Övning med amerikanskt bombflyg stärker försvarsförmågan, forsvarsmakten.se

Under de senaste veckorna har Flygvapnet med stödjande markförband övat tillsammans med det amerikanska bombflyget. […]

Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska linje innebär att vi bygger säkerhet i samarbete med andra där USA är en viktig samarbetspartner, därför har USA bjudits in till denna övning. Liknande övningar har genomförts under flera år och denna typ av övningsverksamhet utgör en del av försvarssamarbetet.

– Vi har med Jas 39 Gripen eskorterat amerikanska B1-B Lancer i svenskt luftrum och genomfört gemensam markmålsbekämpning med mycket goda resultat, säger flygvapenchefen och övningsledaren Carl-Johan Edström.

Övningsmomenten har genomförs både simulerat och med övningsammunition vid ett av Försvarsmaktens övningsfält. Vid dessa tillfällen deltog även markförband med Joint Terminal Attack Controller, JTAC, som är en viktig del i att kunna leda flyget till målen. Flygvapnets uppgift har varit att säkra luftrummet och att eskortera de amerikanska bombflygen. Läs pressmeddelande

Russia and China tell Biden: The old days are over, asiatimes.com

The past week has marked a watershed moment in Russia’s relations with the West – and the US in particular. In two dramatic, televised moments, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin changed the dynamics between their countries, perhaps irrevocably.

Most commentators in the West have focused on Putin’s “trolling” of Biden by dryly – though, according to Putin, unironically – wishing his American counterpart “good health.” This, of course, came after Biden called Putin a “killer.”

But a more careful and complete reading of Putin’s message to the US is necessary to understand how a Russian leader is, finally, ready to tell the US: Do not judge us by your claimed standards, and do not try to tell us what to do.

Putin has never asserted these propositions so bluntly. And it matters when he does. Läs artikel

 

Mali Officials Accuse French Military of Killing Civilians, voanews.com

Officials in Mali on Friday accused the French military of killing civilians in a Thursday airstrike.  Reuters said the number of killed was six, while AP reported at least five deaths.

The incident happened in the western Gao region of Mali and was the second time this year France has been accused of killing civilians.  The French military reported the strike had killed a group of militants 60 kilometers north of Deliman.

“This strike was ordered after a phase of surveillance and identification permitting the characterization of the presence of an armed terrorist group,” it said in a statement, according to Reuters.  The strike was a part of Operation Barkhane, a effort led by the French military to root out Islamic extremism in the Sahel. The operation began in 2014.

Local officials claim those killed were civilian males aged 15 to 20, and that they were hunting birds with one gun among them.

“I know all these young people. Some are from my family,” Mohamed Assaleh Ahmad, mayor of the nearby village of Talataye, told Reuters by telephone. “We have seen these airstrikes in the past here. We have never said anything, but this time, it is 100% an error.” Läs artikel

WTO Panel Rules Against U.S. Claim that Tariffs on Chinese Goods Are Justified as Necessary to Protect “Public Morals”,

WTO har en tvistlösningsmekanism, som har befogenhet att fatta beslut i handelstvister och att se till att besluten verkställs. Prövningen ska göras mot i förväg fastställda regler som ger WTO:s medlemmar en möjlighet att lämna in klagomål över påstådda överträdelser av WTO:s regler och att begära kompensation. Alla stater behandlas lika. Mekanismen har lett till att stater i mindre utsträckning använder ensidiga försvarsmekanismer, som ofta leder till motåtgärder och i värsta fall handelskrig.

Kina har av USA och i västliga medier beskrivits som en skurkstat när det kommer till bland annat handelsfrågor. Det är då kanske inte förvånande att ett beslut från WTO, som visar att Kina följer handelns spelregler, förtigits. Beslutet refereras i en klargörande artikel i The American Journal of International Law. (Utgivarna)

On September 15, 2020, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled that certain tariffs the United States imposed on Chinese products violated Articles I (most-favorednation) and II (tariff bindings) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The panel rejected the U.S. attempt to invoke a “public morals” defense pursuant to GATT Article XX, holding that although countries receive substantial deference in defining “public morals,” the United States failed to prove that the tariffs were necessary to achieve its stated public morals  .
Over the past few years, the United States has engaged in an escalating trade war with China over China’s trade practices.1 On August 14, 2017, President Donald Trump ordered the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to determine whether to “investigate any of China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.” Läs artikel: wto-panel-rules-against-us-claim-that-tariffs-on-chinese-goods-are-justified-as-necessary-to-protect-public-morals-1

Slaget om Alger – filmkonstens fulla kraft och vidd, vlt.se

Erik Jersenius, kulturredaktör på Vestmanlands Läns Tidning.

Den amerikanske demonregissören Stanley Kubrick hävdade in till sin död 1999 att det inte gick att förstå filmkonstens fulla kraft och vidd om man inte hade sett italienaren Gillo Pontecorvos banbrytande mästerverk “Slaget om Alger” (1966). Enligt Kubrick är alla spelfilmer egentligen en slags dokumentärer, ett sätt att gestalta det fiktiva så verkligt som möjligt, och själv blev han förundrad över att Pontecorvo kunde skapa något som var så realistiskt att man verkligen misstog det för verklighet.

“Slaget om Alger” skildrar mycket riktigt striderna mellan frihetsrörelsen Nationella befrielsefronten (FLN) och Frankrike i den algeriska huvudstaden under Algerietrevolten. Vi får ur olika perspektiv både följa gerillans organisering och de franska fallskärmsjägarnas operationer för att slå ner upproret. Läs artikel

Foreign troops shouldn’t come and go willfully in Afghanistan: Chinese Ambassador, chinamil.com.cn

The Afghan peace process should continue to be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” and the international community should help Afghanistan achieve security and stability as soon as possible, said Ambassador Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, at the Security Council teleconferencing in connection with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on March 23.

Regarding the current security situation in Afghanistan, the Chinese ambassador said that the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan is at a critical juncture. Achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan through political means is the only right way and the common goal of all parties. China has always maintained that the Afghan peace and reconciliation process must adhere to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned principle. The future of Afghanistan should be in the hands of the Afghan people themselves. The country’s future political arrangement should be decided independently by the Afghans, and no solutions should be imposed from the outside. […]

Consideration should be given to the impact of the withdrawal of foreign forces on peace and security in Afghanistan. Foreign troops cannot come and leave as they wish. Withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan should be orderly and responsible for avoiding leaving a security vacuum that will undermine the security and stability of Afghanistan and other countries in the region, said Zhang. Läs artikel

Why there will be no ‘Asian NATO’, asiatimes.com

Repeating the tired old anti-China rhetoric of the Asian giant threatening Western values, stealing US jobs and technology, committing “genocide” against its ethnic minorities, reneging on its commitment to the “one country, two systems” stance in Hong Kong, threatening Taiwan and a host of other “evil” deeds, the newly installed US administration held an inaugural head-of-state meeting with its Quadrilateral Security Dialogue partners – Australia, India and Japan – a couple of weeks ago.

Many analysts interpreted the meeting as the first step toward forming an “Asian NATO,” a formal military alliance to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

The four members of the Quad are the US, Japan, India and Australia.

Japan has no economic or geopolitical reasons to confront China. On the contrary, it actually needs China to pull its economy out of the decades-long deflationary spiral now made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic and an aging and declining population. Indeed, it is the Chinese market, serving both as the maker and consumer of Japanese products, that has been largely responsible for preventing Japan from sinking deeper into the hole.

Indeed, it could be argued that the US was largely responsible for Japan’s economic and geopolitical malaise. Forcing Japan to sign the Plaza Accord in 1985, under which the country had to appreciate the yen and agree to restrict exports, caused the Japanese economy to decline, because it was hugely export-dependent.

Japan’s economic demise accelerated, in part, because of crippling US tariffs of up to 100% and flawed financial policies that allowed banks to make risky real-estate loans. Läs artikel

NATO-rapport om Norge: – Ikke spesielt godt samstemte, tv2.no

[…] Oberstløynant Tormod Heier, som er professor ved Forsvarets høgskole, sier at konsekvensene av at Norge ikke prioriterer eget forsvar, og ikke holder orden i eget bo, er at nasjonale forsvarsoppgaver outsources.

Han mener at NATO kommer med oppsiktsvekkende kritikk av Norge.

– Det er oppsiktsvekkende at NATO kritiserer manglende samsvar mellom norske og allierte forsvarsprioriteringer. Særlig fordi norske myndigheter har valgt å knytte seg tettere opp til NATO og det allierte forsvarssamarbeidet enn tidligere år. Utfordringene er spesielt store på landsiden, men også på sjøsiden der Norge må ta et særlig ansvar som frontlinjestat overfor Russland på nordflanken, sier Heier til TV 2. […]

– Vekten legges på såkalte «strategiske kapasiteter» fremfor et bredere og mer utholdende forsvar som kan vise vedvarende synlighet og tilstedeværelse over tid. Dette kan bety at Norge fortsatt må ha hjelp fra allierte styrker i fredstid, som fra baser og støttepunkter på norsk territorium, må ut og gjøre jobben i de norsk-russiske grenseområdene, forklarer Heier.

Han tror at dette naturlig nok vil medføre russiske mottiltak.

– Ikke fordi Russland frykter Norge, men fordi Russland frykter at Norge blir brukt som springbrett for operasjoner der USA ønsker å komme tettere på de strategiske undervannsbåtene på Kolahalvøya, fortsetter Heier. Läs artikel

The U.S. Imports Record Share Of Russian Oil Despite Tensions, oilprice.comlprice.com

U.S. refiners have turned to Russian oil and petroleum products to fill the gap that sanctioned Venezuelan crude and drastically reduced OPEC shipments have left in U.S. imports, despite the energy standoff between the United States and Russia.

In 2020, the U.S. imported more oil and refined products from Russian than from Saudi Arabia, with Russia’s share of American oil exports at a record-high 7 percent, Bloomberg News has estimated based on customs and EIA data.

Russia mostly displaced the market previously held by Venezuela—now unable to sell its heavy oil to U.S. refiners because of the American sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s regime.Läs artikel

Book Review: “Patriotic Dissent” by Daniel Sjursen, thelibertarianrepublic.com

Shelby Wright

In “Patriotic Dissent: America In the Age Of Endless War,” Sjursen writes about never-ending wars, the culture of disinterest in foreign policy amongst the American populace, and what true patriotism looks like. Sjursen graduated from West Point and is an 18-year veteran who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before being medically retired. He previously authored “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge” that told the story of his first deployment to Iraq.

Sjursen makes the point that “patriotism and nationalism” are not the same, and that questioning the current wars and America’s foreign policy is the patriotic thing to do. He further explores how “nationalism” is a blind obedience to the state and disregards the good of the individual—and even the collective community that makes the country. Läs presentationen

U.S. Shouldn’t Threaten Friends Over Nord Stream 2, Says Austria’s OMV CEO, usnews.com

Austria’s OMV supports the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany despite the threat of U.S. sanctions, CEO Rainer Seele said.

“This project is of great importance for the security of supply of the European gas market, it is therefore Europe’s responsibility to decide,” Seele told Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung.

“We have had a deep transatlantic friendship with the USA for decades. And friends shouldn’t threaten each other,” he said in an interview published on Saturday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week the State Department was tracking efforts to complete the natural gas pipeline and evaluating information on entities that appear to be involved. Any company involved should immediately abandon work or risk U.S. sanctions, Blinken said.

Nearly 20 companies, mostly insurance firms, recently quit the project after Washington warned that they could be sanctioned. OMV’s Seele said he hoped the project – which is being led by Russia’s Gazprom – would be completed.

The Austrian company is one of Gazprom’s partners in the 9.5 billion euro project. Others include Germany’s Uniper, BASF’s Wintershall Dea, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Engie. The project pits Germany against central and eastern European nations which argue the project to double Russia’s gas export capacity across the Baltic Sea increases Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and could be used as a political tool by Moscow.

Lithuania’s foreign affairs minister said last month the project should be paused until Russia’s parliamentary elections in September to pressure Moscow for democratic reforms and as a compromise between its European supporters and critics. Läs artikel

Serbia marks 22 years since NATO bombing campaign against FR Yugoslavia, euractiv.com

Serbia marked on Wednesday 22 years since NATO’s 11-week-long bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in which, according to unofficial sources, around 2,500 civilians and 1,000 soldiers and police were killed.

The NATO campaign came in the wake of the failed negotiations on the resolution of the Kosovo crisis in Rambouillet and Paris, France, in February and March 1999.

The bombing of Yugoslavia ended on June 10, 1999, with the adoption of Resolution 1244 by the UN Security Council, after which the Serbian military and police began withdrawing from Kosovo and international military troops began deploying there.

The 78 days of bombing left the country’s civilian and military infrastructure and economy severely damaged. According to the UNHCR, around 230,000 Serbs and Roma left Kosovo following the arrival of the international forces, while some 800,000 ethnic Albanian refugees returned.

Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dačić said on Wednesday the resolution that ended the bombing “had to be accepted,” but “whatever was good about it has never been implemented.”

Daćić, the leader of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia, the party of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević, said Serbia “defended its territorial integrity” in 1999 while Albanians “orchestrated a humanitarian catastrophe to serve their own political agenda, and succeeded in doing so.”

He said Serbia could not accept the terms offered to it during internationally mediated negotiations with Albanians in Kosovo, explaining that “even today, no one would accept those terms,” which would enable Kosovo Albanians to hold an independence referendum after two years. Läs artikel