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Sweden votes to extend Afghanistan mission
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on a Kabul street

Sweden votes to extend Afghanistan mission

Published: 16 Dec 2010 08:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2010 08:27 GMT+01:00

Swedish lawmakers in the country's parliament, the Riksdag, voted on Wednesday to extend the country's military mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011.

"Sweden will make an armed force of up to 855 people available to the international security force in Afghanistan until the end of 2011," they said in a statement, adding that the troop level would likely remain at the present level of 500 soldiers.

The vote came a month after Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose centre-right coalition came up two seats short of a house majority in general elections in September, secured a deal with the opposition Social Democrats and the Greens.

The Social Democrats and Greens, in a since-dissolved coalition with the formerly communist Left Party, had campaigned ahead of the elections on demanding a withdrawal of Swedish troops from Afghanistan.

However, the two left-wing parties shifted their position after the far-right Sweden Democrats were voted into parliament for the first time and handed the role of kingmaker.

The two parties agreed to a broad proposal, aiming to pull all Swedish combat troops out of Afghanistan between 2012 and 2014, while maintaining a largely civilian support presence after that.

The far-right Sweden Democrats and the Left Party, which have both want Swedish forces brought home sooner, opposed the motion to extend the mandate next year, but it passed easily nonetheless, with 290 votes in favour, 20 opposed and 19 abstaining.

Sweden is officially neutral and not a member of NATO and the question of how long its troops should take part in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan is a sensitive one.

In October, the Scandinavian country lost its fifth soldier since it first deployed troops in Afghanistan near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, at the beginning of 2002.

The parliament vote also came less than a week after a suicide bomber railed against Sweden's troop presence in Afghanistan in a message sent shortly before he blew himself up near a crowded pedestrian street in central Stockholm, narrowly missing wreaking carnage among Christmas shoppers.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:54 December 16, 2010 by bolababu
I hope this had nothing to do with the recent terror attack in Stockholm, seems to me these days that such things now happen in perfect timing with when the government needs to get it's way just like in the US these days.
09:08 December 16, 2010 by Kevin Harris
I hope it does. It sends a message to future bombers: if you commit terrorist acts, you will quickly achieve exactly the opposite of what you intended to achieve.
10:04 December 16, 2010 by Nemesis
I have a suggestion.

Sweden like other countries needs to consider going all in, regarding Afghanistan.

A doubling of troops on the gground at least, would be a good start.

Then start burning the poppy fields, so as to cut of Al Queda's money supply.
10:48 December 16, 2010 by ChomskyReader
It is so interesting to hear the naivity of people in regards to terrorism and islam etc. I am neither a muslim nor am I am terrorist sympathiser.

However we need to take a look at the world we live in. Going back to 911, in my opinion, it was a case of chickens coming home to roost. The leaders of the west are quick to point out how terrible and bad dictators are, yet our same supposedly good leaders do exactly the same as what they accuse the enemy for, yet they hide behide democracy and justify it and people support it.

The USA has been waging war covertly against enemy states for years, from bombing, assasination and industrial sabotage. Situations that happen in society like the recent bombings in our society, are not just random acts of crazy nutters, people who do these things do it for a reason.

Are governments are resonsible for more evil and wrong doing than many of us will ever know, however as long as they control the media and lets be honest your average person believes what they read and never go in search of the facts, our government will continue to do wrong aound the world. Whilst everyone blames the muslim community.

Wake up people and ask the question, why did the bomber chose to bomb sthlm? Why did 911 happen?

A quote from Ron Paul on the 3rd December about Julian Assange:

"In a free society we're supposed to know the truth," Paul said. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it."

"This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason. I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion?" he added. "This is media, isn't it? I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?"

Here is the link if anyone is interested:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ron-paul-defends-assange-truth-becomes-treason-then-were-in-big-trouble-2010-12
11:14 December 16, 2010 by Twiceshy
One more time, government show that they don't care if ordinary citizens die because of war from which ordinary citizens have no benefits than corporations. Government has security while ordinary people don't have body guards, so, it is clear that ordinary people will be victims of war. politicians are not humanitarian people, they are hungry for money and therefore they are in politics. corporations give them money, USA give them money, and they send soldiers to participate in imperialist war. what can I say? stop to sell weapons to USA for wars and stop participating in war. in other case, you will get war at home, Muslims said very good: if you kill them, they will come to kill you. It is the same with anybody, it is not connected with religion than with character of people, kill hells angels or bandidos and they will kill you. eye for eye tooth for tooth.
14:01 December 16, 2010 by Revik
From the article: Sweden is officially neutral and not a member of NATO

I believe that Sweden would have a stronger say in world politics if it had truly remained neutral. Unfortunately, now it has openly aligned itself with NATO. It was really only the Americans who didn't like Swedish neutrality, most countries of the world greatly respected Sweden for its neutral positon.

Sweden should leave Afganistan, not because of a suicide bomber, but because its military should never have been there in the first place.

Stop aligning yourself with the Americans and NATO, and take a serious look at the EU as well. The EU is not a democratic institution, why does Sweden belong to it. Bring back the Scadinavian alliance, if you must belong to anything.
14:08 December 16, 2010 by tombby11
I am a Muslim and I am proud of it . I support what have been told by @ChomskyReader and @Twiceshy. And I am Totally against what happened in Stockholm! but the question is , Why that guy has killed himself ? Why would someone came to a country seeking for a better life , and loose his life?

and the main important , if he want to harm people . he could make two explosions in the crowded area , not alone which lead to his death alone?

Why people react that it is because of al Qaeda or Islam or Taliban ? why not a MAFIA or any other organization that put pressure on that guy somehow , to threat the existance of the immigrants ? I am not an Immigrant I am only a student for couple of years and going back , WAKE UP PEOPLE WAKE UP !! there are many secrets behind these incidents , and governments don't want to reveal them, otherwise Assange would be free.

Think about it for a while , why the Swedish government insisted to have Assange and contacted the INTERPOL to catch him ? and only to investigate with him !
15:03 December 16, 2010 by eZee.se
I think this sends a strong message:

The will of the people and a democratic govt far outweigh morons who threaten to blow themselves up if they dont get their way or are upset by silly cartoons.
22:51 December 16, 2010 by Triple Play
Hi Guys, check this out

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

This is a very informative article about actual natives of Scandinavia
00:45 December 18, 2010 by MikeSar
To turn hatred into acceptance. That is the job and your plan will succeed, amongst the sane and the others we shall always have them around us, everywhere, no matter what you do, or don't do.

Neither bombs nor troops will bring victory to either side, all they get is people killed and revenge and more people killed ad infinitum.

Sweden, you are in the right and only track to the resolution. Thanks.
07:45 December 18, 2010 by rise
"I believe that Sweden would have a stronger say in world politics if it had truly remained neutral. Unfortunately, now it has openly aligned itself with NATO. It was really only the Americans who didn't like Swedish neutrality,"

In my opinion Sweden's voice in the world died with the murder of prime minister Olof Palme 1986. He wasn't just a Swede or an European, he was a man of the whole world, and Sweden probably has to wait hundreds of years for such a leader to rise again.
18:41 December 18, 2010 by creamy
I hope this does't bring more bombers to your door but staying involved in this war is just creating more and more enemies....most of them orphans.
02:35 December 19, 2010 by ghostof911
bolababu #1 and Kevin Harris #2. You're two comments together explain beautifully why false-flag operations work so well.

How is it possible that a 28 year old man never heard of a remote-controlled device?

The vote for continuing Swedish involvement in America's bloody Afghan fiasco was precisely the outcome that those responsible for the false-flag operation were seeking. The operation went off like clockwork, giving the cowardly Swedish officials phony political cover to involve Sweden in more senseless bloodshed.
05:22 December 20, 2010 by No Haram Done
This is not a good idea!

First, we need to bring ALL of our U.S. troops home to secure our ENTIRE border & NOT save corporate interests/resources.

Stop/deport all undocumented people & ALL MUSLIMS (including those BORN HERE in the U.S.) to Saudi Arabia with its great oil wealth.

Soon we'll have to launch another OPERATION OVERLORD to free EUROPE of its MUSLIM HORDES!

I'm a liberal Democrat & it REALLY HURTS to have to admit this, but I know I'm NOT ALONE!!

President Thomas Jefferson (1805) remarked, the Koran is "demonic."

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future." -- CAIR spokesman Ibrahim "Honest Abe" Hooper, 1993.
23:13 December 20, 2010 by rumcajs
@ No Haram Done,

You are a liberal Democrat and a racist!

@all,

I don't agree with terrorist acts of any kind at all and terrorist are the most covard kind of fighter....... they never hit the snake on the head; but c'oooooon: you send troops to help in the invasion of a country that never did anything to SE following orders of the devil and what did u spect??? A post card for xmas???
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