En amerikan i FN:s tjänst

Mats Björkenfeldt

Robert Adolph, amerikansk militär som under många år kom att tjäna FN som Chief Security Advisor, har skrivit en intressant bok: Surviving the United Nations. The Unexpected Challenge (New Academia Publishing/Vellum Books 2020). Boken är en dramatisk och engagerad redogörelse om hans tjänst i FN, framför allt i Sierra Leone, Jemen, och Irak.

Författarens reflektioner över FN-systemet och framför allt dess fredsbevarande uppgifter är intressanta, och man tillåts förundras över att systemet är det enda tänkbara och har fungerat någorlunda väl sedan oktober 1945.

“On reflection, the organization stretched me in ways I find impossible to describe. Nearly two hundred nationalities are represented. It is wildly diverse. The number of languages spoken is mind-boggling. The variety of cultures is astounding. The opportunities therefore for learning and individual growth are simply without equal. The personal and professional challenges of working within the UN, despite its highlighted deficiencies, forced me to attempt to understand extraordinarily differing perspectives. I am hopefully a far better person for my experiences while in international service.”

Robert Adolph är mycket kritisk till USA:s (inklusive Storbritanniens, Australiens och Polens) invasion i Irak i mars 2003. Paul Bremer III, amerikansk diplomat, kom att leda den civila administrationen i Irak efter invasionen. Författaren skriver:

“Shortly thereafter, Bremer executed the single most catastrophic action of his tenure when he unilaterally disbanded the Iraqi Army. With the stroke of his pen, he turned a goodly portion of approximately 250,000 former regime soldiers into unemployed, armed, and hostile former regime elements that would later lead the attack on US and Coalition forces in Iraq for much of the next decade. Per trusted knowledgeable sources, that decision was in fact made in Washington, DC, and well prior to the invasion. The Iraqi Army at that time would have worked for anyone able to make payroll. Whoever made the actual call in DC – in large measure – kick-started the organized armed opposition. Put simply, Iraq was a war that did not need to be fought. Other than ridding the world of another dictator, all the rationales provided for the invasion proved to be false. American credibility within the international community took an enormous blow. George Tenet, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who insisted that it was a ‘slam dunk’ that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, was wrong. His hubris led to one of the most catastrophic foreign policy blunders in modern US history, enabling President Bush to serve the interests of his ‘higher father’ by invading Iraq. The war tarnished the reputation of one of my personal heroes too, General Colin Powell. In addition, and more importantly, the choice to conduct two wars simultaneously, Iraq and Afghanistan, was always a fool’s errand. History has proven it.”

Robert Adolph beskriver ingående hur FN tvingades lämna Irak, efter att en självmordsbombare i augusti 2003 förstörde FN:s högkvarter, dödade tjugotvå och skadade 150 FN-anställda. ”Not only was the office in ruins, but also the UN effort to demonstrate to the world that it could be an effective player in post-war Iraq.”

Författaren redogör även för hur en, förmodligen svensk, FN-officer erbjöd FN i Irak ”an infantry battalion to secure our headquarters. I was immediately excited by the possibility. It seemed a near-perfect solution. This Scandinavian country was well known for both its neutrality and military competence. Also, the roughly thirty soldier platoon left behind by the US 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment Commander, although welcome, were grossly insufficient to cover the entire perimeter of the Canal Hotel compound 24/7. I took that offer immediately and directly to the HC. He declined, saying that the timing was wrong, and that he preferred using an Iraqi Police Unit instead. I was deeply disappointed. Although requested, there were no Iraqi police units then available for this purpose.”


Sällan amerikaner i bokform lyfter fram vikten av FN-systemet för att begränsa aggressioner värden över. Robert Adolph ska ha all heder över att han här beskrivit just detta.