With France in a State of Emergency, Denmark and Sweden with raised threat-levels, there are more often calls to just deploy the army if the police can't handle it.
It's like people belive we have enormous armies with hundreds of thousands of "SIR, YES SIR!s" on duty. In reality some of our armies are so small that they can't even defend more than a small stretch of ONE city.
In recent years, there are few areas of society that have been prioritized lower than Defense - both in political circles and in the media. Defense and security policy scores low among our political representatives, and the media's interest and expertise, with a few exceptions, is mostly absent.
During the 1980s the size of the Swedish army was around 180,000 soldiers and was slowly increased as time progressed until around 1988.
The end of the Cold War led to a massive restructuring of the Swedish Army. Every year after 1988, the Army discharged around 40 000 conscripts and recruited only 20 000, so that by 1995 the size was down to 80 000 soldiers. Around this time the compulsory service obligation was further reduced to 10 months, reserve service became more flexible, and changes made in enforcement so that forceful enforcement became withdrawn as policy.
By 2004 the size of the Swedish Army was down to 60 000 soldiers, and in 2013, three years after the end of conscription, the size was at an all-time low of just 16 000 soldiers, though the army plans to reach a level of 50 000 professional soldiers by 2020, mostly through a large media campaign.
Sweden and Finland are not members of NATO. Both countries are members of the EU, but the union has no army or defense pact.
The defence of Finland’s territory is based on the large reserve made out of conscription. Annually, the Army’s eight brigade-level units train around 20,000 conscripts. Refresher exercises, which maintain reservists’ skills, involve thousands of reservists each year, writes the Finnish Army on its website.
In Norway, which is member of NATO, the army only gets the spotlight when debates arise in the wake of budget cuts and "restructuring".
Ten years after WWII, the Norwegian army consisted of a standing army brigade and ten mobilization brigades. When the cold war ended, the army downsized, and currently consists in total of around 9,500 men, and has no longer any ambition of invasion defense.
In 2008, said Major General Robert Mood, that we have a "micro-defense". In reality politicians and civil servants maneuver us slowly but surely towards a controlled liquidation of the defense. The most serious consequence is that the army, our largest and most important military branch, in the last few years has not been able to act as an effective first line of defense.
Today's army is in practice Brigade North (just under 5,000 troops) with three manoeuvre battalions, as well as management and support departments. Manoeuvre Battalions are those who fight ground war, such as infantry and tanks.
"If we gather the whole army, we are able to control an area between Sinsen and Røa (11 km of Oslo). Alternatively we can defend one landing facility for oil and gas in an efficient way - assuming we had air defense, which we do not have.", stated Mood.
The entire Danish Defense employs approximately 24,000 people. According to figures from IISS, Denmark had in 2014 a personnel strength of 17,200 active in service, plus a reserve of 53,500.
The 53,500 reservists all have a automatic assault rifle and ammunition at home, but the government do not trust them (Danes & beer) so the bolt has been taken out of the rifle leaving it useless till the bolt is given back from the Army. In the panic during an attack, before the bolt is handed back, point the rifle at them and shout "Ratatatata!". The same policy also apply in Norway, for the same reason - alcohol. But since alcoholic beverages are so expensive in Norway, it is with moonshine in mind instead of beer.
The Danish Army personnel strength was one year ago 7,950 including approximately 1,000 conscripts.
Just enough to defend a small stretch of Copenhagen.
ISIS took control of Northern-Iraq with 15,000 men, took control of Mosul, a city of millions. The Iraqi army fled or the troops were captured and killed.
Between 2004 and 2014, the USA had provided the Iraqi Army with $25 billion in training and equipment in addition to an even larger sum from the Iraqi treasury.
The entire Iraqi army, (193,000 troops) is now more or less located in and around the capital Baghdad, which they feel capable to defend.
What would happen if 15,000 armed men suddenly attacked any of the above countries? If they attacked your city? If police lost control, would the army do the job?
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The ex-presenter of the popular program "Top Gear", Jeremy Clarkson, has paid around 100,000 pounds in damages, and issued a public apology after punching producer Oison Tymon.