The Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Försvarsmakten, literally “Defense Force”) is the government agency that forms the military forces of Sweden, and which is tasked with defence of the country, as well as promoting Sweden’s wider interests, supporting international peacekeeping efforts, and providing humanitarian aid.
It consists of: the Swedish Army, the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy, with addition of a military reserve force, the Home Guard (Swedish: Hemvärnet). Since 1994, all the Swedish armed services are organised within a single unified government agency, headed by the Supreme Commander, even though the individual services maintain their distinct identities. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is traditionally attributed as Honorary General and Admiral à la suite.
The military history of Sweden includes several unions and wars with all of its neighbour states, including extended Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years’ War at the times of the Swedish Empire during the 17th and early 18th centuries. Wars with Russia culminated in the Finnish War (1808–1809), with Sweden losing Finland. During the World Wars, the Cold War and throughout the 20th century, Sweden maintained a national policy of non-alignment, while the Swedish Armed Forces strength was based upon the concepts of conscription. In 2010, peacetime conscription was abolished, replacing it with volunteer armed forces including the Home Guard – National Security Force until 2018.
Units from the Swedish Armed Forces are currently on deployment in several international operations either actively or as military observers, including Afghanistan as part of ISAF and in Kosovo. Moreover, Swedish Armed Forces contribute as the lead nation for an EU Battle Group approximately once every three years.