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Liberals push for more Afghanistan troops

TT/The Local · 12 Feb 2010, 07:29

Published: 12 Feb 2010 07:29 GMT+01:00

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"The force is understaffed," Liberal Party defence spokesperson Allan Widman said to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The Swedish parliament decided in the autumn to increase the force from 390 to 500 soldiers. When the mandate for the FS18 contingent expires in the autumn, the Liberal Party wants a larger force to replace them.

Allan Widman pointed out that a large part of the area that the Swedish forces are supposed to take responsibility for is almost never visited by any soldiers. 500 Swedish and 93 Finnish soldiers are tasked with securing an area the size of the Baltic island of Gotland.

The Liberal Party is part of the government coalition and as such supports the existing defence budget and the decision over how large an international force Sweden should maintain.

The Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors explained to the newspaper that an increase in the Afghanistan force is not currently planned.

"It is not currently on the cards. But it is the nature of international deployment to always adapt to the situation. That we did by increasing the force from 390 to 500 just before Christmas," Tolgfors said.

Swedish forces have been encouraged to mix with the local population in a more informal manner. The practice of removing helmets and driving around in open jeeps has been criticized for exposing the troops to extra risk.

Story continues below…

Tolgfors defended the practice, telling the newspaper that in the longer term it is safer.

"You can only win Afghanistan if you win over the civilians," he said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:08 February 12, 2010 by JDV
Our troops have no business being there in the first place to support this American oil pipe dream adventure. We are not there to even help the Afghan people. It was the Taliban who as bad as they were brought the peace and stability, to many Afghan people, to a country mired in years of civil war by the murderous criminal activities of the northern alliance warlords. We have helped to return these thugs power and they will be kept in power through our support of the Karzi and his American sponsored and supported government of warlords.

Why is the falsely labeled liberal Party/folk Party suddenly in the forefront of arguing for more troops, not doctors and teachers and engineers etc… to be sent to Afghanistan? Why this sudden militarizing of our country and it's foreign policy? Why the calls to suddenly have an all-volunteer army (paid mercenaries) like the US? Why are we suddenly being seeing American military propaganda shows such as Navy CSI and JAG on our TV's? Who is this current government and liberal party really working for, America or us?

We need to return to the policy of neutrality and be nation that champions and promotes peace and justice, education, healthcare, humanitarian and civil society causes based on Non-Violence and the rule of law…. That is the only way that Sweden can rise to rightful and just place amongst the Nations of the World. Let us be known and respected for that.
12:11 February 12, 2010 by Audrian
I do not understand why Swedish soldiers should die for another flag, America's flag. The US is already preparing for another war, Iran. Its war ships and several of its basis around Iran is preparation for war. Is Sweden going to participate in this war too? Then what? Imperial wars have no end in sight?
12:24 February 12, 2010 by johnnyrebel
JDV and Audrian....Bravo you two! Asking some great questions...for which I anticipate the coach potato war mongers will have some particullarly vile and virulent responses. As in the USA these days....liberals and conservatives alike are united on the front of wars without end. Witness Obamas speech accepting the Nobel Peace Farce...with his speech about the just wars. War is Peace afterall in 2010.
13:23 February 12, 2010 by tigger007
now i know why swedish isn't respected and when sweden speaks nobody listens. look what happen with germany and sweden so called policy of neutrality. you let germany and it's thug of a leader waltz right in your country and attack your cusin(norway). then sold the germans iron ore in the war. if your guys feel this way about the war do somegthing about it. tell your government to pullout all troops in the hot spots around the world and go back to your safety corner. tell your government to set on the sidelines and watch the world go by and when things are good then u tell them to jump on the band wagon to save face. obama's speech was about war and peace. sometimes war brings peace when all else fails and some countries can't have peace without war. obama's speech wasn't like hilter's speeches and didn't speak of national pride,but a human responsibility to proctect other's who can't protect themselves. those tv shows weren't meant really for nonamericans(Navy CSI and JAG),it was meant for american entertainment only. we americans don't expect you europeans to understand american culture and some don't care if you europeans don't.JVD who are the paid mercenaries in the us military? have you served in the military if NOT you to put a lid on it. i served in the military for paid education and national pride. all military personnel get's a salary for their service and to support their families.where do u guys live,so that i can punch you guys in the nose. i would over your homes,cars,wife,and kids. everything you guy's own and hold dear to your hearts i wanna take control over.you guy's wouldn't do anything because of your idea's about policy of neutrality. that's a sad excuse for NOT having in BALLS!
13:36 February 12, 2010 by Kaethar
@JDV: You mean the taliban who throws acid at little girls trying to attend schools? You mean the taliban who preaches morality whilst actively keeping young girls and women as sex slaves? The taliban are a criminal organisation. What the Swedish and other forces up north are doing are patrolling the areas alongside the police. These soldiers also build infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, etc.

And Afghanistan had plenty of doctors, teachers and the like. Problem is they're leaving the country in droves due to the onslaught of the taliban. What foreign medical or teaching staff are you expecting to attract into the country when you have a bunch of gun-wielding loons shooting down anyone or anything foreign to them? And also, Afghanistan =/= Iraq. But I don't know if I can take someone who see's NCIS as an American propaganda show seriously...
14:57 February 12, 2010 by Viviane Varan
Truly sad to see these beutiful boys/men from Sweden wasted in a bullshit invasion,

another few years the only available males alive will be Chinese, a word to the wise they say is all one needs, where are the wise is what I wonder...

I can' t even see what' s in it for Sweden who has pledged to do without petroleum products by 2020 and until then friendly Norway is next door with major wells ?

well the Liverals hey ? the same Liberals who have been pushing US interests here in Canafa for 200 years to Annex our country, which syuccombed in 1988 under a conservative govt

via free trade after 200 years of resistance and as it is now it looks like people who quit fighting in a chess game after they lose the queen, sad to watch and pathetic, please don' t let that happen to Sweden
15:33 February 12, 2010 by Kevtravels
The 100 would need to be combat troops allowed to fire in any situation and not just in self-defense. The government needs to admit they are in a war same as the Germans currently are realizing. This ain't the Congo or Kosovo, where peackeeping will suffice. This is war and it will only get worse. The best the Swedes can hope for is secure the areas they are, train the Afghans and use the PRTto truly gain the locals favor.

They'd need ten times the number they are requesting to truly stabilize the area but any contribution is better than none as long as they are allowed to FIGHT back if the Taliban attack.
16:08 February 12, 2010 by reader in USA
On 911 the radical muslems attacked the free world.

In a century or so Sweden will be a muslem country.

P>S> If your in Belgium stop by my uncles grave. Uncle Arthur is not hard to find he is at the millitary cemetery. I don't know if you heard of WWII.
16:59 February 12, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer

The US Navy has been on permanent presence in the Persian Gulf since the 1970's. You know, when the Iranians were hijacking neutral shipping.

Ask the Qataris and Emirites what they think about Iran.

Just a thought.
19:06 February 12, 2010 by Danish Omer Zuberi
I think and I might be wrong, that every person, comunity, nationality and nation has a right to live according to its culture, religion and whatever ideology it professes. Is it necessary to follow the world culture dictated by the literati of Europe and hollywood jingos.

If the Taliban would have been living peacefully in their own land locked country and hurting no one outside their teritorial and ideological borders, the world would have been a much better place for muslims today.

But, sadly the Talibs choose to take on the whole world and now the whole world is after them and in turn the whole muslim people are now suspected terorists.
19:26 February 12, 2010 by glamshek
Revenge is in the blood of Pashtuns and Afghans. Ordinary people who died, would not be satisfied unless US gives them money or the heads of their soldiers. As I saw one comment regarding Taliban and their sex slaves, Just See the pictures at the right before you speak of theirs. Don't deceive yourself. Taliban are a scourge and shame but they cannot be defeated by arms. America has its own interest, let it die out there alongwith Taliban. Sweden has nothing to do with that war. '' If you do not believe in God, you can live but if you lose the ways of Justice, you will vanish.'' ALI(a.s)
20:48 February 12, 2010 by Nemesis
@ reader in USA

On 911 radical muslims attacked the USA, not the world.

On other dates they attacked Spain, UK, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and a lot of other countries.

Eventually it will come to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland as well.

Two of my great uncle's are buried in Belgium from WW1. I also have great uncles buried at D-Day cemetries, Caen, Rhine and a couple of other places. My father visits his uncle Josephs grave for this first time this coming summer, with a bus load of other local people from western Ulster who have war dead and have never seen the graves.

It took 70 years to find the last of our war dead. My grnadfather died not knowing were two of his brothers had been buried. The British government was not one bit helpful in finding them and did not give a damn. I hope your government is better to its fallen soldiers.

Both my father and mothers families have relatives in the USA. A few are in New York, but the rest are all over the Appalachian mountains in mountain communities. All have very proud military histories and have taken advantage of the good law that was made in the USA after WW2 to give every returning soldier an education. That lifted my relatives in the Appalachians out of abject poverty, gave them the chance to earn the money to install electricity, running water, etc, eventually leading to building new large houses, building business's and carving out there own way. It was the first time any relative of mine accepted anything from the state in any form. There is a lot of family connections between families in Ulster and the Appalachians.

It is sad to see your government cutting back its programs for ex soldiers now.
21:27 February 12, 2010 by mdl29907
JDV, there is no oil in Afganistan. Afganistan was invaded after the Taliban refused to turnover OBL after Al Quada orchestrated attacks on 9/11. I'll give you that the Taliban brought some rule after the Post-Soviet Civil War but they did so through terror, hand-choppings, hangings, etc... to anyone who didn't follow their perverted interpretation of Sharia. Many many Afgans didn't not agree with what was essentially a Pashtun dictatorship. As evidenced but the war with the loose coalition called the Northern Alliance who I have never seen characterized as thugs. Massood to my understanding was one of the least corrupt leaders in the region until he was assasintated by Al Queda on 9/10.

Moreover, I wonder how Sweden being a light of humanity would be received by the Taliban? All the things I love about Sverige are an anathema to Talib thinking from everything I know.

For those think that this is an American only operation, actually it's Nato and the International community who have been very active because they see the prospect of a failed state in Afganistan breeding numerous bad outcomes in the region and the world. Think of it this way, if Nato is successful in rebuilding Afganistan it will be less likely that Afgan boys get dropped off in the woods in Southern Sweden by smugglers.

Less likely it becomes a base for terrorists, less likely that the ISI will use it as a base against India thus (hopefully) lessening the liklihood of a contact between thse two nuclear armed states.

Audrian, I don't think the United States is preparing for a war with Iran. The US has had bases in the Persian gulf as noted above for decades, the US presence really grew after IRAN started attacking tankers during the Iraq-Iran war and said tankers were reflagged. Iran's neighbors are scared shtless of the Mullahs and what they might try to pull if they get some sort Grand-Persia redux mindset. The biggest strategic error by the United States in decades, a century maybe was taking out SH who served as a block against Iranian ambitions if you want to be a complete realist about it;

In addition, I think it's well known that the US is preparing to begin withdrawing from

Iraq in August of this year. So for you "perpetual war" conspiracy theorists I really think it's barely veiled "Anti-Americanism" which of course you are entitled to your opinion but you should just come out and say it;

I for one am glad Sweden is involved and hope the soldiers and aid workers can impart some of the great things about Sweden to the people in the small region where they are working.
21:56 February 12, 2010 by Nemesis
@ mdl29907

Massood, was the only leader in Afghanisatan who had female medics and made sure all women recieved an education. He also led the heaviest fighting against the russians.

His death so close to 911 has made me wonder a few times about the whole thing out there.
23:38 February 12, 2010 by wxman
This is a UN operation! America has nothing to do with it. If you don't want Svenska troops there, complain to them! Most Americans hate the UN and don't even want to be part of them. The sooner we are out of the UN and the UN is out of NYC the better. Eff the UN.
05:52 February 13, 2010 by KipHamilton
Let's also not forget, that as well as throwing acid in schoolgirls faces, the Taliban outlaws music, and kills musicians who refuse to stop their music making. What a great movement. Perhaps when all of this dies down Sweden can invite them on in for more cultural diversity. Who needs girls schools, concert halls and opera houses anyway?
07:55 February 13, 2010 by JDV
I Always love Americans telling us about WW2 of their noble sacrifice for democracy, but conveniently forgetting their own neutrality prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the support of many of it prominent citizens for the nazi's. they always act as if their history stopped and foget the 70 years after the war in which they supported, armed and/or trained every dictatorship worthy of the name, up to and including Saddam Hussein and if you must know the current Taliban as well.

For 70 years they have killed, maimed, burned, murdered, and starved to death, tortured, displaced tens of millions of innocent citizens all over the world, either directly or by proxy.

The U.S. and Great Briton in violation of all Iinternational law and the Geneva conventions invaded the country of Afghanistan and is documented to have done did all of the above to it's innocent citizens, as was planned before 9/11.

A convenient piece of timing if there ever was one…

Which brings to the present

Like Iraq… It is the oil of the region that US wants under it's control and the pipeline it wants to take that oil… runs through Afghanistan as well as Kosovo. The goal in Afghanistan is to, like Iraq (Largest embassy/covert operation center in the world and 4 large permanent bases) and Kosovo (Camp Bondsteel), is to establish Military bases for securing that oil and more.

That is what liberal party believes our young, Swedish men and women are expected to kill and die for.

As far as replacing the Taliban with the Karzi government we are now supporting, I give you one name Malalai Joya.

It is time to bring our young men and women in arms home and teach them the ways of peace. Let our nation become once again, as during the illegal Vietnam War, a nation of conscience and dignity. On a planet of seven going on ten billion human beings we can no longer accept or tolerate and must actively challenge those who advocate violence as a solution for any problem, much less greed and self interest masquerading as humanitarian wars..

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

Martin Luther King, Jr.
09:27 February 13, 2010 by johnnyrebel
KipHamilton...lets get this straight. They dont outlaw music...just MTV.
11:15 February 13, 2010 by Nemesis
@ johnnyrebel

Actually they attack any music wheish they don't approve of.

Literally anything not for an officical ceremony.
13:20 February 13, 2010 by Uncle
JDV. In Afghanistan engineers, teachers and doctors are kidnapped and their heads are cutoff in front of cameras. This is how your "peaceful" means are working. Taliban believes in physical extermination of all non-believers and Martin Luther King does not impress Taliban.

Doctors and engineers need protection there and Swedish soldiers give them that. As I said in previous forum, peaceful tactics of the west in Africa since 1990 allowed the killing of 10 to 12 million people. I suggest for YOU to go and sit on the border between Congo and Rwanda, peacefully chanting "We will overcome". The same you can do by the villages of Tora-Bora region. This will really help the afghans whose life expectancy is about 45 already (due to internal feuds).

For all those who said that Taliban brought to peace. So did the Red Khmers. They just killed every 3rd person in the country - but otherwise there was peace and love. Taliban allowed slavery and murder of 50% of its own population (women), while performing public executions of the rest every week. So yeah - pity that such a goodhearted true islamic government was removed from the chair...
08:29 February 14, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Nemesis...it was a joke. As if to imply that MTV does not play music...get it? But anyways...do we really give a rats behind what they do in Afghanistan? I dont. I am, however, really concerned what we do in Sweden.

If anyone is so passionately concerned about the conditions in Afghanistan...they are looking for a few good men, Uncle...and probably women too, Nemesis. Go get em. Why waste your time just spewing a little hot air on a comment gallery? Go and get your boots on the ground. Make it a family affair and get your children and relatives to go with you.

The real problem is that this conflict is not about human rights as Uncle ignorantly rants and rails about...it is about resources. There are probably worse regimes than the Taliban, not to say they are good guys, in fact, all countries probably have human rights issues. Wouldnt it make sense for all countries to clean up their own doorsteps first before attempting to clean up other countries.

That is the genius of neutrality and diplomacy. Less bloodshed.
17:05 February 14, 2010 by Nemesis
@ johnnyrebel

I get the joke:)

This conflict if about resources, namely an oil pipeline through Afghanistan agreed with theTaliban when George Bush was running texas.

Where did you get the idea that human rights had anything to do with the conflict in afghanistan?

The Taliban do not respect the concept of neutrality. They consider you with them or against them.
07:19 February 15, 2010 by Uncle
Johnnyrebel... As dumb as always... Nobody argues about the e Joe real reasons of the US in there. I am sure that the evil Americans want nothing but money, since so far it was so extremely profitable to invest into this war. Note the sarcasm.

The discussion is of Sweden. How is it profitable for Sweden to keep the lucky 500 there? Oh, so maybe the mission is humanitarean? so you care so much about the poor afghanis that you want for the big Satan to leave it alone, but not enough to let Sweden deliver medicine while being protected?

Your argument is that there are worse governments than your beloved Taliban and therefore it should be ok for them to return? Are you serious? You are so confused by your own liberalism that you drop logic.

And yes there are are bad situations all around the world and Sweden has soldiers also in Africa and other countries in middle east like Lebanon. What's the difference?

Aaa you just don't want Sweden to help the evil evil Americans out of principle. Riiiight... You are ready to let afghanis die and be ruled by ruthless religious dictators just for the pleasure to se US fail... That is definetely noble... Respect!

You are definetely worse than any Right wing extremists.
07:33 February 15, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Nemesis...funny that you say that about the Taliban. I will never forget the moment GWB steeled his beady little eyes into the TV camera and said to the world...You are either with us or against us...and he was talking about the War on Terror.

Its not quite that simple but certain people with certain personality disorders would like you to think so.
11:23 February 15, 2010 by JDV

You have no clue as to whether or not Ghandi's tactics would or not work with anyone... You can only speculate based on both an extreme lack of knowledge about Non-violent tactics and the people you say it would not work with. Just as you have no idea about the nature of the civil rights movement and the social dynamics that made MLK work a successful example role model for all civil and human rights movements.

Both King and Ghandi understood one simple principle that if you up pick a weapon and use violence... no matter how noble your cause.... it legitimizes the use of weapons and violence by others against you.... and that is why they were successful…. If you invade a country by force and violence you legitimize the use of violence of those resisting you including the asymmetrical warfare practice of kidnapping and murder.

Today 11 totally innocent Afghan men and women were blown to bits by Nato forces supported by Swedish troops. You cannot murder innocent children from the air on a soccer field in one part of the country and claim to be on a humanitarian mission of peace simply because your handing some soccer balls to other kids…. You cannot shred to death scores of people in the midst of celebrating, what should one of the most happy times of their collective peaceful lives, a wedding ceremony, in one part of the country and claim to be on a humanitarian peace mission because you provided some food for another wedding in another part of the country… You cannot drag a man out his house killing members of his family in the process and disappear him like a band of Argentine generals to be tortured in one part the country and then claim you're on humanitarian mission to restore the human rights by protecting ballot boxes in rigged elections… on and on and on…

Violence and the support of it as tool for resolving any issue is wrong… period. You wouldn't teach it to your children why do you wish to argue for it as good for adults.

Real men/women of real courage commit to the hard work of peace and non-violence rather easy cowardly self serving ways of violence.
14:53 February 15, 2010 by Uncle
JDV... J....D...V...

You are not listening. YOU ARE NOT listening!!! What is the connection of your babbling to the SWEDES? Did they bomb school children or the wedding? Did they? Are you autistic? We are discussing SWEDISH forces here. Their freaking mission is humanitarian. They do not bomb neither kids, not Taliban fighers. They do not care about Al-Qaida. They are there to protect humanitarian mission, because the country is in a mess!!!

If they withdraw, Taliban will execute everyone there. And your Ghandi tactics will be irrelevant, for God's sake. Whom do you propose to start these chanting and love tactics - the northern alliance in Afghanistan? Would they really listen to your "Kumbaya" or try to defend themselves with weapons from Taliban, who uses chlorine in their rockets?

BTW (w/o connection to the above) Dalai Lama recently admitted that starts doubting the effectiveness of peaceful resolutions. And Martin Luther King had as much effect on the black people freedom as the violent Malcolm X, so stop repeating your nonsense already.
17:31 February 15, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Uncle...You have an amazing talent of which I am sure you are not aware...the longer that you ramble on the better you make me feel about myself.

You are however taking too many liberties with my words...for example, all of your hypothetical musings about my feeling for the USA. In fact I did not mention Uncle Sam at all...which proves that you are delusional.

You are definetely worse than any Right wing extremists. -Uncle

You are definitely right about this though...and I am also definitely infinitely worse than Left wing extremists also. The reason for this?...I am only interested in the Truth.

By the way, if you are interested...as an unbiased observer I think that JDV has given you an old fashioned buttkicking in your exchange above. But keep rambling.
17:18 February 16, 2010 by Uncle
jonny. Of course he did, of course...I am on the floor. The thing is that he kicked my ass in arguing in a completely different argument, as you did.

I was ranting and crying about swedes (me - stupid - think the forum is about swedes in afghanistan), while JDV is taking me apart proving without a doubt that america has no right to be there and bomb and stuff. You on the other hand... let me quote:

"it is about resources. There are probably worse regimes than the Taliban, not to say they are good guys, in fact, all countries probably have human rights issues."

All I assumed is that since Swedes get 0 from the huge amounts of resouces in Afghanistan, you meant US. But obviously you meant Bulgaria, Ecuador and Togo.

Great win! I am nocked out!
19:18 February 16, 2010 by JDV

What you want to do is say the Sweden is not a member of the NATO International Security Assistance Force, the operating word being assistance, which is supporting and lending credence to what is a war crime embodying many other wars crimes, being committed against the innocent Afghan people by the United States and lap dog partner in crime Great Briton. Sweden's forces are under the control of NATO ISAF and works in partnership with other forces including the Americans. In fact it is the presence of the NATO ISAF and the Swedish contingent that frees up American forces and British and other NATO combat forces to do their dirty work, while Swedes and other non-direct combat forces pacify, and control Afghan people in non-combat areas.

It is the moral obligation of all Swedish citizens to oppose our inclusion in the criminal act that has kept the Afghan people under a state of siege and innocent victims of yet another American inspired war crime for almost 10 years.

A situation that could have been avoided by negotiating with the very people they are now planning to negotiate with.
22:21 February 16, 2010 by entry
JDV you make an almost overwhelming argument for involuntary sterilization, I hope you are first in line for your kölapp!
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