"The Armed Forces cuts have gone as far as they can go"

"The latest budget cuts will force a reassessment. If resources are reduced, obviously this will affect the job we do." said Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, Håkan Syrén in an interview with the Swedish TV programme Adaktusson broadcast by TV8 Tuesday night.

The Supreme Commander also felt that Swedish Armed Forces cuts had gone as far as they could go, and it was important to start analysing what is happening in the world when determining what tasks should be performed before making decisions on resources.

"Things are being done in a peculiar order," he claims.

When it came to the scale of the cutbacks, the Supreme Commander was not prepared to disclose any specific figures, but did reveal that it was a lower amount than the Armed Forces had been advised of in July. The main thrust will continue to focus on savings on materials supplies.

Syrén did, however, emphasise that in a number of different systems areas, the Armed Forces had come down to such small volumes that further reductions would defeat the object in these areas, which he name checked as including artillery, submarines and air defence systems.

Despite the tight funding situation, the Supreme Commander has no intention of resigning.

"To my way of thinking, when the ground beneath you starts to sway, stable leadership is imperative, and a commander that considers or feels the need to run away as soon as things starts getting a bit tougher is not, I think, a good commander. We have to get ourselves back in proper order and steer a new course."

A definite decision on the defence budget for next year will be made public on 20 September when the proposition is presented.

Words: Philip Simon

Link to TV8 website

The programme will be repeated on Friday 31 August at 11.00 and on Saturday 1 September at 11.00