1) China: Nine Dash Line. Lesson thirtythree

There is a slim possibility for the Americans, but still a possibility, to fuel conflicts on several fronts so that they would not have to face China alone. Here’s what the CIA’s former public site LIGNET expressed on July 17, 2013:

Why the Indian Ocean Could Be the Next Theater of War
While China has loudly trumpeted its new aircraft carrier and its developing “blue water” navy, India has quietly embarked on its own naval modernization program, with a new aircraft carrier on order from Russia and a new nuclear submarine now undergoing sea trials. Both China and India have their eyes on the Indian Ocean and on guarding the oil tankers that traverse it. The recent advances in the navies of both nations set up the potential for a clash there.

And here’s what the CIA expressed on LIGNET september 24, 2013:

China, Russia Compete for Influence Over Central Asia
China and Russia are engaged in an intense rivalry for hegemonic control over Central Asia, a rivalry that could jeopardize the close friendship that has developed between them over the past two decades. What will China’s unquenchable thirst for energy and Russia’s desire to revive the glory of its former empire mean for the future of the region?

The United States has no desire that the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea should explode in their face. Some of the Spratly Islands are controlled by Vietnam, others by the Philippines and some islands by Taiwan and some by China. The islands are hard to reach but the surroundings are believed to contain raw material resources. Due to the seemingly unresolvable disputes, there have been no serious explorations of deposits in the areas, so the estimation of commodity resources is largely extrapolated from mineral deposits in neighboring areas.

China has built a runway, 10 flight minutes in mach 1 (approximate speed for sound waves or 1,224 km/h) from the Philippine Islands, on one of the Spratly Islands called Mischief Island 200 nautical miles (370 km or 230 miles) from the Philippines. Conflicts (i.e., Chinese hijacking) regarding the ownership of the islands are undesirable. China claims virtually the whole of the South China Sea and commits violations of other countries’ legal rights to an economic zone under the UNCLOS Convention on the Law of the Sea. China calls their self-imposed demarcation lines for the nine-dash line.

On the largest island, known as Woody Island in the States, in the disputed Paracel archipelago south of China, it is believed that China has deployed surface-to-air missiles. In 2012, China established a military garrison as well as the city of Sansha on the island to administer the entire South China Sea. In 2015, China temporarily deployed fighter jets on Woody Island. Many countries claim ownership of several of the Paracel Islands in the archipelago, countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Woody Island is located about 300 km (186 miles) southeast of the giant island of Hainan in southern China.

China wants to conduct bilateral negotiations, but many of China’s neighboring countries argue that China’s strength and size are giving the country an unfair advantage. ASEAN (Association of SouthEast Asean Nations) cannot even resolve the dispute. The US says they do not choose side in territorial disputes, but they have frequently sent military ships and flights near the disputed islands and they call it “Freedom of navigation” operations. In addition to these islands, there are dozens of rocky reefs, atolls and sandbanks, such as Scarborough shoal, mostly uninhabited. These data were current in July 2016.

Already President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech on February 12, 2013, that he (America) intended to pursue a Pacific Trade Agreement. With these few words in an one-hour speach he declared his intentions:

”To boost American exports. Support American jobs. And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia. We intend to complete negotiations on a transpacific partnership. And tonight I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the European Union. Because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic, supports millions of good paying American jobs.”

What did he mean by “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia”? It can only be interpreted in one way; an Obamish economic War declaration against China, by financially binding other east Asian countries to the United States, North Korea excluded. It should have been a piece of cake but Trump is less skillful and kid-gloved than most people.

Was it China that started the contentions? In 2012, China initiated formal talks in an economic union with a number of countries in east Asia and other places, including Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and South Korea. The rounds of negotiations have succeeded each other and are known as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). The discussions have been going on for a long time, but God knows if they have reached an agreement as late as in November, 2018.

 

Homework:

What do You think Obama meant by “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia”? Was it an unfriendly perhaps even hostile sentence?

And if it was hostile, was it a legitimate sentence? Please motivate your conclusions! Before answering the question, I want you to make an effort to justify your conclusions by searching for background material about the conflict so that you get training in fact finding and screening of information. Don’t come back to me with a foggy response, because you are biased and think this and that, only trying to prove what you already presuppose.

Fact searching means being able to walk a few miles in your opponent’s moccasins, i.e. you need to search for information and screen information not only on the home team’s site but on all possible sites. It is not the same as being unbiased because nobody really is, but If you always assume that your home team is right and that you therefore do not need to listen to the other side, you might as well skip doing this homework altogether. Be generally critical when seeking out information.

Every time you get suspicious, keep the thought in the back of your head until you can confirm it or until it has been falsified, even if it will take years of fact searching and contemplating. Your level of perseverance determines if you will become a good intelligence person or not.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

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Mirror imaging. Lesson thirtytwo

Russia argues that NATOs Kosovo mission in the 1990s was identical to Russia’s takeover of the Crimea. But the Kosovo mission was only implemented after lasting discussions which involved the entire NATO which dealt with a far reaching and long-lasting crisis that caused the UN Security Council to perceive the Kosovo conflict as a threat to international peace and security.

In the Crimea, however, there was no previous crisis, there were no attempts to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government and the UN was not involved, and finally no attempt was made to mediate. In Kosovo, international efforts were made to find a solution over a period of 3,000 days. In the Crimea, Russia annexed parts of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days.

Russia has tried to justify its illegal and illegitimate annexation partly by referring to the referendum that took place in the Crimea. But the referendum was incompatible with Ukrainian law and was held under an illegal occupation force, without freedom of expression or media access for the opposition, and without credible international monitoring of the election.

Russia claims that the Ukrainian government is illegitimate. Ukrainian President Poroshenko was elected with a clear majority in an election that the OSCE election organization characterized;

”clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.”

The only areas in which serious restrictions were reported were in areas that were controlled by the pro-russian separatists who undertook; “Increasing attempts to derail the process.” Official Russian administrators continue to claim that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by Nazis and fascists. But in the parliamentary elections, the parties that Russia claimed to be facsist got far less than 5 percent of the votes required for these parties to take their seats in Parliament. The voters in Ukraine voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of parliamentarians reflects it.

In short, the Ukrainian President and Parliament are legitimate while the separatists’ actions were not.

Source; North Atlantic Treaty Organization

 

Homework:

Is there any possibility that Russia can soak this up? Can you think of a credible pro-russian counterargument if you are pro-russian? Don’t waste my time with pseudo arguments!

Can you add any credible arguments against Russia if you are pro-ukrainian?

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

War in Europe – Ukraine vs. Whom. Lesson thirtyone

It is said by a singular Western source that the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula and the illegal warfare in Donbass is about Russia not wanting to see Exxon and Shell extract gas deposits in Western Ukraine, as Russia would then lose its main source of income, to sell gas to the EU, particularly to Germany.

It is telling that Russia attacked Ukraine by annexing Crimea even before the Olympic Games of 2014 in Russian Sotji had ended. It is also interesting that Euromaidan was initiated just before the winter Olympics in Sotji started. I am a man not prone to belive in coincidences that happens for no apparent reason. Also, Viktor Yanukovych was in Putin’s pocket. What does all this tell us?

For one, Russia absolutely must have had a plan for invading Crimea. They have a plan for invading every country in their neighborhood. All Putin has to do is to say that word, and the ball is rolling. This was a turf war.

On the other hand, the Kremlin has been claiming all along that the US had their hands in the jelly jar, referring to Euromaidan who just so happens was initiated right before the Olympics in Sotji. As I said, I am a man not prone to Believe in apparent coincidences and obvious fairytales. Exxon wanted to steal away Russian gas supplies to various European countries by exploiting Ukrainian gas reserves. Exxon and Obama wanted to transform Ukraine into a modern western democracy. So goodbye Russian gas supplies to the West and goodbye Russian import of vital components, like those for the Russian nuclear deterrent capacity and Russia’s helicopter fleet, components from the former Soviet republic Ukraine, sold to Russia. And goodbye Russian supplies of coal from Ukraine. Putin wasn’t going to sit idle and wait for that to happen. Did I mention that most factories, including those of the above mentioned, in Ukraine are located in the Eastern half of Ukraine?

But the annexation of Crimea explicitly violates the Budapest Declaration. Crimea is not part of Russia. In 1991, there was a referendum where they voted to belong to Ukraine, and in 1994 Russia signed the Budapest Declaration, an agreement to respect Ukraine’s borders forever.

In March 2014, Crimea declared itself independent from Ukraine and applied to join Russia. The Russian military mobilized on the Russian side of the border. 60,000 Russian soldiers were summoned at the eastern border of Ukraine at the time and 20,000 more in the Crimea. Ukraine’s parliament decided to mobilize 40,000 reservists in response to Crimea saying that it would take over the Ukrainian military bases.

When all the voices had been counted after the following referendum in Crimea, 97 percent had voted for that the peninsula should break free from Ukraine and join Russia. The voting populus in the election were said to be more than 80 percent. The number of ethnic Russians in the Crimea was 60 percent of the population in 2014. 25 percent were Ukrainians and 12 percent were Crimean Tatars, smaller ethnicities not mentioned. The Crimean Tatars are generally Russian-hostile since the days of Stalin’s deportations.

If all who did not vote were Ukrainians and Tatars and all Ukrainians and Tatars who voted, voted for Crimea to separate from Ukraine, and all ethnic Russians also voted for a separation, the election result would be correct with a few percent error margin. Neither Ukraine, the EU nor the United States recognized the election result. The Crimean management immediately started a nationalization of Ukrainian property by taking over banks, companies, the railway and an energy company. The EU introduced travel bans and frozen accounts abroad for some Russian and Crimean leaders.

The distinctive feature of this war is Russian disinformation and even more disinformation. It is not easy for a citizen to see passed the Russian disinformation, unless you happen to live in Ukraine. To disinform means to distort, hide or completely concoct information in order to mislead and influence a target group in a certain direction. Disinformation creates what is called “the fog of war”. But one can look at a map and compare it with the news flow and ascertain that the battles have been most intense around the relatively large airports in Donetsk and Luhansk, which are now totally bombarded. Almost 20 percent of the Ukrainian cities are located in the Donbass. In addition, the separatists have a corridor to Russia in the east.

Russia’s main disinformation campaign is still ongoing. Russia claims that they have the right to create buffer zones in sovereign non-aligned states against NATO according to the self-defense principle. Russia has no such right! On the other hand, small states have the right to choose their allies and friends as much as Russia takes that right, without having to be attacked.

Tsar Putin paints a picture of unrest and oppression that now affects ethnic Russians outside of Russia. The fact that the picture is partly and sometimes entirely created by the Russian secret services and/or Russian media can take its time to unravel and not everyone can connect Moscow’s claim with what later emerges. On 27-28 February of 2014, key buildings and airports in the Crimea were occupied, while at the same time Ukrainian military installations were blocked or occupied. Putin vigorously denied that Russia was invading Crimea. The so-called “Small green men” who occupied Crimea lacked identification features. It was just “local self-defense forces,” Putin was saying.

“Russia have no plans to enter eastern Ukraine.” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March 2014 to the US Secretary of Defense, while info pointed to that Russian soldiers had stormed three Ukrainian warships, according to the news agency AP’s photographers at place in the port of Sevastopol. “Russian soldiers along the border with Ukraine are only there for military exercises and should not cross the border,” said Shoigu. Defense Minister Chuck Hagel had an almost one hour long phone call with his Russian counterpart where Hagel demanded an explanation why Russia placed forces along the borders with eastern and southern Ukraine. The source is a spokesperson for the US Defense Minister.

Only when the annexation was completed did President Putin confirm that the soldiers in Crimea were Russian soldiers. Interestingly in this context, the medal these soldiers were then to receive, where the embossing on the back shows the dates of the operation as February 20 to March 18. February 20 was the day before Yanukovych fled Ukraine and only on February 26 did the small green men appear in Crimea. Speaking of the annexation, one of the Russian state media for foreigners, “Russia’s Voice”, had a newslet on March 4, 2014; “Russia does not intend to seize Crimea”. What has made Ukraine’s situation worse is the country’s dependence on Russian gas and that they have therefore had to stand with their cap in their hands before Putin when they have made gas deals during the war. Source; Joakim von Braun

Putin has not given up on the idea of seizing the strategically important Ukrainian port and airport in the city of Odessa. While the city of Mariupol is a first step to creating a land road to the occupied Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea, Odessa is needed to create a longer land connection to Transnistria where Russia has a military base. Transnistria can only be reached through Ukraine or Moldova. They are looking to create a Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) and must eventually conquer the entire coast of Ukraine along the Black Sea.

Since Russia has launched a war on Ukraine, Russia’s only opportunity to reach, supply and support Transnistria is to fly in via Romanian airspace to Moldova’s largest airport at Chisinau in the inland. But Russia cannot supply Transnistria with new ammunition and modern weapons via the airport because Moldova inspects every incoming airplane. Therefore, Russia will sooner or later want to attack Odessa to create a direct land connection to Transnistria and deprive Ukraine of its main port, which will further weaken Ukraine’s economy. In the year of 2014, Russian agents repeatedly infiltrated Odessa from Transnistria and placed bombs in offices and business locations of the pro-ukrainian civil society’s organizations. Source; Euromaidan Press

Euromaidan

Euromaidan was a popular manifestation of discontent that took place on the Independence Square in Kiev against the regime for more than 100 days in 2013-2014, ultimately against the President of Ukraine. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych sneaked away from Euromaidans’ grip on February 21 after the police shooting with deadly outcome, and then appeared in the Russian city of Rostov at Don, where he held a press conference and claimed that he was Ukraine’s legitimate president and that the opposition had carried out a coup d’état. Those of the parliamentarians in Yanukovych’s own Party who had not fled the country loaded with cash, gold and antiques, voted to dethrone Yanukovych in the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) who dismissed Yanukovych with an 82% majority. By fleeing he had also renounced his presidency. The Russian-friendly Yanukovych was displaced by his people, because he chose a Russian oriented politics and shunned the EU. He was notorious for imprisoning high oppositionists such as Yulia Tymoshenko, the former president of Ukraine, and part of her entourage too. The reason? Yulia made a bad gas energy deal with Russia, the same Russia which Yanukovych himself favored.

 

Homework:

This lesson is only about the beginning and the end goal for Russia in this war. I have one simple question for you; Do you, or do you not put the blame on Russia for the war in eastern Ukraine i.e. in Donbass? Do you, or do you not put the blame on Russia for the Russian annexation of Crimea? Please do not motivate your standpoint to me! A simple yes or no would do.

Sources:
Euromaidan Press
Joakim von Braun

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

The Kola peninsula. Lesson thirty

Despite its large land mass and the fact that Russia has ports in all four directions, the number of ports are relatively small. The usefulness of the Russian ports are also often limited due to both climatic conditions and the long transport distances.

In the north, only the larger ports in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk have international status, and of these, only Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula in the furthest north can handle regular traffic all year round. At the Arkhangelsk area in the bay south of the Kola Peninsula, a thick, impenetrable ice is formed in the winter.

A statistical assumption is that the Russian revenue for the ports in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea is four times as large as that for the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in the Barents Sea.

The above was written by FOI associates Tomas Malmlöf & Johan Tejpar in their FOI publication ”Ett skepp kommer lastat” published in 2013.

Military in Kola

The following information is from 2015 and it gives a picture of the importance Russia attribute to the Barents region. These are bases planned and/or existing in 2015:
The Alakurtti airbase with the Marine bombardiers.
The newly deployed 80:th independent motorised rifle infantry brigade, one of Russias two Arctic brigades at Alakurtti.
The other newly deployed brigade, the Arctic 200:th independent mechanized infantry brigade, is located in Pechenga, former finnish Petsamo, and it is adjacent to Norway.
13 Airbases and 10 air defense radar stations have been constructed or were to be constructed on Russia’s Arctic coast, according to PISM (Polish Institute of International Affairs).
They also have an Air defense division, a coastal missile defense and a missile regiment. At least they were supposed to be built in the Kola peninsula in 2015.

A deployed S-500 Triumph in Kola can cover the Swedish airbase Kallax in Luleå, if the S-500 is deployed near the Finnish border. But it is not optimal, to try to shoot down cargo-airplanes approaching Kallax, with the S-500 system deployed in Russia. If you fly under a certain altitude while coming in to land at Kallax the Russian radarbeam is going to fail to detect you because your flying in radar shadow. We are talking about altitudes under ~9,000 m, so it is not realistic to think that an S-500 can do the job since the cargo-airplane under any circumstances will come in to land under an altitude of 9,000 m, thus under the radar horizon. Both the 400 km range variant of the S-400 and the 600 km range S-500 are optimized for interception of ballistic missiles, not shooting down airplanes, for these reasons. There are other S-400 variants with shorter range for shooting down enemy aircrafts. Air defense missile systems are used or should best be used for defensive purposes. It’s not an offensive weapon.

Not even the exit and the entrance to the Baltic Sea through the Danish Great Belt and the Swedish-Danish Öresund or even the Kiel canal plays any absolute role if Russia are developing the infrastructure in the Murmansk region, with its ports, its navy and its Airports.

NATO can lock in Russia in the Baltic region, if Russia tries something fatal in the Baltic region, leading to issues. Has the Murmansk railway to Severomorsk been kept in condition? Has the road to Severomorsk been maintained lately? Has the Port of Severomorsk been developed? Has the airport in Murmansk been developed? And so on.

The actions speak for themselves, according to the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), 16 deep-water ports will be built on Russia’s Arctic coast.

Of course reality is that NATO is probably not going to blockade Russia in the Baltic region, because to many NATO countries are dependent on Russian energy. The Netherlands with its port in Rotterdam is a European energy hub. What remains are sanctions, but how effective would that be? Thus, there would only be one solution – war.

 

Homework:

What do you think? Do you think the biggest implications with a bypass of the Baltic region will be military and economically coercive in the Barents and/or in the Baltic region, or do you think the implications will be just economical? Explain your conclusions please.

Sources;
PISM (Polish Institute of International Affairs), 2015.
The FOI publication ”Ett skepp kommer lastat”, published in 2013. Cited with permission.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

4) To be or NATO be. Lesson twentynine

Putin visited Finland in June-July 2016 in conjunction with Russia’s up to date biggest readiness control exercise, which was carried out on August 25-31, 2016. It was an informal visit, and according to Russia, they didn’t sign any agreements. Sauli Niinistö and Putin discussed “the relations between Finland and Russia and the situation in Europe”. Before that Putin and the Finnish president Sauli Niinistö met as recently as March 2016 in Moscow.

Nato held a summit in the first week of July 2016, where it was agreed to deploy four reinforced battalions in the Baltic countries and in Poland, which Russia naturally opposed.

At a previous meeting in Finland the Moderate (Moderaterna = alleged right wing political party in Sweden) Karin Enström, Vice Chairman of the Swedish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized Niinistö for meeting with Putin. Niinistö replied that Sweden does not keep up with what is happening in the world and that, e.g. The United States has an active dialogue with Russia. But you have to understand that Finland is cornered by Russia and that it was no coincidence that Putin took a trip over the border in conjunction with the Russian mass mobilization. What were discussed there can determine Sweden’s fate.

The country that wants to annex the Baltics and is located in the east, gain a huge advantage, if they undisturbed under false pretences that no Natoland is going to be affected, first can seize the large Swedish island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea. If they seize Gotland they can create a total A2AD (Anti Access/Area Denial) over large parts of Scandinavia and the whole of the Baltic Sea with advanced long range air defense systems.

I think that Russia will try to find cracks in the Swedish-Finnish relations. They hope that one country will not apply for NATO membership without the other country also doing so, and that there will therefore be no membership for any of the countries. In one way, the True Finns (political right wing party in Finland) are dangerous which have worked to strip the Swedish-speaking part of the Finnish people of their civil rights. It may come back to haunt them. I believe that Finland is more dependent on hooking on a Swedish membership than Sweden is dependent on hooking on a Finnish membership. Finland, with NATO’s eyes, can probably be more easily sacrificed than Sweden. It can put Finland in a difficult situation if Sweden joins the NATO organization without a co-signing together with Finland. It’s what happened when Sweden joined the EU. The Finns haven’t forgotten.

In the above diagram you can see who the weakest link in the chain is. It’s Germany. For my part, although Sweden is not a member of NATO, I am prepared to help defend a NATO nation in the Nordic region, if it is small, like the Baltic States or Iceland. But promises of military aid without first showing that you are really prepared to follow up on it are not worth much. So I am ready, if I were an authorized statesman, to let our Visby-class corvettes and our submarines, from time to time patrol the waters of the Baltic States in peacetime. I have already made a Baltic ex officer assurances and thus I cannot back down.

I am also ready to support Finland in different ways. But it doesn’t matter what I say, or even what our defense minister Peter Hultqvist says, if we do not have a plan for how the help should be executed in peacetime and in wartime or if we don’t have the means to help in any decisive way. We are not alone in not having a plan. NATO lacks or lacked a functioning plan since the United States doesn’t have any land-based persevering deterrent like medium-range ballistic missile systems with versatile types of war heads, like the Russian Iskander-M, which is deployed in Kaliningrad. The United States has phased out most of its tactical nuclear arsenal and the one that is available is not land-based, it is air and sea based.

This is the fourth and last lesson concerning Sweden, Finland and NATO. I hope I haven’t left the Finns with a grudge towards this patriotic Swede. I am prepared to help the Finns with whatever help we can allow ourselves to give to them, even officers and fighting units in Swedish uniform. A hypothetic war in the twentytwenties will be much more qualitatively materiel focused than in the Russo-Finnish winterwar in 1939-1940, and I am afraid that we are not going to be willing to supply the advanced materiel the Finns are going to need without also controlling its contributive forms. That means that wherever there is advanced Swedish equipment, it is going to be operated by Swedish personnel under Swedish command. At least if I have anything to say about it.

But first we need a solid plan and binding agreements.

Homework:

Can Sweden and Finland prevent that Russia could find cracks in our Swedish-Finnish relations? If so, how?

Please motivate your answer!

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

3) To be or NATO be. Lesson twentyeight

I don’t think that an attack against Sweden will be of a military nature, but the attack will come in the form of a prolonged cyber operation and/or through an economic conspiracy against us. The only thing that can discourage the Russians from committing a cyber attack on Sweden is if we have an ability to attack Russia with the same means.

Georgia’s president Mikhail Saakashvili believed that NATO would intervene if Russia attacked Georgia militarily. But Georgia is more isolated localized geographically because there are only two access roads by land from the Nato country Turkey. Plus, the airport at Georgia’s capital Tbilisi is isolated. In addition, Turkey has a long history of turncoat policy regardless of the consequences for northern NATO countries and others, and it is the Turks who controls the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus into the Black Sea. A NATO intervention was hardly possible.

Georgia 2008 was the famous “litmus test”. It will of course be more of a risk-taking for Russia to attack Sweden before we can join NATO than it was to attack the isolated Georgia. But players come in plenty. Professor Rolf Tamnes, Norwegian historian and professor at the Department of Defense Studies (Institutt for forsvarsstudier – IFS), emphasizes that Russia does not trust Swedish non-alignment, since the extensive cuts in the Swedish defense force is considered as an incentive to seek external help, for example from NATO and the United States.

Apparently, it is not clear abroad what Swedish “non-alignment” stands for. In my opinion, it stands for freedom to choose alliance partners according to our own preferences. We should make this clear to the world, even if the outside world then will reject us even more, because uncertainties benefit us even less. We are sitting in the fox trap regardless.

How may Russia evaluate their geo-economic field and balance it with the geomilitary field?

1) Russia prefer to look at it as if the outside world is dependent on what they have to offer in the form of Russian gas and oil, but I believe that they realize that Germany may make themselves independent from the geostrategic Gazprom and thus Russia. They must keep the Germans happy.
2) It is almost a required condition that Russia is able to simultaneously attack the entire Baltics and parts of Scandinavia not to mention Iceland, if they intend to be able to count on free passage through Öresund, Kattegat and Skagerack, and they must be able to keep their main trading countries, e.g. the Netherlands and France.
3) This in turn requires that the United States first, nearly lose its superpower status. We therefore have no interest whatsoever in the United States losing its superpower status.

But I think that Sweden as a state must grant access to our territory for US troops on Swedish soil if we are to join NATO. It is not enough to receive a Naval ship visit from time to time, which we could also do as a non-aligned country in peacetime. I am not particularly happy to let 5,000 American hungry hearts invade a Swedish small town or one of our Baltic Sea islands in peacetime. Maybe we can do as Norway and let the US stock up materiel in Swedish bunker rooms?

Homework:

The US may have bases in Sweden as a requirement for a Swedish membership. Above all, an air defense base on one of our Baltic Sea islands and access to our airbases and ports. Otherwise the US will never have the time window to intervene in Scandinavia and even less in the Baltic countries, before Russia has swallowed parts of us. If the United States cannot intervene in time on our latitudes and longitudes, then it makes no sense for us to join NATO and we will probably then be denied membership.

But there is also the possibility to accomodate American service members families and thus unburden some pressure on our communities and our society as a whole. Let them contribute to our society and at the same time make it possible for them to use public services such as hospitals and schools at the same low cost as for Swedes. The schools should even be free of charge. I have absolutely no problems with Americans as a people.

Do you agree or not agree? Please motivate your position.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

2) To be or NATO be. Lesson twentyseven

Off course, the United States does not want to betray the baltic people, but it may be that they realize that it will be impossible to defend the Baltic countries if one does not add big resources to Norway and Poland. One can also choose to defend the Baltic countries already in the Baltics, by deploying long-range air defense systems and mechanized ”verbands” (German word for troops) in the Baltic states. Either the Americans do not see this possibility as realistic, or they abstain from it for political reasons e.g. because they do not want to rock the hornets nest. It might be that they have been duped or maybe they have missed the whole idea of their own fault. In any case, the Americans have not yet deployed any air defense systems in the Baltic countries.

Germany can, in a strategic twilight dusk, deny the Americans access or transit to Poland. In that case, a scenario with a “fire break” dividing Sweden is a probable solution. Chief Engineer Helge Löfstedt expressed this about the presumption of our cooperation in the journal Försvarsutbildaren nr 3 2014;

“The problem is mostly about how Sweden should avoid ending up in a situation where the help takes humiliating forms which leads to Swedish wishes being neglected in conjunction with the development of the conflict.”

What is good in the defense committee report “Road choices in a globalized world” (Vägval i en globaliserad värld) is that the defense committee proposes an expanded and deepened defense cooperation with the Baltic countries. But when they express themselves like this, they are only half right;

“The future is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. It is not possible to imagine that a military conflict in our immediate area would only affect one specific country. A military attack exclusively against Sweden remains unlikely for the foreseeable future. However, crises and incidents, which also include military means of power, can emerge in our region, and in the long term military threats can never be ruled out.”

It is a false axiom that Russia would not have the will or the ability to attack Sweden singularily. In the Georgia War of 2008, a singular Georgia with far-reaching plans to join the NATO organization stood against a Russian attacker, and the Russian attack was planned according to Putin’s own statement several years afterwards. The attack was a signal to the US that; “We can strangle your supply line of materiel and isolate the US forces in Afghanistan right here, so don’t even think about expanding NATO membership to Georgia at our expense.”

There is a threat against a singular Sweden, if our politicians say we will join NATO, just as there was a threat against Georgia in 2008. It must also seem very attractive to the Kremlin to secure its northern flank at a reasonable cost in a European full scale war.

The question is whether Russia really believes it would be easier to secure its northern flank than it would be to win in east Europe. If I am allowed to answer in the Kremlin’s place; It could be if, with “victory”, you are considering gains from the political and military neglect by the victim countries, as well as the result of the implementation of hybrid warfare combined with classic Russian extortion and threat rhetoric against the Scandinavian countries.

In eastern Europe, classic blackmailing and threat rhetoric doesn’t work as well as it do in northern Europe, in peacetime. Putin can annex a little bit at a time in eastern Europe. Or Putin can take a big chew in Scandinavia, as Hitler did.

If democracy can prevail and the people is allowed to decide on NATO membership, the decision is given a legitimacy which Putin will find hard to dismiss. If our Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and the Government (2019) are to decide, they will put Sweden in unnecessary danger. Which do you think is the most dangerous of the following three alternatives:

1) To apply for membership in NATO after an invitation to the Membership Action Plan.
2) Almost unnoticed bit by bit slipping into NATO without us applying for membership for that matter.
3) To be non-aligned or only in alliance with Finland and build a strong Swedish defense on our own.

Following line 1) requires that Sweden get militarily involved in the outside world and make binding commitments of military assistance to, among other countries, the Baltic states.

Following line 2) is a natural consequence of Sweden caring about its small neighboring countries and brothers in e.g. the Baltics. We are prepared to help the Baltic countries, even though we do not know how to do just that in the event of a Russian invasion of the Baltic countries, and that we are prepared to help gets us involved in international exercises and treaties dominated by the United States.

Following line 3) is a risky business because we don’t know what is going on inside Putin’s head. But we know that we then cannot count on help from the US, who is NATO’s foremost guarantor. We can, of course, be freeloaders just by realizing that the US and NATO almost certainly need to use Swedish territory as a build-up area for a recapturing of the Baltic States. But such thinking creates contempt among the NATO member countries, rightly so, and that may cause them to do whatever they feel like in and with Sweden. So, paradoxically, we lose influence and self-determination in the event of a war in our neighborhood if we would choose to follow line 3.

I believe that a Swedish NATO membership should be debated. But the decision should be left in the hands of the people through a general referendum, and not be left in the hands of the politicians who are not competent in anything that has to do with our defense, except for the gender issue and the ”value ground” that is. A popular referendum is an extra safety net for Sweden as a state, because it will not be as easy for Putin to militarily attack selected parts of Sweden if the decision on NATO membership is decided by vote of the Swedish people.

Homework:

Considering that we need to join the NATO organization simultaneously with Finland, as we already discussed a little in Lesson twentysix, how do you look at our dilemma? What road would you have embarked on if you had the above mentioned three choices?

Is there an additional choice?

Please motivate your conclusions.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden