Biden isn’t withdrawing troops from Iraq, he’s relabeling their mission,

Annelle Sheline, Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and President Biden  announced this week that Washington will end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year. However, these long-serving U.S. soldiers are not coming home: many of the 2,500 American service members are expected to remain in the country for “training and advisory” purposes.

The United States and Iraq had issued a joint statement in April that the U.S. combat mission would be ending, but the timeline remained unclear. The timing of the recent announcement appears intended to boost Kadhimi’s prospects in October’s parliamentary elections — he faces domestic demands to oust U.S. forces, yet remains dependent on American support to maintain some semblance of control. […]

Announcing a troop withdrawal when no troops are in fact to be withdrawn reinforces a broader alarming trend in the forever wars — finding ways to keep American soldiers perpetually deployed, despite the public’s desire for the United States to prioritize investment at home over violence abroad. Läs artikel

Uppdrag till MSB att bedöma behov av personalförstärkningar inom bevakningsansvariga myndigheter och andra berörda aktörer vid en situation med höjd beredskap och ytterst krig ,

[…] Det är viktigt att få kännedom om var det kommer att behövas personalförstärkningar, exempelvis för att numerären behöver utökas eller för att det behövs andra kompetenser än i vardagen. En fördjupad kunskap om personalbehovet inom det civila försvaret möjliggör en analys av vilka åtgärder som är bäst lämpade för att trygga personalförsörjningen. Med resultatet av detta uppdrag som utgångspunkt avser regeringen att återkomma till analysen av lämpliga åtgärder i ett senare skede. […]

De fördelar en återaktivering av civilplikten skulle kunna innebära ur ett personalförsörjningsperspektiv måste vid en bedömning vägas mot bland annat det ingrepp som åtgärden utgör för de enskilda som berörs. Samtidigt utgör civilplikten en möjlighet för den som vill göra vapenfri plikttjänstgöring att bidra till totalförsvarets samlade behov. Utgångspunkten för planeringen av totalförsvaret är att Sverige under minst tre månader ska kunna hantera en säkerhetspolitisk kris i Europa och Sveriges närområde som innebär allvarliga störningar i samhällets funktionalitet samt krig under del av denna tid. Under de tre månaderna förutsätts att det råder höjd beredskap och att logistikflödena med omvärlden har begränsningar men inte är helt avbrutna. Läs uppdraget

The Price of Conscience,

Former intelligence analyst, Daniel Hale. in the drone program for the Air Force who as a private contractor in 2013 leaked some 17 classified documents about drone strikes to the press, was sentenced today to 45 months in prison.

The documents, published by The Intercept on October 15, 2015, exposed that between January 2012 and February 2013, US special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The Justice Department coerced Hale, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, on March 31 to plead guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 designed to prosecute those who passed on state secrets to a hostile power, not those who expose to the public government lies and crimes. Hale admitted as part of the plea deal to “retention and transmission of national security information” and leaking 11 classified documents to a journalist. If he had refused the plea deal, he could have spent 50 years in prison. Läs artikel


Rules of ‘international order’ as defined by Blinken,

George Koo, founder and former managing director of International Strategic Alliances.

What a difference a few months can make in the rocky relations between the US and China. At the meeting in March in Anchorage, Alaska, Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a blistering lecture in front of the Western media to the Chinese delegation that Beijing needs to behave in a way consistent with the rules of international order.

China’s most senior diplomat at this summit was Yang Jiechi. He basically responded by telling Blinken to mind his manners and, not incidentally, asked what he was talking about.

Since that meeting, Blinken has gone around the world recruiting allies to oppose China on the basis that it does not follow the rules of international order.

Some Western countries grudgingly yielded to the pressure and signed on with Blinken, but they were befuddled by what he means by “international order.” After all, it has been China that works within the confines of the United Nations while the US has often acted unilaterally. Läs artikel

Charles De Gaulle: America’s Best Ally,

James W. Carden, former advisor at the State Department

[…] Unipolar fantasies of American hegemony such as those harbored by an influential claque of neoconservative and liberal interventionists continue to cloud the judgement of most of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. Leading scholars, think tank fixtures and perennial political appointees have been chasing the illusion of a U.S.-led liberal international rules-based order since the 1990s. The self-serving delusions that the U.S. can and should act in the manner of a global policeman are viewed as ridiculous in the eyes of the rest of the world (with a few exceptions, including our proxies in the U.K., Poland, Australia and the Baltic states). […]

And quite unlike our own establishment, which cannot comprehend how NATO expansion actually undermines rather than enhances American and European security, De Gaulle had a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of alliance dynamics. He knew that alliances have drawbacks and understood the risks they posed. His opposition to NATO was based on his not unreasonable view that a) a conflict having nothing to do with France—for example, between the U.S. and China over Taiwan—would unnecessarily drag it into a war with China and b) it was unlikely in the extreme, despite promises and the best of intentions, that the U.S. would ever trade New York for Paris in a nuclear exchange with the Soviets. As he told Bohlen, “no one could expect the U.S. to risk its cities for the defense of Europe.”  Läs artikel

Läs även Mats Björkenfeldts  artikel om De Gaulle och Nato.

Sommarrepris: I krig och fred med varandra

Anders Björnsson

Vi återpublicerar här artikel från den 21  juli 2020.

Ryssland och Sverige krigade med varandra under drygt ett hundra år, 1700–1809. Två gånger gick Ryssland till angrepp, två gånger Sverige. Under perioden hade Sverige andra fiender, exempelvis under den europeiska sjuårskriget (1756–63, för Sveriges del det kortvarigare pommerska kriget). Alla dessa krig var dumdristiga; några handlade om kolonial hegemoni (England vs Frankrike). Efter 1814 rådde fred på den europeiska kontinenten i ett hundra år, det vill säga stormaktsfred. Undantaget var Krimkriget som Sverige höll sig utanför. Nationella befrielserörelser spirade i Europa. I Kaukasien och Centralasien slogs makterna mot varandra och mot lokala makthavare.

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An Untied State, cepa.o

Edward Lucas, senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).

The Biden administration’s lamentable decision to stop blocking the Nord Stream 2 Russian-German gas pipeline emboldens the Kremlin, weakens Ukraine and Poland, dismays other allies, and rewards German greed and cynicism. Sloppy diplomacy in its communication adds insult to injury.

Yet amid the threnodies, history has an important, even consoling lesson.

On September 17th, 2009, the Obama administration abruptly shelved its planned missile-defense bases in the Czech Republic and Poland. The decision was defensible (the plans were flawed and what eventually replaced them is better). But the diplomacy was dreadful. The announcement was wrapped up in the gimmicky “reset” of U.S. relations with Russia. It was communicated brusquely to the Polish and Czech governments — on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland 70 years earlier. No Americans had noticed that. Everyone else did. Läs artikel

Biden: USA ska inte strida i Irak,

USA:s relation med Irak går in i en ”ny fas”, meddelade president Joe Biden efter ett möte med Iraks premiärminister Mustafa al-Kadhemi i Vita husets Ovala rum.

USA ska enligt Biden inte längre vara en stridande part vid årsskiftet, utan skifta till att enbart bistå i kampen mot IS och terrorism.

”Men vi kommer inte, vid årets slut, att vara i strid”, säger presidenten.

Beslutet om USA:s reträtt fullbordades under mötet, skriver Reuters.

Just nu befinner sig 2 500 amerikanska soldater i Irak, med fokus på att bekämpa det som återstår av IS. Hur många soldater som kommer att finnas kvar för träning och utbildning efter årsskiftet är inte uttalat ännu. Läs artikel

New Upgrades For Russian Arctic Sea Ports,

The development of the Russian Arctic is continuing with significant investments being made in Arctic Ports at Yenisei, Dikson and Dudinka. Russia’s state-owned nuclear authority Rosatom and Japan’s AEON Corporation have agreed joint ventures to build ice-class, nuclear powered ships to transport coal from the Syradasayskoye coal fields – one of the world’s largest at 5 billion tonnes – in the Taimyr Peninsula.

The agreement is to build Arc5 class vessels to deliver general cargo and products from Syradasayskoye, also part of AEON. This is 110km from Dikson in Russia’s Far East Arctic Krasnoyarsk Region. A new Yenisei seaport will be constructed. Läs artikel

US, NATO scaling up activity in Ukraine and Georgia,

NATO is gradually scaling up activity in the post-Soviet space, with its active stage of the Three Swords 2021 military exercises underway in Ukraine’s Lvov Region with the participation of Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and US forces. On Monday, the Agile Spirit 2021 drills are starting in Georgia, which will involve about 2,500 troops from 15 NATO states and partners (Ukraine and Azerbaijan), Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. Like before, these drills are of an anti-Russian nature, the newspaper pointed out, with provocative statements aimed at Moscow heard from some NATO officials. Läs artikel

China accuses US of ‘destroying’ world order,

China on Tuesday accused the US of being the “biggest destroyer” of the world order, a day after Russia slammed the rules-based order promoted by the West.

“The US, by ‘quitting groups’ and wielding sanctions and military threats against others, is the biggest destroyer of world order,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference in Beijing.

“Its ‘rule-based order’ is a US-dominant hegemonic system; many of its allies don’t agree with it.”

“World order is not hegemonic or made by a US-led clique. All countries should practice real multilateralism, push forward democratization of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind,” the spokesman added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said the rules-based orders lack any specific content, allowing for accusations of “rules breaking” when it is against the West’s will.

“The less specific they get, the freer their hand to carry on with the arbitrary practice of employing dirty tactics as a way to pressure competitors,” Lavrov wrote in an article for the Russian daily Kommersant. Läs artikel

Vad vill Ryssland?

Mats Björkenfeldt

Anders Åslund har återkommit efter att ha lämnat tankesmedjan Atlantic Council, med Förenade Arabemiraten som en stor bidrags­givare. Av en stort uppslagen ledarartikel i Svenska Dagbladet den (25/7)  framgår att Åslund numera är ”senior fellow” på tankesmedjan Fri värld. Hans budskap är att president Putin är beredd att starta krig för att återskapa ett ”Storryssland”.

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