Sweden issues ‘If crisis or war comes’ public information pamphlet

Sweden issues ‘If crisis or war comes’ public information pamphlet
© Fredrik Rubensson

Sweden has begun distributing a public information pamphlet which aims to prepare citizens for the outbreak of war.

The leaflet, entitled ‘Om krisen eller kriget kommer’, or ‘If crisis or war comes’, will be distributed to all 4.8m homes in Sweden, and aims to prepare the country’s citizens for the outbreak of war or other dangers such as terrorist attacks, and also helps to combat the spread of false information. It is the first such public information pamphlet released in Sweden since 1961.

The 20-page pamphlet encourages citizens to prepare for a variety of threats, including extreme weather, cyberattacks, disasters and accidents, and military conflicts. By preparing for a variety of threats, the booklet suggests that citizens are contributing to the overall resilience of the country to cope with and respond to these threats.

What does the booklet say?

The public information pamphlet was issued by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), and seeks to reassure people that Sweden’s sense of community will ensure the country’s resilience and the safety of its people.

The brochure explains: “Although Sweden is safer than many other countries, there are still threats to our security and independence. Peace, freedom and democracy are values that we must protect and reinforce on a daily basis.”

Further, it emphasises the role that people across the social spectrum have to play in reinforcing Sweden’s defences: “Public authorities, county councils and regions, municipalities, companies and organisations are responsible for ensuring that society functions. However, everyone who lives in Sweden shares a collective responsibility for our country’s security and safety. When we are under threat, our willingness to help each other is one of our most important assets.”

What threats does Sweden face?

In recent years, Sweden has increased its military spending, and joined collaborative efforts – including a project with Denmark – to combat Russian cyber attacks and disinformation. Concerns over state-sponsored cyber attacks continue to grow, particularly as more critical infrastructure systems are connected to the internet, making them potentially vulnerable to different types of threat.

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