Sweden scraps military conscription

Sweden has abolished a 100-year tradition of compulsory military service for men during peacetime, but will continue to take volunteers.

A new policy means that compulsory military service will only apply if the Nordic nation of nine million feels threatened. It went into force on Thursday after lawmakers approved the change in a 2009 vote.

Compulsory service of between 80 and 450 days for all 18-year-old Swedish men was adopted in 1901. Women have been accepted as voluntary conscripts since 1989.

The number of conscripts has dwindled in recent decades as those due for service have been granted dispensations.

The military says there are currently some 1,700 active conscripts.

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