Russian army are well known - and this must be taken into account when drawing up your plans.

Thus, the characteristic features of the current situation in Europe are forcing Stockholm to develop and supplement its plans for the development of the armed forces. Additional expenses are required, due to which it will be possible to ensure reorganization and rearmament, as well as to increase the combat effectiveness of the troops.

Old problems

History The Swedish army in recent decades is characteristic of European countries. Sweden previously had a sufficiently powerful armed forces, but then they began to save on it with a known result. So, according to SIPRI, in 1990 - shortly before a radical change in the situation in the region - Sweden's military spending was equivalent to 2,4% of GDP. In the past 2018, about 54 billion SEK (approx. 5,8 billion US dollars) was spent on defense - only 1% of GDP. A few years earlier, military spending was even lower, both in absolute and relative terms.

The sharp reduction in the military budget in the nineties led to a restructuring of the army structure in the direction of reducing the units and military personnel, as well as reducing the number of equipment. The number of military equipment fell by tens of percent, and the number of military units and units - at times. Nevertheless, until recently it was believed that such a reduction would not have negative security consequences, although it would free up money for other areas.

Currently serving in the Swedish armed forces approx. 30 thousand people. Another 20-22 thousand are in voluntary organizations that can help the army. In service there are several hundred armored vehicles, about 100 combat aircraft, dozens of ships, etc.

It is believed that the size and capabilities of the armed forces are no longer sufficient, even taking into account the size of the country. In particular, several years ago, calculations were made a lot of noise, according to which Sweden would not be able to protect itself from attack - the defense would last only a few days.

New measures

A few years ago, the Ministry of Defense of Sweden began to take measures to restore and increase the combat effectiveness of the army. The first measure of this kind was requests for an increase in the defense budget. Despite controversy and criticism, such requests were generally satisfied. Over the current decade, military spending increased by almost 18%, which allowed the launch of several rearmament and restructuring programs.

In September this year details of the new plans of the Ministry of Defense and the government of Sweden became known. The draft budget for the fiscal year 2020 proposed increasing defense spending by 5 billion kroons (approx. 530 million dollars) - by almost 10%. As follows from the latter News, such a project went through parliament and accepted for execution. Thus, in the new 2020, the Swedish army will have to master a little less than 60 billion crowns.

Subsequent spending is also discussed. According to preliminary plans, which have not yet been drawn up even as a bill, in 2021 the military budget will again be increased by several billion crowns. So far, such growth is planned for 2021-25. In the long run, an increase in spending is again expected - so far in this context, 2030 is mentioned as the planning horizon.

In recent years, in state budgets, military spending has gradually reached the line of 1% of GDP. In the near future it is planned to gain a foothold at this level and then slightly increase them. At the same time, no one is going to reach the level of 2-2,5 percent. GDP in the distant past. The Swedish military and political leadership believes that the defense budget is at the level of 1-1,5 percent. sufficient to solve existing problems.

The increase in defense spending naturally causes criticism. Funds for this do not appear out of nowhere, and for this it was necessary to introduce a new tax for the banking system. The result is a curious situation. No one argues with the very need for the development of the army, but many are unhappy with the price of this process and the methods of obtaining money for it.

Threat Response

It is planned to use the increased defense budget for the formation and restoration of units and subunits, for the construction or modernization of facilities, as well as for the purchase of material parts. At the same time, a significant part of military spending will continue to be spent on current needs.

Exact plans of this kind have not yet been announced, but official statements already mention the need to restore a number of military units and units that were previously reduced. It is also planned to return to the full service of a number of military facilities. For example, work is already underway at the underground base fleet Muskyo - by 2021-22. the top leadership of the naval forces will finally move there.

Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces General P. Büden

In the foreseeable future, purchases of new military equipment are envisaged. So, in the period from 2018 to 2027, the delivery of 70 JAS 39E / F Gripen fighters for the air force is expected. New ships and submarines are being built. Air defense assets are acquired. There are plans for the further development of the ground forces equipment fleet. Judging by the available data, such orders and contracts became possible solely due to the budget growth observed in recent years.

However, in the next decade it will be possible to satisfy far from all the needs of the army. A few days ago, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, General Per Bouden, announced the results of a new analysis of the army and its prospects. It turned out that to carry out all the necessary transformations and purchases by 2030, more funds are needed than it is planned to allocate. In excess of the required about 40 billion crowns.

Expensive defense

In recent years, Sweden has significantly increased its military spending - from 2015 to 2020. An additional 33 billion kroons ($ 3,5 billion) was spent on defense, which made it possible to carry out several important programs and lay the foundation for further army modernization. In the near future, a new budget increase is planned with the same goals. However, even such an increase in military spending does not seem to allow covering all the needs of the army.

The prerequisites for such a situation are obvious. For many years, Sweden saved on defense, which allowed freeing up money for other areas, but gradually led to a reduction in defense capability. Over time, the situation in the armed forces has worsened and requires a corresponding reaction in the form of additional costs. Some of the needs were covered by new taxes, but the situation as a whole leaves cause for concern.

The Ministry of Defense of Sweden directly calls Russia as a reason for increasing military spending. Indeed, our country is strengthening the grouping of troops in the Baltic area, and neighboring states see this as a threat. However, far from Russian actions are the actual reason for the decline in their defenses. Not Moscow, but Stockholm for a long time saved on the army, which led to well-known consequences. The “Russian threat” in this case is just an argument in disputes over funding.
Photos used:
Swedish Ministry of Defense /

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  1. Amateur
    Amateur 9 January 2020 06: 51
    Indeed, our country is strengthening the grouping of troops in the Baltic area, and neighboring states see this as a threat.
    a masterpiece! Russia secretly, at night and in the Plastunsky way, crawls to the new NATO bases created by the Americans in eastern Europe.
    As for the increase in military spending in Sweden, everything is simple: the products of the Swedish defense industry are losing the foreign market. Therefore, there are only two alternatives: either lose your defense industry, or acquire its products yourself, which naturally requires money, and more every year.
    1. GKS 2111
      GKS 2111 9 January 2020 07: 27
      Well, the Swedes support the idea of ​​their government and the military to increase investment for the country's defense industry, but they are already starting to think about the need for this:
      “Sweden’s defense potential is high on the list of topics in public opinion polls. However, it is clear to everyone that many billions are still missing to implement the plans of the Ministry of Defense. The big question is whether the population will be ready to support the arms build-up if this money is taken away, for example , at schools or at environmental organizations, "says Juakim Berndtsson, Lecturer in the Department of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg.
      1. Amateur
        Amateur 9 January 2020 07: 36
        The military-industrial complex is highly qualified and highly paid jobs that require high-quality professional training and many years of practice. And environmentalists are a bunch of noisy and aggressive demagogues. So I would take money from environmentalists while Greta T. "In depres sion"
        1. pack
          pack 9 January 2020 10: 11
          The military-industrial complex is a pump that sucks valuable personnel from the economy into scrap. Unfortunately, one cannot do without the military-industrial complex, but one must always remember that the military is evil for the economy and for the country, and therefore the principle of "the least possible evil" must be used.
    2. Siberia 75
      Siberia 75 9 January 2020 08: 19
      No need to fight with Russia. History shows that this is not promising.
  2. rocket757
    rocket757 9 January 2020 07: 10
    Sverbit at the Swedes, in one sensitive place .... when he was badly injured! Let them, before that we are not interested, their ancestors have long taken care of that.
  3. knn54
    knn54 9 January 2020 10: 14
    Russophobia of the Swedes is a centuries-old tradition. And the more Swedes watch a zombie, the more love of the Yankees and hatred of the Russians.
    PS Today in Swedish schools and gymnasiums there is an acute shortage of certified subject teachers. At the same time, 40% of certified teachers in Sweden do not work at school.
    1. Karen
      Karen 9 January 2020 10: 24
      Quote: knn54
      PS Today in Swedish schools and gymnasiums there is an acute shortage of certified subject teachers.

      And it is precisely because of such circumstances that the Swedes are surprised that immigrants know the history of Sweden best in schools ... :)
  4. iouris
    iouris 9 January 2020 12: 32
    Why and against whom is "neutral" Sweden arming? The answer is always obvious, because Sweden's neutrality is not obvious. In fact, Sweden is a NATO ambush regiment.
  5. Keyser soze
    Keyser soze 9 January 2020 13: 06
    I don’t understand the title - expensive defense and everything is in 1 / 1,5%?
    1. iouris
      iouris 10 January 2020 14: 29
      Quote: Keyser Soze
      and everything is in 1 / 1,5%

      1,5% of the Bulgarian budget is not scary, and 1,5% of the US budget is a lot. Sweden is somewhere in the middle. But it is very close to St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. By the way, what about you?
      1. Keyser soze
        Keyser soze 10 January 2020 15: 36
        By the way, what about you?

        Well, nothing, just commenting that 1,5% is not expensive for a European country. There, 4-5-6 percent or more go to medicine, social programs, and education.

        1,5% of the US budget is a lot.

        They spend 3,42% on 2020.
        1. Alf
          Alf 10 January 2020 19: 10
          Quote: Keyser Soze
          Well, nothing, just commenting that 1,5% is not expensive for a European country.

          The simple fact is that in old Europe, in countries that have not been at war for a long time, the profession of defending the fatherland is not prestigious and is perceived by society as an outdated anachronism.
          It’s better to feed any dark riffraff than your own country.
  6. Ivan Vasilievich
    Ivan Vasilievich 25 January 2020 13: 26
    Sweden, through the efforts of the Russian army, at the very beginning of the 19th century turned into a political and military insignificance. 10 more tanks and 1 helicopter will be bought and that's it.