Sweden is studying how to prepare for war with Russia

400For the first time in half a century, Sweden is seriously prepping its country for the possibility of war. Growing national anxiety over the threat of Russia has led the government to send out 4.7m information pamphlets to all households informing them of what to do in the event of war. "All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven't been using words such as total defence or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low", says the government. 

The brochure, due to be sent to 4.7 million households, will inform the public how they can take part in “total defense” during a war and secure water, food and heating, Yahoo News reported. The booklet with the working title If Crisis or War Comes will also give guidance on dealing with threats from cyber attacks, terrorism and climate change, the FT wrote. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military support for its proxy forces in eastern Ukraine, along with increased activity and exercises near the Baltics and Scandinavia have caused deep unease in Sweden.

The neutral country has begun to reverse deep post-war defense cuts and incursions by Russian planes and submarines have sparked intense public debate over whether to join NATO.

In September 2017, the country held its biggest military exercise in 23 years, with war games involving 19,000 Swedish personnel and allies from Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Norway and U.S.

In 2016, it restored a troop presence on the strategic Baltic island of Gotland amid concerns over military drills by Moscow, and has debated whether to move closer to the Nato military alliance.

Last year the country reintroduced military conscription. Additionally, terrorism remains high on the agenda after Stockholm was hit by a lorry attack last April, which killed five people. The updated version of "If the War Comes" will be distributed from May.


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