The decision allows the government to add troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. About 500 operate there now; the government now has authority to increase that to 855. Next year will also see more UAVs and tactical and troop transport helicopters sent to the theater.
The vote in parliament, which was supported by the opposition Social Democrats and Green Alliance, gave no firm date for the provisional withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. The expectation among government and opposition groups is that this may happen in 2014.
"We will not be intimidated. Our resolve is firm. What we are trying to achieve is to bring security and well-functioning civilian institutions to Afghanistan. When the U.N. calls, Sweden will come," said Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden's prime minister.