In the government bill ‘Totalförsvaret 2021–2025’ (Total Defence 2021–2025), the Government is proposing a substantial increase of capabilities in both military and civilian defence.
The bill includes proposals on a new and expanded war organisation with reinforcements in all branches and functions of defence, as well as the re-establishment of five regiments and one air wing.
The bill also includes substantial investment in military equipment, reinforcements of cyber defence, ammunition and foreign intelligence capabilities, and a doubling of basic-training volumes. Within the civilian defence, resilience is strengthened in several important societal functions.
The Government’s proposal is based on an agreement between the government parties, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party.
“This represents the largest increase in the level of ambition in defence capabilities in 70 years. The bill is based on the defence commissions proposal for both the civilian and military defence. It is a signal to the Swedish people and our neighbourhood that we are taking the security situation extremely seriously,” says Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist.
During the period 2021–2025, the level of funding to the Armed Forces will have increased by SEK 27.5 billion, compared with 2020. In total, SEK 79 billion will be allocated to military defence during the period.
The decisions that have been made and proposed by the Government during the period 2014–2020, will mean that the military defence will have increased its funding by 85 per cent in fixed prices between 2014 and 2025.
In 2023, the Government will implement a control station to evaluate the implementation of the Defence Bill to ensure that the reinforcement and cost development is in phase according to the Riksdag's decision on direction and financial framework.
The investments mean that total defence capabilities continue to be strengthened and that total defence is being shaped and dimensioned to address an armed attack against Sweden, including acts of war in Swedish territory.
“The proposals in the bill should be seen against the background of the deteriorating security situation in Sweden’s neighbourhood and in Europe over time. Sweden will be affected if crisis or an armed conflict arises in our neighbourhood. An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” says Mr Hultqvist.
Strengthening of the war organisation and expansion of the peacetime organization
Within military defence, the endurance of the war organisation is strengthened and better balance is created between the active service and its support units. The government also proposes that a new and expanded war organisation should be established from 2021, and successively filled with personnel throughout the 2020s.
Reinforcements are to take place within all branches and functions of defence. In addition, cyber defence and foreign intelligence capabilities are also being strengthened. Substantial investments in military equipment are also being carried out.
For geographical, emergency preparedness and training reasons, the Government is proposing, as previously announced, that the Swedish Armed Forces’ organisation should be expanded with the re-establishment with a number of regiments and an air wing.
The organisational units to be re-established are:
-- the Norrland Dragoon Regiment (K 4) in Arvidsjaur;
-- the Älvsborg Amphibious Regiment (Amf 4) in Gothenburg;
-- Uppland Wing (F 16) in Uppsala;
-- the Bergslagen Artillery Regiment (A 9) in Kristinehamn;
-- the Dalarna Regiment (I 13) in Falun; and
-- the Västernorrland Regiment (I 21) in Sollefteå, with a training detatchment in Östersund
More recruits for national military service
The total number of positions in the war organisation is expected to increase to approximately 90 000, which can be compared with 60 000 positions in 2020. This means that the number of people undergoing national total defence service basic training will be gradually increased to 8 000 per year until 2025.
Strengthened civilian defence
Civil and military defence reinforce each other. Alongside the increased funding to military defence, a gradual strengthening of civilian defence is also taking place, which will see total funds for civilian defence increasing to SEK 4.2 billion in 2025. Sweden’s capabilities to handle a state of heightened alert and, ultimately, war need to be strengthened on a broad front.
The resilience of the most important societal functions must be strengthened, particularly the health and medical care system, the supply of food and drinking water, transportation, public order and safety, financial preparedness, energy supply and electronic communications and the postal service. In order to maintain the balance in the total defense, it is important to prirotize civil defence and that civil defence continues to develop.
“The proposals in the bill are key to being able to implement the increase of capabilities in military and civilian defence that the Government considers to be necessary. It is a matter of continuing to be able to assert our sovereignty in an increasingly complex security reality,” says Minister for Defence Hultqvist.