What's going on with Sweden bringing back the military draft?

Mandatory conscription is returning to Sweden for the first time in seven years.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What exactly will conscription involve?

Starting next January, at least 4,000 18-year-olds could be called up each year. The policy affects residents born after 1999.

Can people volunteer?

Yes – as in the current system, other Swedes will still be able to volunteer for military service.

Is it just men?

No – for the first time, women will also be drafted.

Before conscription was abolished in 2010, only men were eligible, but the self-proclaimed “feminist” Swedish government said: “Modern conscription is gender neutral and will include both women and men.”

Why is it happening?

Seven years ago, the draft was scrapped because enough people were volunteering, but now – with ministers citing the deteriorating security environment in Europe and around the country – more personnel are needed.

Sweden’s armed forces lack 1,000 active troops as well as 7,000 reservists, according to the coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens who introduced the plan.

What will Swedes make of this?

The majority of Swedes actually back a return to compulsory military service, according to a recent survey.

70% of respondents supported conscription for men and women while only 16% thought it was a bad idea.

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