Sweden Just Reinstated The Draft, This Time For Women Too

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Sweden just brought back conscription — and this time, women will be required to sign up too. Under the plan approved on Mar. 3, all of Sweden’s 18-year-olds could be called on to sign up for service each year.


Sweden did away with compulsory service seven years ago because voluntary participation was high, but the country decided to return to the draft in order to bolster readiness. Swedes who want to sign up voluntarily will still be able to serve as well.

It is rumored that the decision comes as a response to Russian aggression and the renewal of Cold War tensions.

According to Fox, “There have also been reports of airspace violations by Russia's military aircraft in the Baltics and a military buildup in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which sits across the Baltic Sea from Sweden.”

Right now, the Swedish armed forces consist of about 20,000 service members, 84% male and 16% female. Sweden expects 13,000 young people will be called upon now, and 4,000 will be enrolled each year.

Bolstering troop numbers is also intended to help Swedes respond to natural disasters, oil spills, or cyberattacks that could disrupt power and water supplies, according to The New York Times. But there is no doubt that the Swedish authorities had Russia at the forefront of their minds when making this decision.

Fox also reported that Micael Byden, head of Sweden's armed forces, said an additional 6.5 billion kronor [$718 million] would be required to increase the country's military capabilities in the coming years.

The country joins a number of others around the world that currently require women to sign up for the draft, including Israel, Norway, North Korea, and China.

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class America A. Henry
Photo: Lance Cpl. Taylor Cooper

The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.

Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.

"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.

When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.

The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.

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