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Sweden issues 'If crisis or war comes' public information pamphlet

22 May 2018

The brochure will be delivered to 4.8 million Swedish households in the coming weeks. The Guardian reports the government began issuing these types of documents amid WWII in 1943 (it remained neutral during the war); the Local reports the last release was in the '80s.

The 20-page document outlines with simple illustrations the threats that the Nordic nation is facing such as military conflict, natural disaster and terror attacks similar to the deadly Stockholm truck attack previous year.

In 2016, the Swedish government chose to start increasing military spending, reversing years of declines.

"Even if Sweden is safer than most countries, threats do exist", agency head Dan Eliasson told journalists.

'It's important that everyone has knowledge of what can threaten us so we can prepare in case something serious occurs, ' he told a news conference in Stockholm.

"It might affect our import of goods like food and so on".

'Sweden will be affected if there is a military conflict close to us.

While the booklet does not point to any country, its release comes amid fears of an open conflict between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Russian Federation over Moscow's military activities along its borders. The initiative comes as Sweden debates North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership and ahead of general elections in September. They have also accused Russian Federation of repeated violations of their airspace - assertions that Moscow has either dismissed or not responded to. Sweden is not a member of NATO, but it has contributed to NATO-led operations and enjoys bilateral ties with the alliance through the Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

It's hard to predict when war will break out, but Sweden wants to make sure that it's populace is always prepared for the worst.

In recent years, Sweden has increased its military spending, citing the deteriorating security situation in Europe, particularly in light of Russia's role in the conflict in Ukraine.

Stockholm announced in March last year that it would reintroduce compulsory military service as early as this summer, seven years after it was abolished.

The first edition of the booklet was published during the Second World War and information was distributed in telephone books.

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 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

'We're showing that we have military muscles, ' Lofven was quoted as saying by the daily Aftonbladet.

Sweden issues 'If crisis or war comes' public information pamphlet