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Assertive Russia causes military rethink in Sweden

A soldier from the Swedish Armed Forces, looks on from top of a Patria XA-360 AMV at Hagshult Airbase near Malmo on November 6, 2014With an assertive Russia next door, Sweden has started to beef up its military after a decade of downsizing, but a credible deterrent may take years to achieve, analysts warn. In one of Sweden’s most dramatic steps since the end of the Cold War, it has brought back the option of using reservists to boost its military force, making no attempt to hide the fact that the main motivation behind the move is Russia. Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist went on TV this week to argue the move was necessary against the backdrop of Russia’s rearmament and its annexation of Crimea, as well as the Ukrainian conflict. The decision also came just two months after Sweden got a rough wake-up call in the form of a lengthy but ultimately futile submarine hunt in the Stockholm archipelago.

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