Maj. Gen. Anders Brannstrom
Swedish Army Chief of Staff
Background: Brannstrom joined the army as a Home Guard recruit in northern Sweden in 1973, and subsequently specialized in Arctic warfare. He became an officer in 1979. Overseas postings include Cyprus and Kosovo. He has attended numerous multinational courses, including some at the U.S. National Defense University of Arlington, Virginia. Brannstrom was deputy director of operations and inspector general of the army. He was named chief of staff in September 2012.
It is a new day for the Swedish army. Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Anders Brannstrom is restructuring the service as a modern force, one that provides national defense and engages in global missions. Defense spending is increasing to meet evolving military needs—including a perceived threat from Russia—but challenges abound. Contributing Editor Francis Tusa asked Brannstrom about his plans for the army during a recent interview in Sweden.
Defense Technology International: How do you describe the status of the Swedish army right now?
Brannstrom: We are on the road from the Strategic Time Out (STO). The STO came after the Cold War ended, and we were focused on international operations. But we forgot about territorial defense. The path we are on now began with the parliamentary Decision on Defense in 2009. The document is 150 pages, but key [army] drivers can be refined to availability, functionality and flexibility. This is what we are working toward.