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Swedish Gripen fighters on Libya standby

The Local/rm · 21 Mar 2011, 10:24

Published: 21 Mar 2011 10:24 GMT+01:00

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“The armed forces have informed the government that we are able to deploy six to eight aircraft. At the moment they are on a ten day standby, so it wouldn’t take longer than that,” Therese Fagerstedt of the Swedish Armed Forces information department told news agency TT.

Where the aircraft would be stationed and how much ground crew would be needed is yet to be determined.

How long it would actually take for the unit to be deployed depends on the political decision making process.

Sources with insight into NATO have revealed to the Swedish Dagens Nyheter daily that Sweden will be asked to lend their support by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and the Christian Democrats have criticised the stance of the foreign minister Carl Bildt and the government, who have opted to wait for the request rather than offer Swedish help.

Allan Widman of the Liberal Party would like the government to make available the ‘Expeditionary Air Wings’, an eight plane strong flying unit, which is part of the Nordic Battle Group.

“I think we need to send the message that we can and wish to participate,” he told DN.

The foreign minister Carl Bildt does not however share the view of his government coalition colleague.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Bildt said that Sweden should wait to offer military assistance until requested.

However, if NATO was to approach Sweden, Bildt did not rule out possible military participation.

“All alternatives are still on the table. In the case of a request we will look at all the different ways that Sweden can contribute,” he said.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Ring, an expert on military strategy from the Swedish National Defense College (Försvarshögskolan), there is a need of further air power in the Libya operations.

“France have deployed about a hundred planes, which may sound like a lot. But compared to the air attacks on Kosovo and Serbia there are very few aircraft in action. Back then there were 700-800 aircraft per day,” he told TT.

Story continues below…

On Monday Carl Bildt heads to Brussels to meet with foreign ministers from other EU member states.

On his personal blog "Alla Dessa Dagar" (literally: All These Days) he wrote on Sunday that the situation in Libya is certain to be high on the agenda.

“Sweden will support the resolution in the way and with the resources that we are best suited to,“ Bildt wrote.

At the moment, he pointed out, the military action is the main focus, but there is more to the resolution than that and a role for Sweden in the operations is by no means certain.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:18 March 21, 2011 by Nemesis
Within ten days. You mean after it is over and you have nothing to do.

Then they would have to deploy ground crew and arrange an airstrip. The paperwork on that can be guarenteed to be stretched out over a long time.

What the article above should have said is, when the fighting is over, Sweden will over to deploy and be told it is unnecessary as everything is sorted out.

If Sweden had any real intention of deploying, it would deploy NOW.
11:32 March 21, 2011 by JulieLou40
Couldn't have put it better myself. God, Sweden need to grow some b***s!
11:50 March 21, 2011 by matona1
we dont need a go ahead from other country before we save lives of dying inocent people,what about france that goes with permision.we must be self decicive
12:00 March 21, 2011 by darky
Sverige, this is a cunning attitude. Better take stance and do a direct volunteer. Other nations opt to deploy troops there so why wait to be asked before deploying? If you are serious and willing, then go ahead and send.
12:08 March 21, 2011 by Gabin
Now or never.
12:12 March 21, 2011 by zircon
Love it when you talk dirty...
12:30 March 21, 2011 by zeero
You all get it wrong, Sweden didn't offered to send Gripen fighters to Libya to joine the fight (or what ever it's going on there) - They simply want the fighters to check on all the Swedish communication and military equipment sold to Libya...
12:41 March 21, 2011 by John D.
It is good to see that Sweden is ready and prepared to help out in Libya.

When a government run by an evil dictator, who has been in charge for 42 years, controls all the wealth/military and now is killing his own people, somthing needs to be done.

We can not sit back and let him kill his people. He needs to be stopped.

Freedom and Democracy must prevail.
12:48 March 21, 2011 by karex

I suspect that it has nothing to do with "guts" and everything to do with money.

"kostar pegnar".
12:57 March 21, 2011 by glamshek
This attack is being seen as yet another extension of atrocities of the West against Muslims. Muslims did not want them to help them in this brutal way. Instead of protectng civilians theri role will now be seen as occupiers. Is it only because Libya go oil ? Why don't they go to war agaisnt Bahraini and Saudi agression in Bahrain. When Kuwait was attacked by Saddam, they very quickly managed to attack Saddam but now when Bahraini majority is being butchered, No body bothers. Sheer Injustice.
13:03 March 21, 2011 by RobinHood
If JAS pilots are as brave as Swedish politicians, the Libyans have nothing to fear except death by prevarication and weasel words.
13:56 March 21, 2011 by Julie B
Mmmm, demonize the leader of a rich oil producing country, support a small vocal group of dissenters and defectors, go to the UN and demand a 'No Fly zone ' which ends up being a full on attack. Issue a demand that all journalists shoulld leave that country (why? they were not ordered to leave Japan because of radiation) Gather a collection of countries (most of whom would love the oil of said country), use the media to stir up emotions of a vile dictator and don't bother to quote any evidence. Ignore examples of other blatant dictatorial excess (Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) and what do you have??? Iraq part 2. I am still waiting for the WMDs but that will come. God people are stupid.
14:24 March 21, 2011 by Kevin Harris
@ Julie B

Speaking of "stupid"; Please Google WPC Yvonne Fletcher, Lockerbie, and the funding and arming of the IRA. You'll find plenty of "evidence" of a vile dictator there. No one needs to demonise Quadafi, he does that pefrectly well on his own.

Please check your facts and choose your friends more carefully before posting here again.
14:33 March 21, 2011 by Dave N
Yes, Julie B, you are spot on. The No Fly Zone was obviously an excuse to provide the Libyan insurgents with an airforce. They are attacking not only Libyan anti-aircraft batteries and radar but also tanks, cars and buses. A three month old baby has already been killed. The West is now effectively fighting the war for the rebels and hoping that they will be grateful when it comes to oil contracts after Gaddafi is gone.

Don't get me wrong - I hate Gaddafi and all he stands for but a short while ago he was shaking hands and kissing the cheeks of all the hypocritical Western leaders (Obama included) and Sarkosy was singing his praises.

In reality, all that Europe will get from this mess is more Muslim asylum seekers.
15:08 March 21, 2011 by Luke R D
Again, Sweden has you all fooled. For f#&k's sake people, wake up.

Nemesis, get over your Northern Ireland "I grew up in this situation, thus I know how the world works" bullshit and wake up to realities of the world. You have been taken for a ride, my friend, and you seem to be taking the ride a little too seriously.

Julie B - well said; at least SOMEONE is thinking for themselves. If any of you think this is real in any way shape or form, I'll kindly advise you to wave to Nemesis on your ride, cause these people are laughing at the whole damn thing.

People, stop getting your "news" from agents with an agenda - this is all a circus, and you have all been fooled by the funny clowns juggling balls. Don't bother responding with insults, people, I'M OUTTA HERE :-D
15:12 March 21, 2011 by Muff
''This is all about oil!''

Yeah right.........It wasn't like we already had the oil with Gadaffi.

He was already selling it to us.
15:26 March 21, 2011 by koolwind
Sweden is ones again putting his hands in fire. If the desired results failed to come out quickly, at would be another Iraq and Afghanistan for the NATO.

If you lit fires,then you could have to face the warmth of that unknown fire.

it is Libya's internal issue, UN and NATO have nothing to do except Killing Innocent Muslims and capturing Oil fields.

Why UN,US and NATO can't see distress and unrest in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrian? because thier rulers are servents and obeying of these F***kers.
15:35 March 21, 2011 by mark65
Now the Swedish puppet government, who dont care about us, do thy masters bidding. they are trying to get involved for what s to come. this is going to eculate and finally do what Albert Pike said along time ago. Things are not looking good. the ponzi scheme (worlds economy) is on the brink of collapse. The people in the shadows are leading us to war. Dont say that I didnt warn you.
15:59 March 21, 2011 by Commoner
Each and Every country has to think in terms of its National Interests before thinking of any Humanitarian Efforts.
17:24 March 21, 2011 by John D.
Seems to be a lot of slow people on here,

It is not about Oil, nor is it a war against Muslims.

It is about protecting the citizens of Libya from being attacked by Ghaddfi.

Ghaddffi should be put to death. He is an evil P.O.S.
17:34 March 21, 2011 by Gabin
merci John D.
19:38 March 21, 2011 by koolwind
Hahaha.what a joke. it is the same excuse as US and NATO did in Iraq. To free Iraqi people from Saddam Hussain. What happend then? How many died there? What about Abu-Ghuraib jail? humanity is worst there now.

If US and NATO is so curious about helping people,why they close eyes for Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kashmir (fighting for independence since 64 years from India).

Why they just waited for Egypt. Because Hossnie Mubarak was key Allie of so called contractors of the world.
19:57 March 21, 2011 by johnny1939
Sweden stay home and do not enter in this stupidity.
20:31 March 21, 2011 by proudly muslim
its simple freedom means free oil!!!! this is another war against Islam ,

lets see how long can fight USA and their friends ?
20:53 March 21, 2011 by superturbo
They shouldn't waste any tax-money on this failure of an operation... Let the Warmongers US, GB and France fight their war if they wish to secure the Libyan oil for themselves.
22:24 March 21, 2011 by EP
Ten days of taking a fika and unable to make up their minds.

Wonder how many meetings they need in-between the fika to come to some conclusion.
23:38 March 21, 2011 by Julie B
I am still waiting for the outrage about Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia from all of those bleating about Gaddafi's murder of citizens. You either have the courage of your convictions and admit that an invasion of Libya is for their oil (remember how the US privatised Iraq's oil and gave most of it at bargain prices to American companies?) or show consistency about all of these protests and demand No Fly Zones for Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Like I said before Stupid People! And Kevin Harris google Ahmed Challabi.
00:42 March 22, 2011 by Njal
It is interesting to note, that besides being an oil producing nation, Libya also does not yet have a 'Libyan Reserve Bank'.

The Yanks (the govt) have no right being there (who elected them police of the world? oh yeah, I forgot...they did), nor does anyone else for that matter, this matter is for Libyans themselves to determine without outside interference.
04:03 March 22, 2011 by John D.
Well first of all, the "Yanks" did not start the invasion nor are they running it.

The French started it out with the sorties. The Yanks supported it after.

And the U.S. and the NATO forces are not into the Oil.

Ghadaffi is the Oilman KILLING his own people.

By the way the U.S. Oil comes from Saudia Arabia and Venezeula mostly.

Not from Iraq like many seem to think.

I wish we could all just get along and go out for a beer, I also wish the World can live in harmony and no governments would kill protesters. It doesn't happen in Sweden, France or the U.S. And they protest there.

I will buy the first round.

Any takers?

Piece to all of you, even the haters. I wish the best!
07:08 March 22, 2011 by mkvgtired
@Julie B

(remember how the US privatised Iraq's oil and gave most of it at bargain prices to American companies?)

I actually dont remember that. I seem to recall only two American companies getting oil contracts in Iraq. The majority went to state owned oil companies in Russia, several Asian countries including China, and Europe. The majority of the contracts went to companies that did not even participate in military action there. Do you actually try to qualify anything you say with facts or to you just say the first thing that pops into your head?

08:49 March 22, 2011 by Julie B

All the oil fields in Iraq were put up for bids by the Bush administration and American companies such as Halliburton and Bechtel did very very well. To quote from The Independent '"The largest beneficiary of reconstruction work in Iraq has been KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root), a division of US giant Halliburton, which to date has secured contracts in Iraq worth $13bn (£7bn), including an uncontested $7bn contract to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure. Other companies benefiting from Iraq contracts include Bechtel, the giant US conglomerate, BearingPoint, the consultant group that advised on the drawing up of Iraq's new oil legislation, and General Electric. According to the US-based Centre for Public Integrity, 150-plus US companies have won contracts in Iraq worth over $50bn"


We could argue forever about this process and the timing (Halliburton then sold these cheap contracts to other companies)and you would think you have succeeded in diverting from my MAIN point which is why you are not yelling for No Fly Zones in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen. Nice try but instead of focusing upon a factual statement I made and then trying to insult me perhaps you could stay on track and answer my statement or don't you think those protesters are worth protecting?
09:02 March 22, 2011 by wenddiver
President Obama is defending the right of Civilians and by that we mean Columns of armed Rebel Soldiers with AK-47s, RPGS and Anti-Aircraft guns to shoot at government soldiers of the Libiyan Regular Army, to overthrow the Government . I am sure he believes that every time the Streets of Paris fill with Protesters that those people have a right to shoot at the Civil authorities. No doubt he believes Armed Tea Party people have a right to change their government in the US with weapons and not elections.

A giant lie starts a real war.
20:42 March 22, 2011 by J Jack
Sweden is not a NATO member so who invited them to the party?
08:59 March 23, 2011 by glamshek
@ J Jack

Good Qusetion.

The answer is


Abu Hurayrah said, "The Prophet said, 'Shall I tell you something about the Dajjal which no Prophet has ever told his people before me? The Dajjal is one-eyed and will bring with him something which will resemble Paradise and Hell; but that which he calls Paradise will in fact be Hell. I warn you against him as Noah warned his people against him.'" (al-Bukhari, Muslim)
17:58 March 23, 2011 by Avidror
@ glamshek, post #10.

Well, when the U.N.S.C.'s Resolution was passed, Libyans reacted by celebrating such a decision. So you're wrong: even the Libyans themselves, except those who support Muammar al-Gaddafi, approve the Western intervention. And al-Gaddafi supporters are not important ince they're in favour of governmental mass murder.
18:20 March 23, 2011 by wenddiver
Who cares, it's basically great practice for the US Navy Tomahawk Missile Launch crews. I can't think of a single US intest in the whole country. Seeing this old terorist dead will be nice, but he really hasn't been a threat to the US, since we went into Iraq.
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