Mikael Odenburg did his military service from 1973 to 1974 in the coastal artillery in Gothenburg from. His current rank is Major. From 1991 to 2007 he was a member of the Swedish Parliament and of 6 October 2006 to 5 September 2007 Defense Minister in the Swedish Government. As defense minister, he spoke on the one hand for NATO rapprochement Sweden and improvement of missions abroad character of the Swedish soldiers, on the other hand, he warned of security risks associated with the North European gas pipeline. He suspected Moscow would abuse the pipeline and their protection announced by the navy, for military and industrial espionage.
On 5 September 2007 Odenburg resigned after quarrels back to the defense budget from all his political offices. His successor in the Ministry of Defence was Sten Tolgfors.
Since 2008 he heads the Swedish transmission system operator Svenska Kraftnät what for the post of Director-General sparked criticism from opposition parties due to lack of competitors.