Sweden must make up its mind about its level of defence, Supreme Commander Sverker Göranson has said from New York, where he will attend later today a conference on the challenges facing the UN’s peacekeeping forces.
With last autumn’s submarine hunt in the Stockholm archipelago in recent memory, MPs are currently discussing Sweden’s future defence needs. MPs will need to weigh up domestic defence requirements and the need to take part in peacekeeping missions overseas when drawing up a budget.
Asked how to resolve the problem, the Supreme Commander says jokingly: “There is a simple solution, all they have to do is inject more funds”.
He then goes on to say the government and the Riksdag must decide the level of defence Sweden should have – whether the country should choose to send a ship to take part in the operation off the coast of Somalia, or a unit to Mali, or whether the Armed Forces should have more of a presence in Sweden. If the situation in Sweden’s ‘near abroad’ deteriorates further, then the Armed Forces must be allowed to bring home key functions from overseas, he concludes.