I ett politiskt EU finns risk att Finland blir en del av konflikter i vilka vi inte vill vara med, hbl.fi

Henrik Immonen, Helsingfors

EU:s omstruktureringar och strategidiskussioner kan ha en utrikespolitisk dimension och bör därför falla på presidentämbetets arbetsbord. Statsministern har redan tillräckligt med det operativa inom EU. […]

Vart går EU?

Finland röstade ja för ett medlemskap i en handelsunion. Då fanns inte i paketet en valutaunion. Till synes paradoxalt sätter den gemensamma valutan ett tryck för en politisk union. Engelsmännen lämnade EU för att de ville behålla sin politiska självständighet och har alltid varit kritiska till en gemensam valuta, vilkas följder redan på 1970-talet noterades i den nu bortglömda EG-sponsrade McDougall-rapporten.

Även tyska experter var kritiska till den gemensamma valutan som drevs hårt av Frankrike. Efteråt har det visat sig att på kort sikt har euron gynnat Tyskland på bekostnad av Italien och Spanien. Nu har den starka tyska marken ersatts med stödpaket till dessa länder. Skillnaden är bara den att nu blir gäldenären beroende av borgenären. […]

Med ett politiskt EU finns risken att vi blir en del av konflikter i vilka vi inte vill vara med. I stället för att agera som förmedlare. Läs insändaren

Skjervheimprisen til Julie Wilhelmsen, nupi.no

Wilhelmsen mottar prisen for sitt viktige bidrag til den offentlige debatten, spesielt gjelder dette Norges forhold til Russland.

Priskomiteen hadde følgende begrunnelse for valget av Wilhelmsen til Skjervheimprisen 2020:

Julie Wilhelmsen er ei av dei dyktigaste og modigaste stemmene i den utanrikspolitiske debatten, særleg når det gjeld vårt forhold til Russland. I lang tid har ho arbeida iherdig for å skapa forståing og nyansera fiendebilete av vår stormaktsnabo i aust. Dette har tidvis vore upopulært i politiske krinsar, men det har bidrege til å stimulera den elles ganske neddyssa debatten rundt norsk tryggingspolitikk. Wilhelmsen si deltaking i offentlegheita byggjer på forsking på toppnivå, noko som gir tyngde og presisjon. Hennar evne til å opna opp viktige samtalar og problematisera premiss har ein klar skjervheimsk kvalitet over seg, og er av ein karakter som komiteen gjerne skulle sett endå meir av i norsk offentlegheit.  Läs artikel

Svenska fartyg övade med finsk ledning, forsvarsmakten.se

Övningen genomfördes i Stockholms skärgård och i norra Östersjön med fartyg från Fjärde sjöstridsflottiljen under ledning av det finska minfartyget Uusimaa.

– Övningen har genomförts på svenskt territorium med finsk ledning. Att vi kan få till den här mixen i ledningen är ännu ett steg i det redan utvecklade samarbetet med Finland. Den här typen av övningar är dessutom värdefull för det vardagliga arbetet med bland annat sjöövervakning, säger Erik Öhrn, chef för marinstabens genomförandesektion. Läs pressmeddelande

NATO opens new Atlantic Command at Norfolk, Va., upi.com

NATO’s new Atlantic Command, Joint Force Command Norfolk, was declared operational at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Norfolk, Va., Thursday.

The new command was established to protect sea lanes between Europe and North America and is the first NATO headquarters dedicated to the Atlantic since 2003, according to NATO officials.

The new command will provide command arrangements for allied forces, maintain situational awareness, conduct exercises and draw up operational plans for areas from the East Coast past the Greenland-Iceland-Britain gap and into the Arctic. Läs artikel

Sikkerhets­dynamikken rundt oss, prosjektutsyn.no

Gjert Lage Dyndal, fagprofil i UTSYN

Norge som småstat påvirkes sterkt av sikkerhetsdynamikkene utenfor våre grenser. Hvilke potensielle trusler bør vi i Norge være forberedt på?

Denne artikkelen er i hovedsak en gjengivelse av kapittel 2, bakgrunnskapittelet til den nye boken: Strategisk ledelse i krise og krig, utgitt av Universitetsforlaget sommeren 2020. Godkjent av Universitetsforlaget og redaktørene (Larssen & Dyndal). […]

Med Norges tette tilknytning til NATO og bilaterale forhold til USA, Storbritannia og Tyskland – så er det vanskelig å isolere seg fra den dominerende stormaktsdynamikken. Vår strategiske posisjon ligger dessverre i skjæringspunktet mellom to av de mest sentrale globale sikkerhetspolitiske aktørene, Russland og USA. Det er stor sannsynlighet for at vi blir del av spenningsfeltet eller slagfeltet om det skulle komme til konflikt. Norge kan derimot selv delvis velge eller påvirke i hvilken grad vi og vårt territorium skal oppfattes som en trussel for Russland. Derfor er selvstendig geopolitisk og strategisk tenkning og selvstendige valg om balansegang så viktig for oss. Videre, i dette nye dynamiske multipolare verdenssystemet er det ikke gitt hvordan fremtidens sikkerhetsstrukturer og politiske samarbeid vil være, så vi bør tenke både nytt og bredere om nasjonal sikkerhet. Läs artikel

The Great Game has resumed, and it requires Finland to act, tuni.fi

Competition between the great powers has returned to the global political scene in a way that requires situational awareness and initiative from Finland.

Hiski Haukkala, professor of international relations at Tampere University, warns that small states are threatened by the transfer of key issues away from multilateral arenas to smaller circles formed by the great powers.

“Finland’s challenge is to act in such a way that it avoids being used as a pawn in the great power game,” Haukkala writes in his new book, Suuren pelin paluu [The Great Game Returns]. […]

According to Haukkala, competition between the great powers could at worst result in Finland being presented as the West’s support area in a conflict against Russia. This in turn would force Finland to build its security and position only on weapons.

“This would significantly reduce Finland’s room for manoeuvre and weaken its international position, as it would make Finland completely dependent on
the countries from which it receives military support. However, that would not necessarily eliminate the threat of major political agreements being made over our heads,” Haukkala argues.

Haukkala considers the return of the great power games to be a bad development for Finland, and he believes this trajectory will be potentially difficult and even dangerous for all small countries. Nevertheless, it is a fact that must be acknowledged. […]

Haukkala considers both a speedy accession to NATO and the renouncement of the current NATO option – and thus voluntarily settling into Russia’s sphere of interest – to be bad alternatives. NATO membership would ensure a degree of safety, but it would activate a wider threat against Finland from Russia. For its part, giving up the NATO option would narrow Finland’s independent room for manoeuvre. […]

Haukkala considers ‘the Nordic balance’ familiar from the Cold War a better solution than joining NATO, but in a new way so that Finland and Sweden together would remain outside NATO but be an integral part of the wider Western European area that develops close co-operation in security and defence. Läs artikel

Hiski Haukkala: Suuren pelin paluu. Suomen tulevaisuus kriisien maailmassa. Otava 2020.

Increase in NATO scrambled jets from Norway, thebarentsobserver.com

With two F-16s in the air on Monday, the number of QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to identify Russian military planes in the north has already passed the 2019 count. […]

In the first 15 years after the end of the first Cold War, there were very few scrambles. In 2007, Russian long-range bombers (Tu-95 and Tu-160) again started to fly west of the Barents Sea into international airspace in the North Atlantic. The number of scrambles from Bodø airbase increased until 2014. In 2015-2016 the Russian military flight activity in the north was substantially lower again, by the Norwegian military believed to be caused by activities other places, and maintenance challenges with the planes. From 2018, when Norway was host of exercise Trident Juncture, Russia’s long-distance flights increased again.

Last week, Norwegian, British, American and Danish maritime surveillance aircraft were daily met by Russian fighter jets over international airspace in the Barents Sea as the four-nation NATO naval group were exercising navigation in the area.

“We can confirm NATO QRA from Bodø on mission today,” says spokesperson Major Brynjar Stordal. The planes were visually identified as two Russian Tu-160 Blackjacks – long-range, supersonic bombers, the British Air Force later reported.

This weekend, Stordal tells, were two Russian Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare planes from the Northern Fleet identified outside Norwegian air space. The planes continued south to north of England before returning home. Two weeks ago, the US Navy submarine Seawolf surfaced outside Tromsø in northern Norway for crew replacement.

By September 14, Norwegian fighter jets on NATO alert have been scrambled 41 times. In 2019, 38 QRA take-offs took place. The number of Russian aircraft identified last year was 83, one less than so far in 2020, which still has more than 3 months left.

The Norwegian Joint Headquarters underlines that it has several means to identify Russian military planes, so scrambles itself do not necessarily paint the whole picture. Läs artikel

 

 

 

 

 

John Mearsheimer: U.S.-China rift runs real risk of escalating into a nuclear war, asahi.com

[…] Q: In “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics,” the book you published in 2001, you said there would never be a peaceful emerging of China and predicted the U.S.-China conflict. When do you think the critical turning point was for their bilateral relationship?

A: That’s a difficult question to answer, because it really started in the early 1990s when China began to grow. That’s when it started.

It was China’s rise in the unipolar moment that is driving the train in this process. And there were a number of events along the way that mattered greatly. Most importantly, it was China’s admission to the WTO in 2001, which really allowed the Chinese economy to accelerate, to the extent that you can pinpoint a date where the United States recognized that the rise of China was a problem and that China would have to be contained. […]

Now, contrast that with the situation in East Asia, which is the central flash point between United States and China, the three places where you could possibly have a war involve the South China Sea, Taiwan and the East China Sea. […]

Now, if China is losing, or if the United States is losing that military engagement, there will be a serious temptation to use nuclear weapons as the United States is committed to use nuclear weapons to defend Japan if Japan is losing a conventional war. And one might say, it’s unimaginable that the United States or China would use nuclear weapons.

But I don’t think that’s true, because you would be using those nuclear weapons at sea. You would not be hitting the Chinese mainland in all likelihood. And, therefore, it’s possible to think in terms of a “limited nuclear war,” with limited nuclear use.

So, I worry greatly that not only will we have a war between the United States and China, but also that there’s a serious possibility nuclear weapons would be used. And I think in a very important way, it was much less likely that would happen during the Cold War. […]

I was in China for 17 days in October 2019. And I talked to all sorts of Chinese foreign policy leaders. Almost everybody I talked to believes that it doesn’t matter whether Trump wins or loses in 2020 for U.S.-China relations. The Chinese believe that the Americans have their gun sight on China, and nothing is going to change that. I think they are correct. Läs intervjun

Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States’ Post-9/11 Wars, watson.brown.edu

Since President George W. Bush announced a “global war on terror” following Al  Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the U.S. military has engaged in  combat around the world. As in past conflicts, the United States’ post-9/11 wars have  resulted in mass population displacements.

This report is the first to measure comprehensively how many people these wars have displaced. Using the best available  international data, this report conservatively estimates that at least 37 million people have  fled their homes in the eight most violent wars the U.S. military has launched or
participated in since 2001. The report details a methodology for calculating wartime  displacement, provides an overview of displacement in each war-affected country, and  points to displacement’s individual and societal impacts.

Wartime displacement (alongside war deaths and injuries) must be central to any analysis of the post-9/11 wars and their short- and long-term consequences. Displacement also must be central to any possible consideration of the future use of military force by the United States or others. Ultimately, displacing 37 million—and perhaps as many as 59  million—raises the question of who bears responsibility for repairing the damage inflicted on those displaced. Läs rapporten

 

Last Croatian Troops In NATO RS Leave Afghanistan, reporterly.net

A flag lowering ceremony was held at Marmal camp in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh, as the final batch of Croatian soldiers who were part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission departed from Afghanistan on Saturday, the Croatian Defence Ministry said.

With the return of the final 70 Croatian personnel of the 12th Croatian contingent from Afghanistan, it marked the end of Croatia’s participation in the NATO-led Resolute Support. Läs artikel

Ingen språngbräda!

Anders Björnsson

Den resursstarka svenska Nato-lobbyn ligger numera lågt. (Ihållande träningsvärk?) Enligt SOM-institutets senaste medborgarundersökning finns det alltjämt ett motstånd i opinionen mot svenska medlemskap i Atlantpakten. Av tillfrågade är drygt 60 procent för att den militära alliansfriheten bibehålls; endast 15 procent motsätter sig detta. (Officerstidningen 5:2020)

Läs merIngen språngbräda!

Note on the United States’ Claim to activate the snapback mechanism under Security Council Resolution 2231, voelkerrechtsblog.org ,

On 20 August 2020, the United States attempted to launch the mechanism often referred to as the ‘snapback’ mechanism provided for by the Iran nuclear agreement, the a (JCPOA) of 2015. The United States has done so through a ‘notification’ addressed to the United Nations Security Council, of the ‘significant non-performance’ by Iran ‘of its commitments under the JCPOA’, based on paragraph 11 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. […]

A short note (memorandum) has been drafted to address the issue of the validity of the United States’ claim to initiate the ‘snapback’ mechanism, from the viewpoint of international law. This note has been drafted as an independent, non-partisan assessment of relevant rules of international law. It is intended to be a contribution of the community of international law scholars to the clarification of an issue of importance for the UN and international law at large. The underlying question addressed by the note is whether the United States qualifies as one of the JCPOA participants identified in paragraph 10 of resolution 2231, as it claims to be.[…]

Its main conclusion is that the legal position expressed by the remaining JCPOA participant States, that the United States is not entitled to initiate the ‘snapback’ mechanism since it is no longer a JCPOA participant, is legally correct. It shows that the US claims rest on an understanding of the term ‘JCPOA participant’ that is supported neither by textual interpretation, nor by contextual interpretation, nor by the subsequent practice of the remaining JCPOA participant States. The consequence is that the United States’ attempted ‘notification’ of 20 August 2020 is incapable of having any legal effect under international law, and consequently cannot bring into effect the ‘snapback’ procedure foreseen under paragraph 11 of Security Council Resolution 2231. Läs artikel