Security Council urges Taliban to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan, news.un.org

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism.

Permanent members China and Russia abstained. […]

The resolution was tabled by the United States, alongside fellow permanent Council members France and the United Kingdom.

“The Security Council expects the Taliban to live up to its commitment to facilitate safe passage for Afghans and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan, whether it’s today, tomorrow, or after August 31,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“Consistent with the right to leave any country, including one’s own, everybody must be allowed to safely leave Afghanistan, for whatever reason, whenever they want, by air or by land. This is of the utmost importance to us.” […]

In explaining his vote, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Russia was forced to abstain because certain “principled concerns” were not reflected in the draft text, which was circulated on Friday.

“Firstly, despite the fact that the resolution was proposed against the backdrop of a terrible terrorist attack, the authors categorically refused to refer to a passage on the fight against terrorism containing internationally recognized terrorist organizations ISIL and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“We see this as a reluctance to acknowledge the obvious, and a desire to divide terrorists into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’; and that is to say, to downplay the terrorist threat coming from these groups.”

Ambassador Geng Shuang of China stated that given the fragile situation on the ground, and the uncertainties, any Council action should help ease tensions, and not intensify them.

“The recent chaos in Afghanistan is directly related to the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops,” he said.  “We hope that relevant countries will realize the fact that withdrawal is not the end of responsibility, but the beginning of reflection and correction.” Läs kommunikén

Ikke en rettsstat verdig, dagbladet.no

Thore Vestby, Drøbak (Høyre)

Som medlem av Høyre, og tidligere ordfører og stortingsrepresentant for partiet, har jeg kommet i store vansker foran høstens valg.

Mitt parti står for en farlig og høyrisikabel utenrikspolitikk, og jeg etterlyser den nytenkningen som, etter mitt syn, blir mer og mer påtrengende nødvendig.

«Vi gikk inn i Afghanistan for å stoppe terrorangrep mot oss», innrømmet Biden nylig.

Faktum er at USA igjen har herjet og ødelagt et land, denne gang tok det hele 20 år før nederlaget kom. I de samme 20 år har USAs globale krig mot terror drept 801 000 i direkte krigshandlinger, tatt 335 000 sivile liv og 37 millioner er drevet på flukt. Prislappen er 6,4 trillioner dollar, ifølge The Watson Institute International and Public Affairs, ved Brown University.

Om mindre enn tre uker er det stortingsvalg, men tross den ferske fiaskoen USA har dratt oss inn i, ser vi ingen tegn til at regjeringen nøler med å fortsette i samme spor. Tvert imot har den avtalt å gi USA lov til å bygge fire militærbaser på norsk jord. […]

I valget nå i høster det bare ett parti som fronter disse to sakene, amerikanske baser og Nobelprisen: Rødt.

Hvis ikke Høyre nå tar til orde for å diskutere endring av Norges forhold til USA, mitt tidligere drømmeland, og Nobels fredspris, blir jeg nødt til å stemme Rødt, av etiske-, humanitære- og samvittighetsgrunner. Läs artikel

Arméns lokala försvarsövningar stärker myndighetssamarbetet och beredskapen, maavoimat.fi/sv

Försvarsmakten övar lokalförsvarets uppgifter runt om i Finland under perioden 3.–11.9.2021. Utöver Försvarsmakten deltar också flera olika myndigheter i övningarna. Övningarna stärker lokalförsvarets beredskap att svara på plötsliga förändringar i säkerhetsläget och utvecklar myndigheternas samarbete i störningssituationer.

Totalt arrangeras fem lokalförsvarsövningar runt om i Finland. I övningarna deltar ca 5 500 personer. Försvarsmaktens personal, reservister, beväringar och representanter för olika myndigheter och organisationer deltar i övningarna.

De lokala trupperna är krigstida trupper som används för lokala strids- och stöduppgifter. De består av aktiva reservister med god lokalkännedom och Försvarsmaktens personal, vars utbildning och utrustning är skräddarsydd för uppgiften. Med hjälp av lokaltrupperna tryggas samhällets vitala funktioner i alla lägen samtidigt som man förhindrar att störningarna sprider sig till ett större område. Till lokaltruppernas uppgifter hör t.ex. av att uppställa och stöda trupper, olika stridsuppgifter, bevakning av områden, objektskydd samt samverkan med övriga myndigheter och kommuner. Läs artikel

Big dig along Yenisey Bay paves way for new major coal terminal, thebarentsobserver.com

A significant number of excavators, bulldozers and trucks are busy with the building of what will become a new major piece of infrastructure in the Russian Arctic.

The ongoing construction of a 1,5 km long dam is to be completed in the course of the year. It will connect the remote sea shore with a terminal for loading of coal.

The subsequent building of the terminal facility will start in 2022, the regional government of Krasnoyarsk informs.

Behind the project stands Severnaya Zvezda, a subsidiary of businessman Roman Trotsenko’s AEON.

The company in early summer this year also started construction of the 60 km long road that will connect the terminal with the Syradasayskoye coal field. Läs artikel

Så vad gjorde vi i Afghanistan? di.se

PM Nilsson, redaktör för Dagens Industri

I mässen på den svenska basen Camp Northern Lights utanför Mazar-e Sharif i norra Afghanistan hängde rader av foton på unga lite rödbrända män i bar överkropp. Stridsgrupper, plutoner, ibland fler soldater, bild efter bild av mer än tio år av roterande förband i det som kom att bli Sveriges största militära internationella insats.

Soldaterna hade tecknat sina namn på bilderna och på nästan varje foto skrivit med stora bokstäver, likt en bön om nåd: ”Vi gjorde skillnad”.

Då, när undertecknad var på besök hösten 2013, skulle allt ta slut. Soldaterna på plats sysslade mest med städning, återställning, träning och det eviga vaktandet av den egna basen.

8024 svenskar hade då tjänstgjort i insatsen med som mest 770 soldater på plats samtidigt. Fem svenska soldater hade dött i strid samt två lokala tolkar, ett 30-tal svenska soldater hade skadats. Kostnaden för den militära delen av insatsen var notoriskt svårbedömd men uppskattades senare till drygt 20 miljarder kronor. Därtill kom biståndet.

Hade man gjort skillnad? På vad sätt? Vad visste egentligen soldaterna om vad de gjorde och skulle göra? […]

När den första propositionen om svenskt deltagande i ISAF överlämnades till Riksdagen 2002 nämns över huvudtaget inte begreppet väpnad konflikt. Den trupp man avsåg att sända ut som svenskt bidrag – högst 45 personer i högst sex månader – skulle syssla med fattigdomsbekämpning, försoning och fredlig utveckling. Utrikesministern talade om minröjning.

Vad Sverige i själva verket förberedde och sedan gjorde var att skicka ut SSG, Särskilda skyddsgruppen, Sveriges motsvarighet till brittiska SAS eller USA:s Delta Force, det vill säga det farligaste specialförbandet Sverige hade. Inget fel i det, men allmänhetens uppfattning om Sveriges bidrag till Afghanistan var en helt annan. Två soldater från SSG skulle senare dödas. […]

Och få visste egentligen vad de unga männen på bilderna i mässen egentligen skulle göra. I efterhand vet vi att svenska försvarspolitiker anser att de var där för att investera i lojaliteten med USA, vad det nu är värt utan Nato-medlemskap. Samt att tunga bedömare anser att svensk trupp inte gjorde någon skillnad, vilket är bittert för alla inblandade. En större öppenhet om mål och syfte och ett ärligare bruk av rätt ord hade skyddat dem bättre, inskärpt allvaret, kanske tvingat fram en skarpare strategi och en bättre veteranpolitik. Så som man gjorde med och i Afghanistan får man inte göra igen. Läs ledaren

Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States, refworld.org

UN General Assembly (36th sess. : 1981-1982)

Recalling its resolution 2734 (XXV) of 16 December 1970, containing the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security, and its resolution 2131 (XX) of 21 December 1965, containing the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, […]

Deeply concerned at the gravity of the international situation and the increasing threat to international peace and security owing to frequent recourse to the threat or use of force, aggression, intimidation, military intervention and occupation, escalation of military presence and all other forms of intervention or interference, direct or indirect, overt or covert, threatening the sovereignty and political independence of other States, with the aim of overthrowing their Governments,

Conscious of the fact that such policies endanger the political independence of States, freedom of peoples and permanent sovereignty over their natural resources, adversely affecting thereby the maintenance of international peace and security,

Conscious of the imperative need for all foreign forces engaged in military occupation, intervention or interference to be completely withdrawn to their own territories, so that people under colonial domination, foreign occupation or racist regimes may freely and fully exercise their right to self-determination, so as to enable people of all States to administer their own affairs and determine their own political, economic and social system without external interference or control,

Conscious also of the imperative need for any threat of aggression, any recruitment, any use of armed bands, in particular mercenaries, against sovereign States to be completely ended, so as to enable the peoples of all States to determine their own political, economic and social systems without external interference or control,

Recognizing that full observance of the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal and external affairs of sovereign States and peoples, either directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, is essential to the fulfilment of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Läs resolutionen

Osäkerheten i och kring Afghanistan, carlbildt.wordpress.com

[…] I FN:s säkerhetsråd vill Frankrike och Storbritannien få ett beslut om någon typ av ”säker zon” kring flygplatsen som FN skulle ha ansvaret för. Hur det i praktiken skulle gå till har jag inte alldeles lätt att se. Den tidigare inriktningen på att Turkiet skulle ha detta ansvar har uppenbarligen fallit.

Men med all säkerhet vill talibanerna ha en viss internationell närvaro.

När CIA-chefen Burns var i Kabul för överläggningar med dem handlade det bl a om säkerheten för en fortsatt amerikansk ambassad, och jag skulle tro att USA förr eller senare har ett intresse av att komma tillbaka med en sådan.

Men frågeställningar kring s k erkännande av regimen är lite komplicerade i olika länder. I Sverige är principen att erkänna den som de facto kontrollerar landet, även om det funnits och finns undantag från den regeln. I USA har man ibland sett annorlunda på den saken.

Sverige erkände t ex omedelbart det kommunistiska maktövertagandet i det kinesiska inbördeskriget, medan det dröjde decennier innan USA flyttade sitt erkännande från Taipei till Peking.

Viktig tycker jag är att FN får möjlighet att vara kvar och verka i landet. Inte minst handlar det om de humanitära insatser som nu kommer att bli ännu viktigare. De har ju också sin betydelse när det gäller att dämpa förutsättningarna för alltför massiva vågor av flyktingar ut ur landet och regionen. Läs artikel

Repairs needed at Kabul airport before civilian flights can begin, Turkey says, reuters.com

Repairs need to be made at Kabul airport before it can be opened to civilian flights, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday, as Ankara considers providing help to the Taliban to operate the airport.

Ankara has been in talks with the Taliban about providing technical help to operate Kabul airport after the Aug. 31 deadline for troops to leave Afghanistan but said the recent bombing underlined the need for a Turkish force to protect any experts deployed there.

Cavusoglu said on Sunday that inspection reports show runways, towers and terminals, including those in the civilian side of the airport, were damaged and that these needed to be repaired. […]

Turkey, which is part of the NATO mission, has been responsible for security at the airport for the last six years. Keeping the airport open after foreign forces hand over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but also to maintain aid supplies and operations. Läs artikel

Taliban prepare to form new cabinet as U.S. evacuation nears end, reuters.com

The Taliban said on Saturday they were preparing a new cabinet as the U.S. evacuation nears its end and they expected that sharp currency falls and economic turmoil following their takeover of Kabul two weeks ago would subside.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the movement’s main spokesman, made the comments to Reuters as the U.S. military winds down its mission to evacuate U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans and withdraw troops from Kabul airport ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.

Mujahid condemned an overnight U.S. drone strike against Islamic State militants following Thursday’s suicide attack near the airport as a “clear attack on Afghan territory”.

But he appealed to the United States and other Western nations to maintain diplomatic relations after their withdrawal, which he expected would be completed “very soon”. Läs artikel

Chad to halve its troops fighting Sahel militants, arabnews.com

Chad has decided to recall half of its 1,200 troops battling militants in the tri-border area of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, a spokesperson for the Chadian authorities said.
Chad deployed the soldiers in February to support a France-backed regional fight with insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh who have destabilized swathes of territory in West Africa’s Sahel region in recent years.
The decision to withdraw 600 of these soldiers was taken with the agreement of Chad’s Sahel allies, Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouna said, speaking on behalf of the Transitional Military Council in Chad. The recalled Chadian troops would be redeployed elsewhere, Agouna said.
The authorities in Chad have faced a separate conflict this year with insurgents in the north.
France has also said it plans to reduce its presence in the Sahel to around half the current level of some 5,100 soldiers, although it has given no time frame. […]

The former colonial power has hailed some successes against the militants in recent months, but the situation is extremely fragile with hundreds of civilians killed in attacks. Mahamat Idriss Deby, who leads the Transitional Military Council, has run Chad since his father, the former president, was killed while visiting the front line in April.
Earlier in August, Deby invited the rebels to participate in a national dialogue. Läs artikel

China Is Not Germany Before World War I, nationalinterest.org

Paul Heer , Distinguished Fellow at the Center for the National Interest

In characterizing the emerging threat that China poses to its neighbors and the rest of the world, many observers have invoked the analogies of Japan before World War II and Germany before World War I. This reading of history seems to indicate that the hegemonic ambitions and expansionist appetites of both empires probably made war inevitable. Today, China has similar ambitions and appetites.

The German example was invoked in a recently published book, The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order, which was written by Rush Doshi, a scholar now serving on the Biden administration’s China policy team. Doshi noted in an op-ed at one point “the rivalry between China and the United States in the twenty-first century holds an uncanny resemblance to the one between Germany and Great Britain in the nineteenth.” Analysis of the comparison invariably cites a famous memorandum written in 1907 by British diplomat Eyre Crowe (1864–1925), which examined British relations with France and Germany but focused primarily on an assessment of German foreign policy. Läs artikel

American Civil War and the Lesson for China and Taiwan, responsiblestatecraft.org

Doug Bandow , Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Taiwan has become a flashpoint between Washington and Beijing, so much so that The Economist now judges the island state to be “the most dangerous place on earth.”

Formally the Republic of China, Taiwan is claimed by the People’s Republic of China. Beijing is threatening — without apparent plans to do so in the near-term — to use force to impose its authority over territory that has unofficially acted as a separate nation since 1949. […]

Many triumphalist Americans believe that Beijing would not dare challenge such a U.S. guarantee. For instance, Leon Panetta, a former secretary of defense and CIA director, insisted that “We’re not going to allow China to invade Taiwan, and to undermine their independence.” He added: “if China understands that we’re serious about that, China’s not going to do that. They may be a lot of things, they’re not dumb.”

In short, Panetta sees a promise to protect Taiwan as a freebie: the United States need only say the word and China won’t test America. Xi Jinping and his Politburo full of blowhards will slink back into Zhongnanhai, never to be heard from again.

Dream on.

The willingness of peoples and countries to use force almost irrespective of cost to stop secession is widespread if not quite universal. Among the bitter, brutal wars that resulted when majorities refused to allow minorities to depart were Nigeria, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Great Britain, Sudan, France, Congo, Cyprus, Indonesia, Yemen, and Yugoslavia. In many more cases, such as India and Spain, resistance has been violent, including terrorism, but short of war. Läs artikel