Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, is requesting an additional 6.5 billion SEK to increase the military’s capabilities in the coming years.
The government has already appropriated 45 billion SEK for defense spending this year, but Bydén said that additional funds are needed for the military to continue to improve its preparedness and meet their goals by 2020.
In recent years, the armed forces have struggled both in terms of resources and staff. The military has failed to find enough new recruits leaving some 700 positions unfilled. But at the same time, there are not enough officers to train those who have been recruited into the military.
Bydén said the money is needed for staff, equipment, and military exercises as well as for other uses that must remain confidential.
“I cannot comment on it. I cannot say what I am referring to or what the proposals are,” he told Swedish Radio. “They are classified for the reason that they expose shortcomings in the armed forces and that is not something we want to make public.”
Bydén did say that in some areas the military have grown faster than expected such as with the early establishment of a base on the island of Gotland and the reintroduction of surface-to-air missiles.
“Overall, we have a stronger and more well-prepared military today than a year ago despite the deficiencies,” he said at Tuesday's press conference.