German Defense Minister Evaluates Scandinavian Conscription Models Amid Consideration to Reinstate Draft in Germany



The German defense minister, Boris Pistorius, is exploring the models of conscription used in Scandinavian countries amid concerns about geopolitical threats and a lack of resources and personnel within the German military. During his four-day tour of Scandinavia, Pistorius is particularly interested in how Sweden and Norway implement their conscription systems, especially in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine. This comes at a time when Sweden has officially joined NATO, highlighting a shift in regional security dynamics and potentially influencing Germany’s considerations on reintroducing conscription.

  • Sweden has formally joined NATO as its 32nd member, marking an end to its post-war neutrality.
  • German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is on a tour of Scandinavia to study conscription models amid rising geopolitical threats.
  • Germany is considering reintroducing conscription, suspended in 2011, in response to the current security environment influenced by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
  • In Sweden, around 30,000 men and women are selected for the recruitment process annually, with about 8,000 undergoing a one-year training course.
  • In Norway, military conscripts play a crucial role in protecting the country’s border with Russia, with a significant emphasis on readiness and real-world application of their training.
  • One of the major challenges for reintroducing conscription in Germany is the need to change the Constitution to allow both men and women to be conscripted, requiring a 2/3 majority in Parliament.
  • Pistorius noted the high proportion of service women in the Norwegian Army, approximately 40%, as an impressive model of gender inclusion in military service.
  • The inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO is expected to bring Scandinavian conscription models into greater prominence in discussions on military service and defense preparedness.

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