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Sweden to send more troops to Afghanistan

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 10 Feb 2010, 08:07

Published: 10 Feb 2010 08:07 GMT+01:00

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The soldiers will come from the so-called strategic reserve and will join the FS18 force currently based near Mazar-e Sharif in the north-west of Afghanistan.

"This was a planned decision but we have brought it forward a little after the death of the soldiers at the weekend," said Lena Parkvall, spokesperson for the Swedish Armed Forces, to The Local on Wednesday.

"The soldiers based in Afghanistan usually go on leave from time to time; these extra troops will enable them to attend the funerals and to get some rest," she said.

The additional troops will also afford the FS18 contingent the resources to continue their operations fully.

The 30 troops will come from 313 squadron at K3 based in Karlsborg in southern Sweden.

Sweden currently deploys around 500 troops in Afghanistan.

Story continues below…

The plane that had been due to carry the bodies of 28-year-old Captain Johan Palmlöv and 31-year-old Lieutenant Gunnar Andersson home from Afghanistan on Tuesday remains delayed by adverse weather conditions in Afghanistan.

The Armed Forces have confirmed that they hope to be able to depart from the German-controlled Marmal airbase on Wednesday morning.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:42 February 10, 2010 by peropaco
It will also help if they give these boys a fair chance to defend themselves. Hence, please provide them with some weapons to fight.
12:50 February 10, 2010 by Audrian
Afghanistan is a distraction. The real culprit of 9/11 and religious fundamentalism is Saudi Arabia. Since Saudi Arabia, is a major oil source, beside being a major market for America's exports including arms, there is no point for the US to harass a country that is already under its firm control. Instead attention was diverted towards Iraq (which is oil rich country) and Afghanistan (which is an oil pipe line route that can avoid unstable countries like Iran).

Swedish soldiers, whether they are in active military duty or not, are supporting America's imperialistic ambition in the region. Sweden as a peace loving country has no business to serve America's flag anywhere.
13:28 February 10, 2010 by Nemesis
This situation is ridiculous.

They should either:

Send in hundreds of thousands of troops and stabalise to area, followed by burning the opium fields, weapon seizure, begin education of all women and ban Sharia law.


Leave and most likely have to deal with it on our own soil, as Saudi Arabia exports it to our countries.

We need to seriously consider regime change in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well so as to remove the root cause.

Half measures will not work. They will only waste more European and US lives.
14:32 February 10, 2010 by Hedley
I really do not know why a dead soldier in a war is a big deal? Ok it is Swede and mourning is expected, but a soldier is paid to die and kill in a war (Please read about the "Walter Reed" research and the section IX of Sun Tzu's Art of War)

I do not understand also why Sweden is sending soldiers to Middle East? It is US, Spain and Storbritanien business... My birthplace country Panama lacks of army and we are not allowed to be involved in any war...
14:58 February 10, 2010 by Kevtravels
Well Sweden has basically a failing army, supposedly even the Home Guard is turning shite and that's why they are turning to an all volunteer army. I believe they're only able to send 1,000 troops abroad and even than that's pushing it so the max they could send to Afghanistan would be around 700. Now of course they need to send more combat troops that can actually stabilize their area and defend themselves.
14:59 February 10, 2010 by Alex Coman

Because you are from a country without the army, you can t understand how does this work. Soldier or not, the death of a young man is a big tragedy.

On the other hand Sweden is a part of a military alliance.

I just don t understand how this Alliance thinks to finish that war with half measures. Moderation in war?????????
15:08 February 10, 2010 by peropaco

Maybe because they were sent out unprepared to fight? and also becuase these are probably the only "official "casualties of war Swedes has had in the past 200 years. Sabes que vivi en Guabito por una temporada?
16:05 February 10, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
A whole 30 more soldiers! That should turn the tide!
16:08 February 10, 2010 by Kevtravels
Any contribution is good. 30 more might be enough to keep the Swedes secure in their base, but they'd probably need 10 times that amount to patrol their region and keep it stable.
16:22 February 10, 2010 by efm
30 what? big deal. 530 total, boy that's huge!

Let's be honest, this is just symbolic.

They should just stay in their base quarters and make friendly visits to the natives, and that's all.
16:56 February 10, 2010 by eZee.se

I dont agree with you on a lot of stuff that you have commented in the past (am pretty sure its mutual :p )

but I do agree with your above comment.

Half measures are not going to work, go for it with a solid A plan rather than thinking of B,C,D......X,Y,Z all the time.
17:49 February 10, 2010 by Uncle
I also agree that halfmeasures do not work. However the misson of swedes the is solely humanitarian. I saw a documentary on Svt that followed these soldiers. Basically most of the 500 there are to serve a small unit of special forces.

Unit's designation is to communicate with the local warlords and assure that they will allow the locals to get food and medicine. They are experts in the local mentality and powergames. They are actually protected by the local tribes and feel quite safe there. It was amazing to see when an officer was talking to few locals, then turned to the camera and pinpointed who there are active Taliban.

Of course there are miscalculations, but in general they manage pretty well in the most dangerous country in the world.
19:52 February 10, 2010 by coolguy09
I would like to add comments to Uncle

Italian troops have brokered deal(Money/Drugs etc) with Taliban/local tribeman and they have low casualty rate..............so
21:26 February 10, 2010 by Uncle
coolguy09 - they are not there fighting and this is not their war. It is like saying that the local contractors that are building schools there, are betrayers of the west.

The best in deals in Afghanistan were actually the soviets, who (unlike the present coalition) bothered to find out everything about local mentality, dynamics between Azers, Tajiks, Pashtun, Uzbek, Turkmen etc. and assure that "cooperation" with the locals actually held more than half a country in a relative control.

The goal of swedes is not kill as much Taliban as possible. Their goal is to see to that the 7 y/o kids there will have a chance to go to school, wile big bearded "gubbar" are trying to decide who is a righteous one and who is an evildoer. I say - if it costs 10K dollars per month to prevent the local warlord from starving his region because "he is upset" - give it to him! Because killing him will not help, as the same Russians proved.
23:19 February 10, 2010 by himilo
Swedish unemployment is higher so that i have good suggestion specialy immigarants arived newly to join military and get good salary when they took part international peace keeping operation in afghanistan and Darfur on behalf of sweidh state.

Hope this will be part of job creation!!!
01:06 February 11, 2010 by Lukestar1991
The whole point is to have low troop numbers in most areas to 'maintain' their position, not to defeat anyone and the same goes for 'limited' equipment; people should open their eyes, it is all intentional.
01:07 February 11, 2010 by Lukestar1991
The whole point is to have low troop numbers in most areas to 'maintain' their position, not to defeat anyone and the same goes for 'limited' equipment; people should open their eyes, it is all intentional.
05:58 February 11, 2010 by johnnyrebel
More meat for the grinder...keeps playing in my mind like a nightmarish jingle. I watched the dead bodies in their coffins returned to their Motherland neatly draped in the Swedish flag…the pale blue of the sky with the blazing cross of the sun. A good omen to the King, it would be a good day to go out and slay his enemies.

For 200 years Sweden managed to stay out of it, at least for all appearances. Like a born again virgin among a pack of wolves, or worse, among tribes of men. Two coffins returned yesterday and barely a whimper from the masses, maybe a few crocodile tears before returning to the regularly scheduled program… and now this news…more meat for the grinder.
15:48 February 11, 2010 by efm
Agree with himilo, like in the US there is a high relative number of immigrants and minority in the military, that's a good start with them. But first you have to give these people rights and benefits same as the locals. And treat them the same as Swedish folks.
20:56 February 11, 2010 by Malmoman
Has the situation for women improved (unlikely).

Now that would be worth fighting for. I have met a few Afghani women who basically dread the idea of living there again.

If it was a goal like that I would be GUNG HO. Send 1,000,000 more. Otherwise what will we achieve?

Of course where are the Darfur or Tibet discussions? These people really want our help!
07:24 February 12, 2010 by JDV
It is time we bring our young men woman home… renew our neutrality… and work for peace by peaceful means.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good,

the good is only temporary;

the evil it does is permanent.

Mahatma Gandhi

Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)
16:52 February 12, 2010 by Uncle
Work for peace by peaceful means... Like a letter to UN complaining that 2 million people starved in Darfur? Mmm. How about them 2 million in Somalia? Sweden did act peacefully there. The damage was indeed permanent.. Oh, sorry I forgot that blacks are not of our interest...

So when N Korea invaded S Korea, should have US written a note of protest? Blockade Korea? Sure that would help right?... But I am not so sure South Koreans would agree that the good caused by opposition to violence is temporary. They live pretty good as I understand.

So when Sweden will take a way the troops and the trucks with medicine and food will go to Taliban instead of the villages, perhaps the villagers may disagree with the assumption that this good will be better for them in a long run? Perhaps because they will die in a shorter run?
06:27 February 13, 2010 by JDV
No the trucks will go to the Northern Alliance before they even get to the are. The Taliban as bad as they are have always had an interest and commitment in providing services and aid to the people… it was one of the reasons for them taking power in the first place.

It is the militarizing of Aid that has become a significant threat to all foreign aid efforts and personnel. Attempts by donor nations to undermine their efforts by infiltration, for the use of spying or conditions and restrictions of aid based on military objectives, prevents them from continuing their work for peace in neutrally serving the needs of the people.


Who should we believe a Ghandi who demonstrated that peace is the correct way of liberating a country of hundreds of millions of people suffering under the oppression of the colonial rule.

Should we listen to Martin Luther King who true commitment to social justice through non-violence liberated millions of black Americans from the back of the buss and set the stage for a Barak Obama, to even exist in the minds of Americans. Which is what made his appropriation of King's legacy in accepting the Noble Peace prize with a defense of war a shameless disgrace and step down for civilization.

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Should we believe uncle?

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

It real women and men with real courage to work for peace through peaceful efforts. Those are the values, the values of King and Ghandi, I would want to instill in our Swedish youth so that they can be respected and truley needed in the war torn area of our planet... Bring back our neutrality and let us become what a nation of 9 million people can and should be a nation of true peacemakers walk the walk, and honest brokers of peaceful solutions.
08:13 February 13, 2010 by wenddiver
Ghandi's tactics don't work with people like the Taliban, Germany's SS or the Soviet Unions KGB. It only worked in his time, because he did it with liberal democracies that wished him no physical ill will.

Had you tried the whole we won't defend ourselves with the SS, they would have just killed you and probably just laughed about it later (hey did you see Horst blow the head off the lawyer in the diaper, BAM that was funny).

What would Stalin have done????

As for MLK it was an extremely violent movement that involved looting and burning and his enemies were stopped by the Federal Law Enforcement and Troops with bayonets. Hardly non-violent.

Realistically the ones with Real Courage are the ones who go out into the world and work to suppres evil, like the US Marines. Limpos philosophizing in their college dorms are not brave, just pitiful.
09:22 February 13, 2010 by Uncle
Whenever JDV's and such praise the contribution of Martin Luther King, they completely forget the contribution of Malcolm X and thousands of black rioters in burning American cities. What may be the reason? Mmm.

Ans whenever they praise Ghandi who through peaceful ways pushed the English off the control of then half a billion nation, they forget that 90% of the rest of all colonies including US, entire Africa, Middle East and half of Far East got their independence through extreme violence. Why are they so forgetful?

You see JDV, Ghandi was in a situation where brits did not execute thousands and millions in India like Taliban, the Red Khmers, Tutsu and Hutu and Janjaweed in Sudan did and do until now. If Ghandi and his friends sat in a middle of Kabul in protest they would be shot in a middle of a day, burned, put into cocaine and sold to the west for them to sniff Ghandi. He had time and patience. He could negotiate with the brits, because they did not cut off heads in front of public with rusty knifes.

Even cute and beloved by every liberal Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara and Yaser Arafat were murderers.

In the name of 10-12 MILLION people who died in armed conflicts in Africa since 1990, shove your sweet and cute Ghandi and King arguments deep up your...
10:01 February 14, 2010 by johnnyrebel
wenddiver...should we abandon intellectual pursuits and diplomacy in general? Do you think that marching into the future chanting...Might is Right...is wise?
06:16 February 17, 2010 by JDV
I cannot leave this string of responses without presenting the facts to those who have maliciously maligned Martin Luther King by those making false claims that the race riots of the late 19060's or white fear of black Muslims had anything do with the passage of Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation. The riots all occurred after both historical pieces legislation were signed into law 1964 and 1965 respectively and the Honorable doctor Martin Luther King had legitimately earned and received, unlike Obama, his well deserved Nobel Peace Prize.

Malcom X and black Muslims as a group in general despite the movie versions had no effect on the civil rights movement "Black Panthers" and the images of a violent black revolution and the phrase "blackpower" are dated 1966 and 1967 well after Lyndon Johnson signed the executive order for the enforcement of affirmative action. The major cities are burning race riots of, Newark and Detroit, did no occur until the summer of 1967

"Martin Luther King, Jr. became the leader of the Civil Rights Movement and was active in organizing nonviolent protests and speaking out against segregation in the South. Inspired by the non-violent methods put forth by Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi, King worked through an organization known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to stage such events as the famous March on Washington, in 1963. King's leadership was effective in seeing through important civil rights legislation, such as the comprehensive 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964. King was assassinated in 1968."


"Key to the passage of the Civil Rights Act were not just the congressional maneuvers, but also the public pressure, which was fed by a campaign led by Dr. Robert Hayling and Dr. Martin Luther King in St. Augustine, Florida--the "nation's oldest city"--in the Spring and summer of 1964. The graphic incidents in St. Augustine, including the arrest of Dr. King at a segregated restaurant, the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history, the arrest of the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts, wade-ins at St. Augustine Beach, many brutal beatings, and the pouring of acid in a motel pool when an integrated group was swimming there, demonstrated for the American people the need to pass the law."

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