31 mars 2011

Sweden contributes in Libya

In half an hours time, I will be in a meeting with the combined Committee on Foreign Affaires and Defense, solemnly put together for deciding upon swedish participance to the UN mission in Libya. For upholding the non-flyzone, Sweden will contribute with Combat Air Fighters JAS 39 Gripen plus airfueling capacity. NATO Secretary General, Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, will attend the meeting.

7 kommentarer:

CS sa...

The Swedish contribution will however not support the full intent of UNSCR 1973. The engagement against Khadaffi forces slaughtering civilians will not be a mission for the Swedish Armed Forces due to domestic political failure.

Annicka Engblom sa...

CS: For your information, Sweden is not the only participating country with mission caveats. I would, of course, have preferred the Swedish contribution to have been without limitations. However, for a mission of this nature, it is vital that the political concensus consists of as many parties as possible. In the negociations between the ruling parties and the opposition, the condition, set up by the opposition, of not letting the Swedish Airforce engage in fireing at targets on the ground, was unnegociable. To call this a domestic political failure is wrong. This had to be in order to put the bill through Parliament at all. If something, put the blame on the opposition, not the Government. The caveat can be delt with, according to representatives of the Swedish Armed Forces. Tomorrow, we will make the decision to go ahead and that is for me the most important.


CS sa...

The higher representives of the Swedish Armed Forces are promoted and appointed by the government. They are intelligent enough to understand that it is unwise to get involved in the political debate, atleast in public.

The NATO Secretary General did of course not critisize the Swedish contribution during his visit in Sweden today, instead he welcomed it and concerning the national caveat, he referred to his military chain of command that are used to handle those kind of issues. He is a skilled politician and diplomate.

However, in military coalitions around the world it is a well known fact that military personnel consider nations with caveats as unreliable allies. There are the A-teams and the B-teams. Sweden are now belonging to the B-team in Operation Unified Protector.

Annicka Engblom sa...

I don't beleive you understand the complexity of the political situation in Sweden. The Government doesn't hold a majority in chambers any longer. (s)+(v)+(mp)+(sd) together would have overthrown the bill, hadn't we complied with their demand on the caveat. Would that have been your preference?
As for the other NATO-countries with caveats, they are by no means considered as belonging to a B-team, as you put it. Nevertheless, you are now shooting the messenger. I'm merely trying to explaine the situation, not defending it.

CS sa...

First of all, I am not shooting the messenger. I am fully aware of the political situation and all the parties' different points of view. I know that you are representing the better opinion in this case.

I sincerely doubt that the opposition would join fores and reject the proposition if the alternative would be to not partake at all. That would have been an extreme political failure for the social democtrats in particular.

I am not so sure that a restricted participation in the mission is better than not participating at all. Time will tell.

Concerning A- an B-teams; Sweden did have caveats in ISAF some time ago. It was considered a B-team. Fortunately those caveats have been removed. In that theatre Germany is an example where extensive national caveats have soiled a nation's reputation both military and politically.

Anonym sa...

UN enforces a non-flight zone, and all planes belonging to the Libyan airforce are destroyed.
THEN Sweden sends fighter planes to watch over the non-flight zone. Laughable, if it werent so tragic. The same courage as Sweden showed us during WW2.

CS sa...

NATO are now looking for more countries which are willing to contribute to the ground attacks. French officials are saying that Sweden could contribute more than currently.

I am quite sure that more politicians and military reprasentatives will express similar opinions in close future. Now we must ask ourself if it was the right decision to engage with restrictions or if it would have been better to not partake at all.

It is still not to late to remove the national caveats.