Civil servant who lost MoD files at a bus stop was to be UK’s ambassador to Nato,

The senior civil servant who misplaced 50 pages of classified Ministry of Defence documents, which were later found at a bus stop in Kent, was being lined up to be appointed the UK’s ambassador to Nato at the time of the incident, according to two government sources.

The elevation of Angus Lapsley is now understood to be unlikely but not definitely ruled out in light of the unfortunate episode, in which the mislaid paperwork – some of which was marked secret – discussed sensitive deployments in Afghanistan and the Black Sea. […]

It became public because the paperwork was handed to the BBC at the end of June, prompting the broadcaster to put together a report detailing some of its contents. […]

The abandoned papers also revealed that there were two possible routes under consideration for the HMS Defender in its recent voyage across the Black Sea, one briefly passing through the territorial waters of Russian-occupied Crimea and the other sailing many miles away.

It confirmed that the decision to sail the warship close to Crimea and provoke Russia was a deliberate choice by the UK. Läs artikel

Läs också kommentar tidigare på den här sajten om Sveriges deltagande i övningen i Svarta havet.

Solzhenitsyn and The Problem of Crimea,

“If there were a moral to be drawn from the Crimean War which might apply to the present it would be this: in a war between Russia and the West, it is the powers which keep out who will the be the real gainers…” AJP Taylor, February 1951

The issue of Crimea has been back in the news of late, but if Professor Taylor’s insight is anything to go by, perhaps it never really went away […]

As Solzhenitsyn makes clear, the US has been trying to pull not only Crimea but the Russian naval port city Sevastopol into the West’s sphere of influence for the past thirty years. Solzhenitsyn notes that the American ambassador to Ukraine, an ethnic Ukrainian by the name of Roman Popadiuck…

…had the gall to declare that Sevastopol rightly belongs to Ukraine. Based on what historical erudition or relying on what legal foundations did he pronounce this learned judgement?—he failed to clarify. Why should he, when the State Department immediately supported his opinion? This—regarding Sevastopol, which even the madcap Khrushchev did not conceive of “granting” to Ukraine, for  it was excluded from the Crimea as a city under Moscow’s direct administrative supervision. (May one ask: what business is it of the State Department to comment on Sevastopol at all?) 

All of this is simply to point out that the issues surrounding the status of Crimea are far more complicated than as usually presented in the American press. Indeed, the best course of action with regard to Crimea may well be that as suggested by AJP Taylor some seventy years ago. Läs artikel

Försvarsmakten hotar den svenska demokratin,

Sven-Olof Yrjö Collin

Igår, i storslagna annonser, på första sidan i Svenska Dagbladet, och därför dyra annonser, skriver Försvarsmakten att de ”försvarar mänskliga rättigheter, allas lika värde och vår rätt att leva som vi själva väljer.”

Notera flaggan på bilden. Det är inte den svenska flaggan, den som representerar den landmassa som det är Försvarsmaktens uppgift att försvara, utan en politisk orientering avseende sexuellt likaberättigande.

Under vanliga tider skulle en sådan annons betraktas som ett angrepp på den svenska demokratin och Överbefälhavaren hade omedelbart blivit avskedad.

Ty, som Försvarsmakten själv skriver på sin hemsida: ”Försvarsmaktens yttersta uppgift är att bevara landets frihet och skydda vår rätt att själva välja hur vi ska leva.”

Försvarsmakten skall således inte stå bakom något annat värde än vår frihet att själva bestämma. Detta bestämmande görs ytterst genom den representativa demokratin och genom den mer folkliga demokratin, där yttrandefrihet och föreningsfrihet är i centrum. Men notera, dessa friheter är inte Försvarsmaktens, ty de skall blott försvara vår frihet att bestämma dessa själv. Läs artikel

On American Diplomacy and the Disorderly Oscillation of World Orders,

Chas W. Freeman, ambassador, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense

[…] The United States not only ceased longstanding efforts to establish the rule of law in international affairs,[9] it began progressively to set aside major elements of international law it had helped establish. The casualties included but were not limited to:

  • The “Westphalian” principles of sovereignty that form the basis of the United Nations Charter were set aside as the U.S. launched a series of wars and so-called “humanitarian interventions” aimed at overthrowing sovereign foreign regimes.
  • Domestic American constitutional procedures and corresponding processes for the authorization of wars by the UN were annulled by the self-proclaimed war powers of U.S. presidents.
  • Previously forceful U.S. objections to secondary trade and financial sanctions against third countries were dropped in favor their profligate use in unilateral efforts to impose U.S. policies on allies, partners, and friends as well as adversaries.
  • The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and related protocols were eviscerated by innovative U.S. legal evasions, like those in Guantánamo, and expedient suspensions of international law, as in U.S. backing for Israeli occupation practices and territorial acquisitions, set the post-World War II rules aside.
  • The civil and human rights of individuals were violated by their bureaucratic designation as “enemies of the state” and their subjection to practices like “extraordinary rendition (official kidnapping) and “enhanced interrogation” (torture).

Thus, America’s “unipolar moment” unexpectedly facilitated a radical departure from the post-World War II order and replaced it with a level of global anomie and sociopathy not seen since the 18th century. The traditional aspirations of Americans for a higher standard of morality yielded to smirkingly cynical approval of lawless brutality to achieve desirable outcomes. Americans came to believe that, in foreign policy, might makes right and the ends justify the means. U.S. claims to exceptionalism rang increasingly hollow. […]

Instead of the UN Charter and related international laws, Washington now advocates what it calls the “rules-based international order.” This formulation has limited appeal internationally. To many it sounds like a desire by the United States to restore the basic elements of the fading “unipolar moment” by proclaiming rules, unilaterally imposing and enforcing them, and then deciding which of them, if any, it will apply to itself or its client states. References to the “rules-based order” are seen as part of a pretentious U.S. effort to isolate and cripple China, Russia, and their economies, while forcing a choice between them and the United States that all but a few nations seek desperately to avoid. Läs artikel

Sommarrepris: Ettfallstänkandet, enfaldstänkandet

Anders Björnsson


Vi återpublicerar här ett inlägg från den 14 april 2020

Svensk militär strategi och planering utgår sedan länge från att ett anfall mot vårt land endast kan komma från ett håll. Det hållet heter Ryssland. Under kalla kriget var Sovjetunionen en stormakt som kontrollerade en oavbruten kuststräcka i Östersjön från Viborg i Finska viken fram till gränsen mot den gamla Hansametropolen Lübeck. Av detta har det allra mesta raderats ut och uppslukats av den forna motståndaren.

Anfall österifrån bygger på föreställningen om rysk revanschism. Revanschistiska företag av betydelse har emellertid inte förekommit någonstans på jordklotet efter andra världskriget. Avkolonialiseringen innefattade reträttstrider från gamla och nya imperier. De krig vi har sett efter 1991 har i första hand varit krig för att flytta fram positioner från kalla krigets segrarmakter. Revanschism brukar förknippas med en förlorarmakt.

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Pivoting to America,

William Astore, retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history,

[…] A few people spoke then of a “peace dividend.” They were, however, quickly drowned out by the military-industrial complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had warned this country about.  That complex, to which today we might add not only Congress (as Ike had done in an earlier draft of his address) but America’s sprawling intelligence apparatus of 18 agencies, eagerly moved into the void created by the Soviet collapse and that of the Warsaw Pact. It quickly came to dominate the world’s trade in arms, for instance, even as Washington sought to expand NATO, an alliance created to contain a Soviet threat that no longer existed.  Such an expansion made no sense, defensively speaking, but it did serve to facilitate further arms sales and bring U.S. imperial hegemony to the very borders of Russia. […]

So, I ask again: What would real national defense for this country look like?  Rarely do any of us pose this question, no less examine what it might truly mean.  Rarely do we think about all the changes we’d have to make as a nation and a people if we were to put defense first, second, and last, while leaving behind both our imperial wars and domestic militarism.

I know what it wouldn’t look like.  It wouldn’t look like today’s grossly inflated military.  A true Department of Defense wouldn’t need 800 foreign military bases, nor would the national security state need a budget that routinely exceeds a trillion dollars annually.  We wouldn’t need a huge, mechanized army, a navy built around aircraft carriers, or an air force that boasts of its global reach and global power, all of it created not for defense but for offense — for destruction, anytime, anywhere.

As a country, we would need to imagine a new “people’s” military as a force that could truly defend the American republic. That would obviously mean one focused above all on supporting the Constitution and the rights we (at least theoretically) hold sacred like freedom of speech, the press, and assembly, the right to privacy and due process, and of course the right to justice for all, not just for the highest bidder or those with the deepest pockets.

What might such a new military look like?  First, it would be much smaller.  America’s current military, including troops on active duty, reservists, and members of the National Guard, consists of roughly 2.4 million men and women.  Those numbers should gradually be cut at least in half.  Second, its budget should similarly be dramatically cut, the end goal being to have it 50% lower than next year’s proposed budget of $715 billion.  Third, it wouldn’t be based and deployed around the world. As a republican force (note the lower-case “r”), it would instead serve democratic ends rather than imperial ones.  It would certainly need far fewer generals and admirals.  Its mission wouldn’t involve “global reach,” but would be defensive, focused on our borders and this hemisphere. […]

Echoing the words of George McGovern, a highly decorated World War II bomber pilot who unsuccessfully ran for president against Richard Nixon in 1972, “Come home, America.” Close all those foreign military bases.  Redirect resources from wars and weapons to peace and prosperity.  Focus on restoring the republic.  That’s how Americans working together could truly defend ourselves, not only from our “enemies” overseas, almost always much exaggerated, but from ourselves, the military-industrial-congressional complex, and all our fears. Läs artikel


One Belt, One Road, Many Misconceptions,

Alison O’Neil, regular contributor for the Realist Review and Andrew C. Jarocki Editor-in-Chief of the Realist Review.

Massive. Weaponized. Even a “stalking horse to advance security concerns.”   These are just some of the dramatic terms high-ranking officials, including top American military brass and defense secretaries, have used to describe China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping announced an ambitious slate of infrastructure projects across the Eurasian landmass while on a visit to Kazakhstan. The undertaking was nicknamed “The New Silk Road” in a nod to China’s history. New railways, pipelines and ports constructed with partners throughout the world would empower China both economically and geopolitically.

The BRI encompasses overland transport routes and pipelines as well as a “maritime silk road” of ports and ocean routes throughout the Indian Ocean littorals. Proposed and completed BRI projects include railroads in Southeast Asia, power plants across Africa and the Middle East, and ports everywhere from Sri Lanka to Greece. Läs artikel

Vad är det för fel på den gällande ”regelbaserade världsordningen”?

Rolf Andersson

”Världsordningen” är ett begrepp som alltmer intensivt virvlar runt i storpolitiska tal, ges passande och anpassat innehåll av think tank-”experter” och följsamma akademiker och transformeras sedan ned till våra dagliga media, och tas då oftast emot utan nämnvärd reflektion eller kritiskt omdöme. Ibland kvalificeras begreppet med hjälp av tillägg som den ”liberala”, den ”västliga” eller den ”regelbaserade” internationella ordningen. Begreppet är inte nytt och buden och tolkningarna är många. Det är på sitt sätt tveksamt om man kan tala om ”världsordningen” som ett begrepp i normal bemärkelse, men det är legitimt att använda termen om man är tydlig med vad som avses. Men det är ju långt ifrån alla.

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