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

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

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

Kejserligt militärt besök – Caesar 8×8 på svenska vägar, cornucopia.cornubot.se

Bloggen fångade i veckan foton på en konvoj med den franska motoriserade haubitsen CAESAR i sitt nya 8×8-utförande, ibland känd som Caesar 2. Nexter (fd Giat) har än så länge sålt 8×8 till Danmark och Tjeckien, medan Frankrike själva inte har skrivit på en order än. Haubitsen kan ses som en enklare konkurrent till svenska Archer, men frågan är vad dessa inplastade fordon gjorde i Sverige? […]

Danmark håller nu på att sätta upp en mellantung Nato-brigad, där Caesar 8×8 kommer vara brigadartilleri, med 19 beställda haubitsar. På sikt ska brigaden bli en tung brigad och det finns de som ifrågasätter om Caesar 8×8 är lämplig. Systemet valdes på den tiden som Danmarks försvar, likt vid det svenska valet av Archer, främst skulle vara till för att bekämpa dåligt utrustade bondearméer i tredje världen, inte slåss mot den så kallat dimensionerande motståndaren av idag, med sina massiva artilleribrigader. Man kan diskutera hur svenska och Nato-övningar även i fria duellsituationer hanterar det faktum att den dimensionerande motståndaren har en helt annan volym och doktrin vad gäller artilleri. Det finns problem med att öva mot motståndare som inte har den dimensionerande motståndarens doktrin och volym vad gäller artilleri. Läs artikel

Biden says US must maintain small force in Middle East, has no plans for major Defense cuts, stripes.com

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he supports drawing down troops in the Middle East but if elected president would keep a small force there to prevent extremists from posing a threat to the United States and its allies.

“These ‘forever wars’ have to end. I support drawing down the troops. But here’s the problem, we still have to worry about terrorism and [the Islamic State],” Biden told Stars and Stripes in a telephone interview.

He also said he does not foresee major reductions in the U.S. defense budget as the military refocuses its attention to potential threats from “near-peer” powers such as China and Russia. […]

He said the force in Afghanistan will drop from about 8,600 to 4,500 by November, as President Trump seeks to fulfill a key campaign promise to end “endless wars.”

Biden said conditions in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are so complicated that he cannot promise full withdrawal of troops in the near future. However, he supports a small U.S. military footprint whose primary mission would be to facilitate special operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and other terror organizations. Läs artikel

How a rush for Mediterranean gas threatens to push Greece and Turkey into war, theguardian.com

Patrick Wintour , diplomatic editor

An increasingly fractious standoff over access to gas reserves has transformed a dispute between Turkey and Greece that was once primarily over Cyprus into one that now ensnares Libya, Israel, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and feeds into other political issues in the Mediterranean and has raised fears of a naval conflict between the two Nato allies in the Aegean Sea. […]

The scale of the reserves, and Turkish ambitions, last year prompted Israel, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to form an East Med Gas forum to draw up a joint plan to extract and export gas from the region. France would also like to join, and the United Arab Emirates, also battling Turkish intervention in Libya, is a supporter, creating an imposing anti-Turkish web.

Turkey argues that Greece is claiming the Aegean Sea economically as purely Greek, even though Turkey has a greater length of coastline. […]

Macron has already increased the French naval presence in the sea, and called for withdrawal of the Turkish reconnaissance ship Oruç Reis, accompanied by Turkish naval ships. The ship is undertaking seismic surveys in Greek waters south of Cyprus. A key moment may come on 12 September, when the Turkish Navtex warning for Oruç Reis is due to end. If it is extended, the risk of a naval clash between Greece and Turkey two Nato partners either by accident or design rises. Läs artikel

Läs också kommentar här på sajten till den folkrättsliga frågan i konflikten.