• Sweden edition
Swedish Afghanistan force can use lethal fire
Photo: Mats Nyström/Försvarets Bildbyrå

Swedish Afghanistan force can use lethal fire

Published: 08 Jul 2010 08:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jul 2010 08:52 GMT+02:00

The rules mean that the mission can not only use fire in self-defense, but should be able to independently plan its operations.

In early March, the former head of the Swedish mission in Afghanistan, Christer Tistam, made an inquiry about greater authority to use force. He believed that the soldiers should be allowed to use force themselves before they are attacked and not only in self-defense.

According to Rapport, Supreme Commander Sverker Göransson decided that new rules of engagement should be used. The rules mean that the mission will not only be able to use fire in self-defense but should be able to independently plan its operations, including the use of lethal force.

"I neither confirm or deny it," Armed Forces Lieutenant General Anders Lindström told Rapport. "We have well adapted rules for the units that are serving in Afghanistan and they follow the rules that apply to troops in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force). Exactly who they are, we are not commenting."

Four Swedish troops have been killed since Sweden began sending troops to Afghanistan in 2002. Sweden has contributed 500 soldiers to the international force in Afghanistan.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:49 July 8, 2010 by Jasmines
As if these Afghans are NOT human beings!!! you should be ashamed of your forces
10:09 July 8, 2010 by Mb 65
Jasmines so you think it is ok that only one side can kill and not the other. the afghans kill more of their own than the troops.
10:22 July 8, 2010 by boby
NO!!! NO!!!!! How can this be? They actually allow the MILITARY to user their weapons? How can this happen? Shame on Sweden.
10:30 July 8, 2010 by truthworthy
what ever they can or cannot use, the fact that they are in Afghanistan is wrong at first. they should pull their troops out, Sweden has no business in Afghanistan just like all the others in that country.

The US is after Afghan's mineral resources so sweden must not lose their soldiers for a US cause.
10:35 July 8, 2010 by Nachos
The Afghan mineral source was discovered a few weeks ago. The US has been in Afghanistan making sure the Taliban don't take power again for about 8 years now. Let's not be ignorant.
10:36 July 8, 2010 by europeman31
Shame on Sweden , the whole glamorous dillusion of being a peacfull country , a humanist nation has been tore apart.

the tragedy is that our tax money is being used for this , i.e. we are all part of this humanity crime .

we must open our eyes and use our democratic power (IF we have, as i have doubt on it ) to stop this Holocaust 2.0.
10:47 July 8, 2010 by Andersson
Sweden is unfortunately on wrong dictation by big brothers. After this the next news could be " Swedish soldiers killed dozen of innocent citizens misjudging them terrorist ".
10:51 July 8, 2010 by Nachos
Maybe the military forces should be re-deployed to Rinkeby, Rosengård or Bergsjön? They are likely to encounter more terrorists there than in Afghanistan given the news out of those places over the last few years.
11:00 July 8, 2010 by Nemesis
The Afghan mineral resources were all well documented at the time of Alexander the Great by his surveyors.

Then the Maurya Dynasty documented those resources.

Then Gheghis Khan documented those resources.

Then when the British were building there empire by invading various countries and bringing civilisation to them by destroying there cultures, languages, killing and enslaving them, the British documented the mineral wealth in Afghanistan. The British eventually got kicked out of Afghanistan in 1919.

The Russians then further documented the mineral resources, before being kicked out of Afgnaistan by an alliance of warlords led by the Northern Alliance.

Then a bunch of Saudis who were very close to the Bin Ladin family moved to Afghanistan and started to cut deals with the Bush family who had a very close relationship with the Bin Laden family, regarding oil pipelines and various other exploration techniques.

Now the USA is just building on the documentation of those resources.

Anyone who claims that the mineral finds in Afghanistan are new, should be taken to a school, taught first to read and write, then given a history book that does not have large syllables and lots of pretty pictures to explain it to them.

Regarding deranged restrictions on the troops from people in Stockholm who are not there, that is easily fixed.

Anyone restricting soldiers from doing there jobs with ridiculous rules, should be arrested, charged and jailed in Afghanistan, not Sweden, for causing the deaths or injuries of any soldiers injured or killed.
11:03 July 8, 2010 by john1981uk
post 4,6 and 7, you idiots are way off topic. you're own personal views are no way related to the topic of the troops being allowed to defend themselves actively. go rant on a political forum.
11:25 July 8, 2010 by jwlundgren
If you wear a uniform and are in a war zone where the enemy is allowed to shoot you, yes, you should be allowed to shoot them. Swedes think diplomacy can solve everything. That is not the case. They believe their diplomacy saved them from WWII, in reality it was the Finns and the allies keeping Hitler busy otherwise they Germans would have marched straight down from Norway. Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.
11:28 July 8, 2010 by hjoian
@ nemisis. How eloquently worded,i could not have said better myself.

On a different note,even if Swedish soldiers were not in Afghanistan, weapons sold by Sweden would be, so ,still blood on your hands. End of rant, cheers
11:59 July 8, 2010 by "green Swede"

If I was jewish I would be highly insulted at the comparasion or the use of the word holocaust in relation to afghanistan and that of the systematic whole scale slaughter of 6.5 million unarmed people including 1.5 million children.It is beyond the realms of comprehension how utterly exaggerated such usage is.The death of innocent people whoever they are or where ever they come from,afghanistan,iraq or new york city for that matter is a tragedy indeed but lets try to keep things in proportion...to say the least.
12:12 July 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ jwlundgren

Diplomacy did not save Sweden from invasion by Germany.

What actually happened is that Hermann Goering for the only time in his life stood up to Hitler when he found out about the invasion plan. Goering threatened to resign from the Nazi party and public life, if the planned invasion did not go ahead.

Hitler made clear that if he won the war, Sweden would be invaded. Sweden was included in his plans for full germanification, with extermination of all minorities of those not deemed pure.

@ hjoian


Regarding Swedish weapons.

Swedes sell weapons to every war zone, usually to both sides so as to maximise profit.

If there weapons do not appear in a war zone, there money does.

At present the main supplier of finances to the Real IRA in Northern Ireland, which is trying to destroy the peace process, is Sweden. The Real IRA was the people who carried out the Omagh bombing.

Sweden is not a neutral country and never was. It is neutral in name only.

Most forget that until Sweden was defeated in the Napoleonic wars, it had an empire.

@ "green Swede"

Good point.

Regarding the holocaust.

The death toll from the holocaust is put around 17 million, 5.9 to 6.2 million of whom were Jews. The rest were from various groups, such as ethnic Poles, Romani, disabled, etc.
12:31 July 8, 2010 by Z-man
As a humanitarian who has seen war and the horrendous effects of war firsthand and worked in refugee camps, I detest war and the depths inhumanity we can sink to. I am as anti-war as you can get. But I still say to those of you who criticize Swedish or American or other military efforts in Afghanistan:

How convenient.

So luxurious to be able to exercise your freedom of speech and instantly publish your thoughts world-wide on a largely-uncensored communication medium like the Internet, while under the umbrella of protection of your own democratic government, while partaking of affordable technological services so freely allowed the average citizen. Just remember that while you're doing that, someone has to stand on the wall and guard the perimeters of your functioning civilization, and remember that forces from afar on the other side of the world, would like to undo the privileges you now enjoy and export their own way of life and bring violence to your doorstep.

And to those of you who harbor a philosophy of "not my problem, not in my backyard," or believe they only mess with you only because you messed with them first, ("if Sweden wasn't there they wouldn't export violence to Swedish soil") and we'd otherwise all be living together harmoniously, I say:

Get real!
13:09 July 8, 2010 by john1981uk
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill
13:14 July 8, 2010 by Roy E
Swedish soldiers are now actaully allowed to be soldiers! Wow. Imagine that.

Welcome to the real world, Sweden!
13:18 July 8, 2010 by kenny8076
does this mean the beloved and prized ''Sweden hasnt been involved in War for 100 years'' that swedes love to bring up while talking to Americans can't be said anymore?
13:20 July 8, 2010 by Hindustani786
Its almost 8 years now. Lets not waste the time in Afghanistan. No one will WIN, Its the Afghans who will be deciding the faith of America.

OTHERWISE, History will not forgive those who committed crimes against Humanity in Afghanistan.
14:11 July 8, 2010 by americanska
Yea - the US if after Oil in Iraq and Minerals in Afganistan. That's why we "invade" them.

Note - we are one of the few countries in the world that doesn't or hasn't tried to take over other countries. I think that's why europeans try to say these things, they can't contemplate that wee are actually trying to bring them peace.

Peace is something that history will tell you is very Un-European.
14:47 July 8, 2010 by Open Minded
Here is a letter of ALEXANDER THE Great to his mommy.

Alexander the Great and his Macedonian (Greek) army arrived to the area of Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier at the Battle of Gaugamela.[50] In a letter to his mother, Alexander described the inhabitants of what is now Afghanistan as lion-like brave people:[54]

"I am involved in the land of a 'Leonine' (lion-like) and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but Everyone in this land can be called an Alexander.[54]"

Source Wikipedia

Soon or later, USA and UK + 34 countries would run away from Afghanistan or would compromise .

There is no need for Sweden to get involves into killing, My advise to Swedish people /government is to "Stay cool" Play double standard politics, and bring back safe home all these boys!

Very long time ago, it was easy to invade country but now

"Invading of Afghanistan just became impossible" Open Minded

if this time Afghans kicks out all these countries/netto/ petto. I think they would be the world's number champion kicking almost everybody's butt :P
15:11 July 8, 2010 by Andersson
Swedish govt should rethink before it is too late to lament on this fatal mistake.
15:12 July 8, 2010 by Frobobbles
Swedes can has shoot people. Yay!
15:37 July 8, 2010 by Rick Methven

"Regarding Swedish weapons.

Swedes sell weapons to every war zone, usually to both sides so as to maximise profit."

Another load of crap from you.

Swedish defence manufacturers are not allowed to sell weapons to ANY war zone. I have worked for the Swedish defence industry and there is a list of countries where it is not allowed to sell. This list is regularly updated. I was once pulled out of a country because it had just on to the list after I arrived there.
15:40 July 8, 2010 by memyselfandi
LOL....its a little late. Swedish soldiers should be able to fire their weapons at the enemy from day one. What took so long? That was stupid..
15:44 July 8, 2010 by eZee.se
I think its fair, before it was fair game to take pot shots at the Swedish military... now they will think twice about doing so because the pigeon can actually shoot back.

Regardless of which side you back, one side taking fire but not having the authority to fire back is........ stupid.

I wish all our troops to be safe.

(This in before morons start bringing Palestine/Jews/Flotilla/War crimes/ Bible/ Quran/Allah/Arabs etc into the thread)
15:49 July 8, 2010 by maakm
Very well done. Now remember this day.Swedes started this thing not the Afghans. If one Swedish soldier kill an innocent human in Afghanistan then they will remember it. And when they attack Sweden and kill innocent people then plz dont call them terrorists. Becuase what goes around comes around.

And where I see it there is only one difference between a terrorist and a soldier and that is the uniform. How could you justify a killing by a soldier in self defense and a killing of a soldier by a person in self defense. Where one is permitted and the other one is called a terrorist activity.

Shame on every human being who support this thing.

Fuking Media, controlling the definition of terrorism not the religion.

Any one remember Rambo 3 movie when stallone went to afghan war. At that time they were called the freedom fighters and they were encouraged at the end of the films officially by the USA government and now its totally opposite. Now films are being made which shoes their terrorism.

Silly Western ppl.
16:04 July 8, 2010 by millionmileman
Let us not forget that for the past several years the NATO forces have been fighting the Taliban who allowed the training of Al-Quida. I only hope the Swedish troops can return fire without having to consult a lawere first.

These rules of engagement have exponentially increaed the US and British casualties to almost the former rates that were seen in Iraq a few years ago, This is why Gen. McChrystal exposed this nonsense in Rolling Stone.

Now we can all see what the Israeli Forces have been dealing with in the past 62 years
16:06 July 8, 2010 by saab

You write: "Any one remember Rambo 3 movie when stallone went to afghan war. At that time they were called the freedom fighters and they were encouraged at the end of the films officially by the USA government and now its totally opposite. Now films are being made which shoes their terrorism. Silly Western ppl".

Um, do you get your history from Rambo 3?

Why am I not surprised!

@Open Minded 21

Um, do you get your history from Wikepedia?

Why am I not surprised!
16:32 July 8, 2010 by Andersson
@millionmileman..........Decision on "use of lethal fire" seems taken during the hangover by drinking some BRAND manufactured in Israel.
20:33 July 8, 2010 by millionmileman
@Andersson...........The first weapon I fired was a Swedish 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun, in the British Royal Navy. Then in the Israeli Army during the 1973 Yom Kippur War I shot down an poor innocent Egyptian Jet fighter, who only came in low to kill my medics in our first station.

I did not ask any permission from any lawyers, but I thanked my Bofors Gun training for saving my life. I would also like to give long overdue thanks to Commie Jane Fonda for her video on the Viet Cong shooting at US planes with AK-47's, which was the gun I used in a disproportional response to defend myself from a peaceful Sukhoi-7 only loaded with bombs and heavy ammo.

When I defend Israel's right to exist I not only talk the talk but I walk the walk.
20:42 July 8, 2010 by eZee.se

4 Swedish soldiers were killed before this decision was made, even by your calculations.. they started it first killing a peace keeping force's troops.

Should a terrorist/extremist act occur anywhere on Swedish soil (god forbid), thats exactly what it will be - a terrorist act.
20:55 July 8, 2010 by Andersson
@millionmileman............you really need million miles to be a man of peace which is unfortunately badly shuttered due to life style you had experienced. Israel has all the right to exist but not at the cost of annihilating others..
20:57 July 8, 2010 by goodbyeammar
the swedish troops are not a ''peace keeping force''. this is silly. do you think you can fool the world? this is what all occupiers say: we are there for peace, for humanitarian mission, and LABLAB. If it is humanitarian mission, then why they need guns and tanks? there are lots of humanitarian groups in Afghanistan, they work there without arms.

swedish troops are part of foreign occupation, so it is the terrorist, it is the extremist.

for Taliban, they are not extremist, they are not terrorist. i think it is not easy to notice that they are the only Afghans in this equasion. they are entitled to self-defense. thier fight against swedish troops is legitimate resistance guranteed by the international law.

so yes, Talibans have a right to fire at swedish troops and at any foreign occupying forces. the swedish troops have no right whatsoever to fire at Talibans. they should go home before it is late.

to close with, i should despise the barbaric arrogance of those here who defend the swedish troops in Afghanistan. it is, i must say, i atraditional western colonial mentality. would Swedes accept for instance, an arab armed forces in the street of stockholm?

i doff my hats to taliban. they defend thier country against illegal occupation. they deserves respect as those who resisted the nazi occupation in europe.
21:25 July 8, 2010 by Nachos
>>>for Taliban, they are not extremist, they are not terrorist.>>>

>>>i doff my hats to taliban. they defend thier country against illegal occupation. >>

Do you know about the atrocities that the Taliban commit upon their own people?? Throwing acid into girls' faces? Hanging 7 year old children? Using child soldiers? Blowing up schools? The list goes on and on.

Sweden, why do you take people who think like this into your country?? Aren't there people in Far East Asia, South America, Central America or other places who are in need of your generosity? Vote wisely this year!
22:15 July 8, 2010 by here for the summer
gotta agree with Nachos that the taliban are not nice guys and all these people like Andersson pretending to be Swedes while spouting racist antisemitic crap on every post which really isn't in the Swedish character at all.

remember the 9/11 bombings were planned in Afganistan and the planners protected by the Taliban which is why the west is there ..
02:18 July 9, 2010 by saab
And did Goodbyeammar take note of how the Taliban ruled Afghanistan the first time around? Let's see... public beheadings (on the street and in football stadiums). Killing of women who committed adultery or who were accused of same. Banning of women from being outside the home unless wearing a burqa (pedestrian deaths increased since they did not have peripheral vision while trying to cross the street). Banning women from driving. Banning music, television and movies and the death penalty if found in possession of any of those media. They turned Afghanistan into a Dark Ages redoubt.

Sometimes I wonder why people are so ignorant (or just plain lie) about historical events that, in the relative scheme of things, occurred in the recent past. Yes, yes, I know that they are agenda driven (usually to bash the West). But it borders on the sickening.

Swedish are terrorists and Taliban are freedom fighters.

Give me a break.
04:39 July 9, 2010 by eZee.se

Had I known you had slotted the Taliban into the "poor good guys" category, I wouldnt have even responded to you as that goes wayyy beyond delusional.

TheLocal really needs a "ignore all future comments from this person" feature.
07:35 July 9, 2010 by flintis
Mmmmm! rubber bullets with a sedative effect.

The Taliban are a fanatical minority & do by no means reflect the wishes of the people. They rule by fear & should be returned to the past were they belong.
10:08 July 9, 2010 by whizkid
@ Nachos @ here for the summer

How do you justify attacks on Afghanistan just because they are bad to their own people. Their atrocities on their own people doesn't allow anyone to attack them. Why don't US and their allies save African countries from the same atrocities and worse. For example, there are many warlords in Africa who attack a village and cut the breasts of women who breast feed their children,

warlord cutting penises of men so that his army can sleep with their women, warlords killing people and force the family members to chew the meat from the dead, .. and the list goes on and on. what about such warlords...

I can give you so many examples and you'll get goosebumps and pray to God not to witness anything like that.

grow up , bring up something more logical to attack Afghanistan.
10:35 July 9, 2010 by Kevtravels
About time. All NATO led forces need to have the right to attack and be on the offensive. The mission is reconstruction and training the Afghans for security but there is no way to do this without first routing the insurgents. So thus they need to take the fight to the Taliban and related groups. Afghanistan isn´t Kosovo or Bosnia or even Congo, Darfur. It is way more deadly. It´s active warfare and for those who still believe it´s a humanitarian mission, well it hasnt been that in years. Sweden has 500 or so troops. Quite a big contribution from a non-NATO nation and usually more or less neutral nation. So much respect to the Swedes.

also why not send special forces to help out the troops?
11:05 July 9, 2010 by dad
special forces?
11:09 July 9, 2010 by Andersson
@here in summer... sour facts really itched you.
13:18 July 9, 2010 by americanska
@goodbyeammar - comparing the US with Nazi's? I'm glad I didn't grow up wherever you did and get brainwashed in such a way.

It's scary to think that people like you have an outlit for your thoughts, and that other unevolved monkeys with just enough ability to stap a bomb to their chest will actually listen.
16:51 July 9, 2010 by mkvgtired
I will agree that we should not be in Iraq, but there is a reason we are in Afghanistan. I recall two 100+ story buildings (and several smaller ones) that used to stand in lower Manhattan. Afghanistan harbored the people who planned and financed these attacks (and many others).

@truthworthy, the "the US is after the minerals or oil" argument is getting a little old. China has signed more money worth of oil contracts in Iraq then any other nation. Russia has signed a large contract. Angola signed a large one. The Iraqi government can sign contracts with anyone they please.

@goodbyeammar, "would Swedes accept for instance, an arab armed forces in the street of stockholm?" No that is the whole point. The West does not accept this. I am glad you brought up the Nazi occupation of Europe. In that case allied troops went into Germany (you would call them occupiers) to stop the offensive where it was being controlled from. Same thing here. Afghanistan harbored the people funding and training armed "arab" forces in the West, and now the West is countering that. Just because they are armed with fertilizer and airplanes does not change the fact that there are armed people planning attacks on the West that are being controlled from Afghanistan. Stop flying planes into buildings, blowing up subways, and public gatherings and you will have much less to worry about.
17:44 July 9, 2010 by ajs42548
Anndersson... Who are the Israelis annihilating? Surely not the Palestinians. Since 1948 the Palestinian population has increased exponentially. Given those facts, I'd say that the Israelis are doing a very poor job of annihilating anyone. Also, are you saying that the Palestinian habit of suicide bombers and sending rockets into Israel with no provocation has nothing to do with Palestinian casualties?

whizkid.. Let me educate you about African countries and Afghanistan... No African country was involved with the 9/11 attacks as was Afghanistan who harbored and helped al qaeda. Ok, do you now see the difference?
18:22 July 9, 2010 by Andersson
@asj42548....All sane minds deem 9/11 a big time hoax.
19:13 July 9, 2010 by Nachos
@whizkid >>>How do you justify attacks on Afghanistan just because they are bad to their own people. Their atrocities on their own people doesn't allow anyone to attack them. Why don't US and their allies save African countries from the same atrocities and worse.>>>

It's a shame this even needs to be answered. Remember back in 2001 when all of those planes flew into buildings in the United States? Do I need to continue? Are you serious?

@Andersson- Why is it that Muslim people are simply unable to acknowledge when they are obviously guilty of something? Just wondering.
16:10 July 10, 2010 by wenddiver
Sweden's Army can do it's part to make the world safe by liberating Malmo.
14:13 July 15, 2010 by calebian22
"All sane minds deem 9/11 a big time hoax. "

I am speechless at the depth of stupidity.
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