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

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,

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, ,

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,

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,

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,

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.

London calling to the faraway north, leads largest NATO task force into the Barents Sea since last Cold War ,

More than 1,200 military personnel, four warships and numerous aircraft took part in the four-nation Barents Sea mission led by the British Navy.

A British Royal Navy statement following this week’s exercise disproves the post-Cold War saying “High North – Low Tension.”

“The High North is witnessing a change in its security environment and represents a key area of interest for the UK. Recent Russian attempts to control freedom of access and navigation in the region are of concern to the UK and its partners,” the September 10 statement reads.

Per Erik Solli, an advisor with the Nord University in Bodø, says the exercise has been far larger in scope compared to a similar event in May when British and American surface warships sailed into the Barents Sea for the first time since the 90-ties.

“The number of naval vessels were about the same as in May, but importantly the Norwegian Navy joined the ships from the UK and USA this time. A number of different air force assets also participated,” Solli says. Läs artikel

Let Afghanistan be a lesson to US, NATO,

Christoph Hasselbach, Deutsche Welle

Over the years, President Donald Trump has promised to end the US’s “endless wars.” The longest and most expensive of these, in Afghanistan, will enter its 20th year in October. It has cost taxpayers over $2 trillion; it has cost more than 2,200 US soldiers their lives.

Trump plans to decrease the number of US troops in Afghanistan from 8,600 to 4,500 by the end of October. He has continued to withdraw troops without consulting NATO allies while pursuing peace talks with the Taliban — once the US’s declared enemy in Afghanistan. Trump seems only partially interested in whether negotiations are a success or what role the fundamentalist Taliban will play in shaping Afghanistan’s future.  […]

In 2002, Germany sent Bundeswehr troops to support the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force established at the end of 2001. The defense minister at the time, the Social Democrat Peter Struck, seemed to announce a new military doctrine in December 2002: “German security is being defended in the Hindu Kush.”

The military mission gained broad acceptance for its declared aim of transforming Afghanistan into a democracy. That was something that sold well — even to a German public generally skeptical of the military and foreign intervention. In a 2011 interview with the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the intervention, former Bundeswehr Inspector General  Harald Kujat said German troops had primarily been sent to Afghanistan as a sign of solidarity with the US: “But, if we look at our aim of stabilizing a country and a region, then the mission failed.” That assessment remains accurate. […]

Germany has paid a high price for its participation: Almost 60 Bundeswehr soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. The financial cost for Germany lies somewhere between €12 and €16 billion ($14-$19 billion) — depending on whether the sum is limited to purely military expenditures.

The most important lesson to be learned from Afghanistan is a fundamental one: The concept of establishing a Europeann-style democracy there was utterly unrealistic. Läs artikel


Mali’s New Leadership Raises Questions About French Counterinsurgency Mission,

Lisa Bryant,

Over the past seven years, France’s Barkhane counterinsurgency operation in the Sahel has weathered terrorist attacks, flagging political support from its African allies, and growing popular protests against the ongoing presence of Paris, the region’s former colonial power. Now, it faces the coup in Mali.

August’s power grab by a group of army colonels — Mali’s fourth coup since independence — is again posing questions about whether and for how long French boots should remain in an increasingly shifting and dangerous terrain.

That debate ratcheted up a notch this week, following the deaths of two French soldiers in northern Mali, bringing to 45 the number of French fatalities in the region over the past seven years. […]

The debate comes as Mali’s new military rulers hold local and international talks about the country’s next steps. The 15-nation Economic Commission of West African States, or ECOWAS, has set a 12-month limit for new elections and a September 15th deadline for the appointment of an interim president and prime minister.  […]

Even as the European Union and Washington announced the suspension of some military missions in Mali following the coup, French President Emmanuel Macron announced in late August the Barkhane peacekeeping force “would continue.”  […]

Helping to ease relations, Mali’s coup leaders have said they would respect the country’s previous military engagements, which include partnering with other so-called G-5 Sahel member states and France in fighting the long-running Islamist insurgency in northern Mali and neighboring countries.

When they met with France’s ambassador to Mali in August, analyst Lebovich noted, Barkhane’s commander was also present.

“There was a clear message being sent,” he added, “that from their perspective, nothing changed with Barkhane.”  […]

French opposition parties have expressed their own doubts about the status quo.

A number of analysts are also skeptical about Barkhane’s effectiveness. Some point to a tangle of sometimes conflicting French and other European military missions in the region, and to protests in Mali and elsewhere against foreign involvement.

“The French say they’re making headway,” analyst Lebovich said. “Most outside specialists look at this and say, ‘Yes, there’s some improvement, but in general the overall security situation is not that much better.’ ”  Läs artikel

Kinesiske og russiske styrker skal øve sammen i Kaukasus,

Militære styrker fra Russland, Kina og Hviterussland skal øve sammen i det sørlige Russland, opplyser forsvarsdepartementet i Kina.

Øvelsen har fått navnet Kaukasus 2020 og omfatter også styrker fra blant andre Armenia, Iran, Myanmar og Pakistan. Øvelsen finner sted fra 21. september. Landene skal konsentrere seg om taktiske forsvarsoperasjoner, omringingsmanøvrer og kommando- og kontrollrutiner på slagmarken, opplyser forsvarsdepartementet i Beijing.

Et stort antall lettere kjøretøyer skal fraktes inn i øvelsesområdet av siste generasjon av kinesiske transportfly.

– Øvelsen har spesiell betydning for kinesisk-russiske forbindelser i en tid da hele verden bekjemper pandemien, heter det i en uttalelse fra departementet. Läs artikel

Tromsø sier nei til atomdrevne ubåter på kommunal kai,

Forsvaret har siden 2016 jobbet for å tilrettelegge for mottak av allierte reaktordrevne fartøy, ofte kalt atomubåter, i Tromsø. Etter at marinebasen Olavsvern ble lagt ned i 2009, og solgt i 2013, har Nord-Norge vært uten havn for mottak av blant annet amerikanske reaktordrevne ubåter. Nærmeste havn har vært Haakonsvern i Bergen. […]

Men i et brev signert konstituert kommunaldirektør Mari Enoksen Hult, gir Tromsø kommune beskjed til både Forsvaret, Forsvarsdepartementet og den amerikanske marinen om at de ikke ønsker at reaktordrevne ubåter legger til kai på en kommunal havn, skriver Nordlys.

Dermed kan det spøke for regjeringens ønske om å ta i bruk Tromsø som havn for bytte av mannskap og vedlikehold for allierte reaktordrevne ubåter, i all hovedsak amerikanske.

Den amerikanske marinen opplyste i august at Tromsø vil få besøk av rundt fire amerikanske og britiske reaktordrevne fartøy årlig. Läs artikel

There can be no stability in Mali as long as it is dependent on France,

Mohamed Taifouri, political scientist

Mali has witnessed four military coups since its independence from France in 1960, averaging a coup every twenty years. The exception is that last month’s coup came eight years after the previous one which deposed Amadou Toumani Toure when he was about to end his second term in office. As a civilian president, he entered political life after his retirement from the army. The context of this coup was very similar to the 1991 coup, led by the then General Amadou Toumani Toure against Moussa Traore, Mali’s longest-serving president, taking advantage of the popular uprising against economic conditions. […]

Moreover, the deterioration of the security situation was the reason for France’s intervention in Mali in 2013, in accordance with a UN resolution. Declaring war on terrorists and separatists, military operations were launched in a war with no objective other than to strengthen the French presence in the country. The number of French soldiers in Mali rose above 5,800 but they did not succeed in stabilising the situation. Instead, weapons became more commonplace, and the identity of those bearing arms changed. This raised doubts about the true purpose of the French troops being there, particularly after increased activity by the armed religious and ethnic movements in the north, close to the French bases.

Paris still views Mali as a French protectorate, in which terrorism constitutes a threat to its own interests, and this alone is a convincing justification for its presence in the country, despite the increase — up to 80 per cent, according to some polls — in those calling for the French forces to be expelled.

The French intervention has exacerbated the situation, and increased the anger of the Malian people at new colonialism disguised as humanitarian intervention. This is especially after there was raised awareness of Paris playing with countries across Africa, creating differences between key institutions — the government, opposition and armed forces, for example —and then exploiting them for its own benefit. Läs artikel