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LIBYA CRISIS
Government yes to Gripen deployment

Government yes to Gripen deployment

Published: 29 Mar 2011 13:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2011 13:05 GMT+02:00

The Swedish government has given the green light to sending JAS Gripen fighters to Libya following a request from the NATO general secretary, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, for Swedish assistance.

During an extra meeting Tuesday the government decided to propose to the Riksdag that Sweden contribute to the NATO led military attack on Libya.

"The government has decided today ... to put to parliament the proposal to participate with JAS Gripen (jets) in the international military operation in Libya under the leadership of NATO," Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in parliament on Tuesday.

The Swedish contribution will be on the condition that the Gripen fighters are only used to keep up the no-fly zone and not to attack land-based targets.

Reinfeldt informed the Riksdag that there were many among the government parties who had wanted the fighters to be allowed to strike against land-based targets to protect civilians.

Reinfeldt, however, did not want to act without broad support from the Riksdag.

"Sending Swedish men and women to protect civilians in a foreign country is not to be treated casually. It is never risk-free," Fredrik Reinfeldt said.

However, the head of the Swedish Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) Jan Björklund is critical to restricting the contribution to keeping up the no-fly zone.

"The Social Democrats were very quick to criticize the government for not acting, but now when it is a reality, they are afraid to make a stand," he said to TT.

According to the new party head for the Social Democrats, Håkan Juholt, his party can't condone attacks on land-based targets.

"We don't know how the Libyan units are put together. For all we know they could be drugged children or child soldiers. We have no idea what is waiting for us on the ground, so it is too risky to expose ourselves to this," he said to TT.

The government proposed eight JAS Gripen fighters to be sent, along with one Hercules aircraft and one reconnaissance plane.

In addition to the aircraft, around 130 personnel, including pilots and ground crew will be involved in the mission. However, the number of service personnel may be increased to a maximum of 250.

The government proposes to deploy the aircraft initially for three months. The cost to Sweden is not to exceed 200 million kronor ($31 million).

"Sweden must take its responsibility when our fellow human beings are

threatened," Reinfeldt said.

Sweden is not a member of NATO, although it has been in NATO's Partnership

for Peace programme since 1994 and participates in the alliance's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force in Afghanistan with some 500 troops.

The last time Swedish fighter jets were in action was at the start of the 1960s, in a UN-mandated operation in the former Belgian Congo.

The Gripen fighter jets are made by Swedish defence group Saab, which is in

the running with France's Dassault and the US's Boeing for a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply the Brazilian air force.

A poll published last week showed some 65 percent of Swedes wanted their

country to take part in the mission in Libya.

The Swedish Riksdag could be ready to reach a decision Friday.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:41 March 29, 2011 by sunnchilde
"although it has been in NATO's Partnership for Peace programme since 1994 and participates in the alliance's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)"

That's nice. Sweden wants to enjoy membership in the International Community, but they don't want any of the obligations of membership. If all of NATO is attacked, they want the option of opting out and making their own peace. Nice. You're either a partner, or you're not a partner. But if Sweden were attacked, the very first place they would turn would be NATO. But heaven forbid they might be called on to participate in some action. This is like a woman who will come over and cook and clean and sleep with you -- until you lose your job, then she's gone, too.
16:29 March 29, 2011 by AHA
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I don´t think that Gaddafi has any intentions of attacking Sweden or any of the NATO countries any time soon or in the future.

Swedish Air Force was involved in Africa (where else?) some 50 years ago. To what purpose? What did that achieve?
16:54 March 29, 2011 by Ozpot
All we need is for IRAN to be in the mix and WWIII may be realised. I reckon 2013.

Anyone else care to make a prediction?
17:18 March 29, 2011 by rjp783
I find this incredible. Apparently 65% of Swedes want to take part in western imperialist intervention in Libya's civil war. By comparison, the UK figure is between about 35 and about 45%, depending which poll you believe - yet (or because?) the UK is also involved.

It is naive to think that just because an endorsement of the action was wrung out of the UN, it has legitimacy. Legality, legitimacy, desirability are not synonyms. Sweden should not support, much less get actively involved, just because the Soviet Union and China did not have the guts to use their vetoes, or just because nations like South Africa were bullied into voting for a resolution they didn't agree with. True, the Arab League wanted a no-fly zone, or was cajoled into saying so, but as soon as the shooting started, its position became radically less clear.

Many legal experts think the UK and French actions have now gone well beyond what is legal under the UN resolution, so for Sweden to collaborate with this kind of international vandalism would surely be unwise or worse.
17:26 March 29, 2011 by Nilspet
I disagree with this decision. I do not think Sweden will gain anything really.

SAAB and the Swedish Air Force love it of course as this gives them a chance for PR.
17:49 March 29, 2011 by rubble
this article below shows the true nature of many of the the so-called rebels

The CIA's Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq

2007 West Point Study Shows Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk Area was a World Leader in Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber Recruitment

http://tarpley.net/2011/03/24/the-cia%e2%80%99s-libya-rebels-the-same-terrorists-who-killed-us-nato-troops-in-iraq/

shame on all who get entangled in this 'created' war for oil and 'arc of crisis' geo-political turmoil

NATO, the US/UK alliance, and the UN stand by and turn their heads as Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, etc (all their puppet dictators) butcher their citizens in the street (not to mention the millions killed in sub-Saharan Africa), then have the audacity to claim humanitarian grounds in oil-rich Libya (Quaddafi and Blair shared an embrace in the desert which should be the definitive image).
18:25 March 29, 2011 by rjp783
Quite right, rubble. The imperial powers try to excuse their support for various tyrannies by saying they can't do everything, but that's not the point. It isn't that they oppose all dictatorships but can only attack a few of them. It's that they actively support many dictatorships. They can't even be bothered to curtail arms sales. They are barely able even to criticise their dictator allies (unless they decide they're doomed, as they eventually did with Mubarak, in which case they can betray their tyrant friends remarkably quickly). When the Saudis invaded Bahrain and attacked innocent people, the best Clinton could come up with was a call for "restraint on both sides" - equating a brutal armed regime with peaceful protesters. Yet in Libya she unreservedly takes sides with the rebels (despite some reports saying they were armed from the start) without explaining to us who the rebels are or what they want.

Sweden would do well to keep well away from NATO, a quasi-fascist organisation (indeed, fascist Portugal was a founder member, and Greek and Turkish dictatorships were also long-time members) which was involved in collaborating with neofascist organisations in Cold War Italy and elsewhere (Operation Gladio - the EU has demanded details but NATO has yet to provide them afaik).
18:25 March 29, 2011 by Amara Kamara
Comment: I am sick to learn that Sweden of all, the country of free democracy in the world where the gentlemen and women of europe live, is sending fighter jets and personnel to kill Libyans and africans for oil without calling for a ceasefire. Whether Sweden is a NATO member or not, she must not take part in shedding innocent blood. UN resolution 1973 is so ambiguous and is now interpreted as right to get rid of Gadafi. Who made him strong for his oil? The foreign news media in Libya has been lying to the world. Mr. Simpson of the BBC confirmed that today. Where are the 2000 to 3000 civilians killed by Gadafi at the start of the conflict? Why do the so called western countries and the US always allow themselves to be folled by disgruntled members of repressive regimes like the case in Iraq for nuclear weapons? These people in that Bengazi Council are the same Gadafi people who have been supressing Libiyans for decades. Now they are trusted by the oil hunters. Kadafi is a villain. He destroyed my country and killed thousands of people and changed my life and the lives of our people for the worst forever. But because we have no oil, no coalation raised a finger against Gadafi.Does the coalation of oil hunters have to become villains to get rid of him from power? Gadafi, rebels and the Coalation are all killing civilians. Who is protecting the civilians in Libya? Where is resolution 1973? It is now clear to the whole world that the Coalation is fighting together with the rebels against Gadafi forces. Wrong method! The more the coalation bombs Libya, the more Gadafi gains sympathy from his people and the more his support grows. The coalation should enforce a ceasefire and the coalation leaders who are making so much noise about protecting civilians should sit down with Gadafi and tell him to go, face to face. I hope the coalation leaders are NOT using Libyan money in their banks to fight Gadafi. The money belongs to the Libyan people. No other nation has the moral authority to take this money except a government ELECTED by the whole Libyan people. The arabs will never sincerely accept the so called western powers as long as the Isreali-Palestanian issue is not resolved.
18:35 March 29, 2011 by DJECKY
OH Sweden,,i hv ever admire you with your reasonable time taking in joining the barberic acts of mass killing.But this time you hv failed me.What do you ppl really think you are doing?after you know the truth about what is happening in Libya? America has hired Al,qaida to toppled the govnt of Brother Gaddafi,as he did with BIN LADIN to distabilised Communist Russia (soviet union)when Bin ladin realised that he was duped by America he paid them back in thier very coin.

Now that huge some of money that has to be spent carelessly should be given to the undocumented sick ppl who are being refused full treatmnet living in sweden or better send out as charity to the needy talkless of the poor and sick in that very Africa.

Why should nations be so greedy??????? how many times hv you ppl gone to Somalia,congo,or Rwanda????? SHAME ON YOU BARBARIANS.
19:05 March 29, 2011 by Rick Methven
Well the noise of JAS flying over my house out of SAAB is deafening this evening, so they are getting ready.

Hope they do not make a live round run over here
19:37 March 29, 2011 by Uncle
@ Amara Kamara

"The arabs will never sincerely accept the so called western powers as long as the Isreali-Palestanian issue is not resolved. "

Oh, God. Here we go again. Not Turkish-Kurd. Not Iranian-Kurd. Not Lebanese-Druze, not Lebanese-Palestinian. Not Egyptian-Palestinian. Not Turkish-Cypriot. Not Darfur. Not Somali. Not Yemen. Not Saudi invasion into Bahrain. Not Syrian dictatorship.. No no. It is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where Palestinians lost less people that of the hands of Hazbollah or the king Hussein of Jordan. THAT is the reason for non-acceptance of western powers. Because Amara Kamara would like to have 100% dictatorships in that area. Not 90%.

I am not getting it. The islamist squad here was crying and moaning when nobody cared about Kaddafi killing thousands. The west-haters (especially the ones who live on the west) were accusing the west of non-caring, not acting, not assisting because they are racist and do not care about the death of africans.

Now, when the west finally stopped Kaddafi, apparently the west is blood-thirsty baby killer, whose only goal is oil. Apparently Swedens only wish is to murder little innocent girls and the entire Lybia is apparently united against this threat. All of a sudden, the west is united with Al Qaida, the devil and Hitler in their evil attack on peaceful Lybia.

Listening to islamists does not make any sense. They will be moaning in any case and therefore are not relevant.
20:07 March 29, 2011 by mark65
Sweden now goes to the point of no return. Sweden is now going to at war with the middleast. Trust me when I say this is the only the beginning............
20:57 March 29, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
@Uncle - ah but Uncle, if only you give us Czechoslovakia we won't want anything more and we'll live all peaceful-like with sunny rainbows and the like.....

@mark65 - that's right mark give us a reason to believe Swedish intervention might be a good thing by threatening everyone

This is an excercise in testing equipment in relatively safe conditions with the hope of getting results you can use to sell some jets. Col. K hasn't had any aircraft up in a long time..........
23:12 March 29, 2011 by repat_xpat
Everyone seems to have missed the point. Sweden is not going there to join in the battle, the air battle has already been won -- by the USA. All you peace loving Swedes who oppose this action, you miss-understand the action, its not about Sweden making war, its about taking credit for creating the peace. You peace loving Swedes can have it both ways, you don't have to fight in the war and you get credit for saving the civilians. To boot, if the war turns bad, the world will still blame the USA, and forget that Sweden was behind it.
23:29 March 29, 2011 by Rolf100
Is Sweden interested in helping or selling jet fighters? Now that it is all safe they can send in the Gripen to say they have been in combat. I believe the fuirst order of business is to sell fighters as long as it is safe!
23:42 March 29, 2011 by Uncle
As for me, they should give 5 Gripen to the rebels and 5 to Kaddafi. Free. No strings attached.

No better advertisement for these jets.

Then, provide some old tanks to Kaddafi and Karl Gustav to the rebels and vice versa.

Islamists and communists will be crying ANYWAYS, whether Sweden joins NATO or not (joins - cold blood murderer, doesn't join - blood thirsty racist), so at least make a good money on this war...
06:15 March 30, 2011 by Lau Bau
It is all about to break the ice in the market!!!

Sweden is so desperate to sell some fighter planes(Gripen).

And for that they must show what can they du actually in real combat!!.

Its hard to sell a Gripen wich has never been seen in a combat zone,right??

That is all about!!!!
09:05 March 30, 2011 by Smokebox
Please, I saw the Swedish army in action in Kosovo back in 2001. I bet the jets wont have any live ammo anyways.
09:06 March 30, 2011 by Zhorka
Swedes gone mad. This dishonorable act further adds to Sweden's bad karma.
09:52 March 30, 2011 by Ozpot
@ repat_xpat

Just like Obama said he wanted to Liyba to accept "Humanitarian Aid" Humanitorian aid means " Ground Forces". What kind of AID have we seen? Bombing.

Why did no government help the Bahraini Civilians or the Yemen Civilians? when they were in the same situation. One word they don't have "OIL".

BP has Billions of dollars invested in Liyba and the west is going there to protect their investments.

Its ironic that the US and UK killed over 1 million Iraqis since the invasion of Iraq, yet they are now going to save the Libyans, yeh right.
10:48 March 30, 2011 by johnny1939
Shame, Shame, Shame!!!! I have a hard time to understand how 65% of my fellow country men can endorse this lunacy. words cannot describe how disgusted I am. What are they thinking? Or maybe they are not thinking at all?
11:56 March 30, 2011 by Nemesis
A simple fact for the Swedes.

If you want to sell fighter jets, get them into comabat to show of there capabilities.

That way sales will be easier as Sweden will be able to refer to combat sucess.
16:44 March 30, 2011 by rybo1
As a naturalized Swedish Citizen of American descent, I wish that the Swedish Government would take its nose out of America's ass. The American model is not the one to follow. Alliances with NATO and others are not in the interests of the Swedish people.

It's becoming more and more obvious that what's going on in Libya, is not a popular uprising as in Egypt, but Western propaganda has made it look so. We surely don't have to follow the USA on the road to hell.
19:21 March 30, 2011 by mkvgtired
@Uncle,

Perfectly stated. You are forgetting that you are talking to a group of people whos only moral compass is whether the US is involved or not. Regardless of the fact that the rebels were pleading for Western intervention, this group sees US involvement and by default the action is wrong. We should have let France and the UK take care of this one. Most of the opinions on this forum would most likely be 180 degrees from what they are.

Note France and the UK were the ones screaming for intervention, and now note who is doing most of the dirty work, as usual.

Democracy should go over without a hitch. These are the same people that had a massive party when a convicted terrorist was released. If there is one constant in history it is that the only people Muslims hate more than their ruthless dictators that massacre them, it is the Western nations that send them humanitarian aid, and help them defeat said dictator.
20:56 March 30, 2011 by Abbot
Arm both sides and let them massacre each other.
08:53 March 31, 2011 by Marc the Texan
As usual Sweden is looking for political influence in international affairs without picking up the tab. Honestly Sweden, the contribution is so small that you just get in the way. Everyone has to get off their game so Sweden can come off the bench and get a few minutes on the field.
20:12 March 31, 2011 by Uncle
mkvgtired

Precisely. Sarkozy and Brown were at the throats of everybody in the UN to get into there. Qatar and Emirates were dying to cover Lybia with F-16's. That is why Brazil, Russia and South Africa agreed for invasion in the first place.

However when the decision was taken and the rebels had only 2 cities left, all of a sudden, France had an important issue to attend, GB was tying it's shoes and Qatar and Emirates were about to finish packing their bags... Who is left standing when sh%t is flying around and everyone is ducking? USA of course...

And now, it does not matter that it is out. It does not matter that it's first wave of attack was the one that paralysed crazy dictator's troops and saved the rebels from mass graves... It does not matter that now it is France that bombs wrong buildings... Nothing matters. It is the FAULT of USA. How FREAKING convenient. Next time a muslim dictator is killing thousands, US should take a principal stance of non-intervention.

Let's see the "precise weapons" of Russians or "purity of weapons" of Chinese, or "humanitarian force" of African Union dealing with this crap.
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