Månad: februari 2017 Sida 1 av 3

Storbritanniens tidigare PM John Major om Brexit

Ett utmärkt tal från Storbritanniens tidigare premiärminister John Major om Brexit:

As a boy, I was taught that America was our greatest ally and – throughout my life – I have seen her as so.

But America’s size and power means we are, by far, the junior partner: mostly we follow – only rarely can we lead. Despite the romantic view of committed Atlanticists, the “special relationship” is not a union of equals. I wish it were: but it isn’t; America dwarfs the UK in economic and military power. That, sadly – is fact.

Once we are out of the EU, our relationship with the United States will change. She needs a close ally inside the EU: once outside, that can no longer be us.

That may not be the only change. If we disagree with American policy, we may weaken our ties. But if we support it slavishly, we become seen as an American echo – an invidious role for a nation that has broken free from Europe to become more independent.

And – inevitably – there will be disagreements: the US wish to contain China and engage Russia; we wish to contain Russia and engage China.

Läsa hela talet här: John Major on Brexit.

Försvars- och säkerhetspolitik i närområdet – Vecka 8

Sverige:

Anna Kinberg Batra: Vi tar strid för försvaret – SvD

”USA kommer att fortsätta använda Nato som plattform i sitt internationella säkerhets- och försvarsarbete, det är den signal jag ser. Vi är starkare i relationen med USA inifrån Nato som fattar konsensusbeslut. Utanför är det inte billigare att upprätthålla svensk säkerhet i en orolig omvärld, tvärtom. Trumpfaktorn ökar betydelsen av att Sverige närmar sig Nato, det är den struktur som finns och fungerar, nu dessutom under ledning av en nordisk socialdemokrat. Det är bättre än att vara ensidigt beroende av en presidents agerande eller tvära kast som gör oss mer sårbara. Det blir allt tydligare att ensam inte är stark.”

Han fjäskar för ”Mad Dog” – hon flörtar med Lavrov – SvD

”Nu vill Hultqvist fortsätta ”en fruktbar dialog mellan USA och Sverige” även med sin nye amerikanske kollega James Mattis och lever också i ”full övertygelse om att det ska bli så”. Den svenske försvarsministern garanterar att Sverige är en pålitlig partner.

”Sverige kommer att fortsätta att uppfylla sin skyldighet genom att bidra till säkerhet i regionen och i omvärlden”.

Sammantaget andas Hultqvists ord en hög angelägenhetsgrad. En månad senare har ingenting konkret hänt i kontakterna med den amerikanska administrationen. Det sägs pågå beredning av kommande möten och besök, men än så länge inga besked om i så fall när, var och hur.”

The Causes and Limitations of Swedish-Finnish Defence Cooperation – ICDS

”Thus, it will take some to bring about common Swedish-Finnish NATO membership. In the meantime, however, other decisions could enhance integration and cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region. Some of these could include: full membership in NORDEFCO for the Baltic states, deepened military cooperation between Poland and the other states of the Baltic Sea region, and stronger German military presence in exercises in Sweden and Finland. The world’s problems are not going away, and the states around the Baltic Sea need to prepare themselves for them.”

Små resurser mot ryskt informationskrig – Sydsvenskan

”Eftersom Psyopsförbandet bland annat är ett operativt stöd är det viktigt att omvärldsbevakningen sker här och nu. Men förbandets drygt hundra anställda, varav tre fjärdedelar jobbar deltid, räcker inte till, enligt Thomé.

– Vi är för få kontinuerligt tjänstgörande för att kunna ha en kontinuerlig övervakning av informationsmiljön. Vi kan göra det styckevis och delvis, men inte i den utsträckning som det finns behov av, konstaterar han.”

Margot Wallström: ”Ryssland är inte ett hot mot Sverige” – DN

”Det är lätt att skrämma upp folk att vi är nära ett krig, men det är viktigt att sansa sig. Det är inte så att det finns ett direkt militärt hot mot Sverige. Däremot kommer vi att påverkas om det skulle uppstå en sådan situation runt Östersjön.”

MUST Årsöversikt 2016 – Försvarsmakten

Wallström mötte Lavrov i Moskva – Utrikesdepartementet 

”Sveriges utrikesminister Margot Wallström har den 21 februari haft överläggningar med Rysslands utrikesminister Sergej Lavrov i Moskva. På dagordningen återfanns bilaterala och regionala frågor, europeisk säkerhet, Ukraina samt frågor på agendan för FN:s säkerhetsråd.”

Försvarsmakten 2016 – Försvarsmakten

Totalförsvarsplaneringen tar form – Försvarsmakten

”I början av februari bjöd staben för militärregion nord in representanter för Länsstyrelser, polisen samt regioner och landsting i de fyra nordliga länen till ett möte i Boden. Syftet var att initiera totalförsvarsplaneringen för 2017 och de inbjudna organisationerna slöt upp mangrant. Som vanligt.”

Norden:

Bred enighet om upprustning i Finland – SvD

”Enligt försvarsministern kommer Finlands totala satsning på försvaret att uppgå till cirka 1,6 av BNP medan vissa delar av oppositionen hävdar att försvarsutgifterna redan nu utgör drygt 2 procent av BNP – skillnaden beror på hur man räknar, menar vissa socialdemokratiska politiker.

Vilka är då de hot man ser? Inget direkt militärt hot från Ryssland föreligger, försäkrar försvarsministern. Men som kommendören för försvarsmakten sade i tidningsintervjun i Helsingin Sanomat: ett militärt hot mot Finland skulle troligen vara överraskande, okonventionellt och snabbt.”

Finlands president – Baltikum är inte hotat – SVT

”Hur är det med säkerheten kring Östersjön – vad är skräckscenariot?

– Jag vill ogärna spekulera i sådana här frågor. Ju mer vi upprepar krigsfarhågorna för varandra desto mer vardagliga blir de och det är inte bra. Men jag tror inte att Baltikum skulle vara hotat på något sätt.”

Baltikum:

Waiting For Invasion – Al Jazeera

USS Hue City Arrives in Tallinn – US Navy

”Guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) arrived in Tallinn, Estonia, for a scheduled port visit to enhance U.S. – Estonia relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous Baltic region and Europe.”

Nato:

NATO intercepts Russians above Baltic Sea – Newsweek

Ryssland:

Russian Economist Says Tax Reform Needed to Boost Economy Post-Sanctions – Moscow Times

”Vladimir Osipov, a senior researcher at the Russian Accounts Chamber, said that investors had largely abandoned the country’s real economy – the sector concerned with producing goods or providing services — in the wake of the economic crisis.

He said that without tax reform, investors would remain focused on Russia’s more lucrative financial sector, even when Western sanctions against Moscow were lifted.”

With friends like these… – Carnegie Moscow Center

”It is time for Europeans themselves, above all the French and the Germans, to begin thinking seriously about the EU’s own security. In addition to Ukraine, it is the Balkans that should command Europe’s attention. Even though Russia now regards the region as falling within the EU’s sphere of influence, local tensions – two decades after the end of the post-Yugoslav wars – have not been put to rest. It is also an area where a deadly combination of criminality, radicalism and religious extremism poses a direct threat to the EU.

For starters, European leaders need to admit that countries outside the European Union operate on different principles than those that prevail within the EU, and then act accordingly. Europeans need to rediscover geopolitics and learn the game of statecraft. Yet they can only succeed if they have the will to make decisions about war and peace, crisis management and conflict resolution, and back these up with diplomatic, economic and military power. If they fail, the consequences will be dire. As for Trump, for Europe he may be a blessing in disguise – one that can help Europeans find a role of their own in a world that has gone unstuck.”

Lavrov på väg ut? – Intellinews

”Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, long a fixture – indeed, legend – in global diplomacy, has been looking testy of late, and much less in command. Even in his recent first official meeting with new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he was clearly taken aback when journalists were suddenly ushered out of the room. There are recurring rumours that he will step down this year after being in post for 13 years, making him the most longstanding of all President Vladimir Putin’s ministers. He has reportedly tried to retire twice before; maybe third time is the charm.”

Russian navy to flash nuclear power in Baltic Sea – The Barents Observer

”On their way to this summer’s naval parade outside St. Petersburg, the nuclear powered battle cruiser and submarines will have to sail along the coast of Norway through the Öresund strait between Denmark and Sweden heading north to the Baltic Sea east of Gotland and west of the Baltic States before sailing east south of Finland and north of Estonia.”

USA:

Trump wants to make sure U.S. nuclear arsenal at ’top of the pack’ – Reuters

”President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the ”top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its weapons capacity.”

U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 nuclear sniffer aircraft to UK as spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe – The Aviationist 

”On Feb. 17, 2017, U.S. Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion “sniffer,” serial number 62-3582, using radio callsign “Cobra 55” deployed to RAF Mildenhall, UK.

As we have already reported the WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.”

Den intellektuelle rugbyspelaren som blev generalHR McMaster new national security advisor – SvD

”Hur McMaster kommer att kunna genomdriva en Rysslandskritisk linje i Trumps Vita hus återstår att se. McMaster tillträder posten som aktiv general, och det innebär att han har en mindre oberoende ställning än de flesta företrädarna, som varit pensionerade officerare eller civila. Det var dessutom antagligen detta som gjorde att han inte kunde tacka nej till erbjudandet – det skulle ha varit ytterst anmärkningsvärt om en aktiv officer sagt nej till en direkt uppmaning från presidenten. Men de seniora generaler som nu utnämnts av Trump (försvarsministern Mattis, inrikesministern Kelly med flera) delar faktiskt alla – bortsett från Michael Flynn som fick sparken – McMasters Rysslandskritiska syn.”

Can McMaster Stabilize Trump’s Foreign Policy Team? – New York Times

”General McMaster may well establish himself, with General Mattis, as an effective stabilizing force within the administration. Or he could find himself sidelined, or even ousted, if he brings too many inconvenient truths to the table. The drama would make for an entertaining piece of political theater — if it didn’t involve the risk of a strategic disaster.”

Tillerson looking for ways to raise his public profile – Politico

”That Tillerson is asking for media advice suggests he is concerned about the perception that he is out of the loop on major foreign policy decisions being made by the Trump administration. It’s a perception that extends to the State Department as a whole, in part because the agency has not held its traditional daily press briefing since Trump took office more than a month ago, though on Wednesday it said it was exploring ways to expand access to that gathering when it resumes.”

McMaster May Reorganize Trump’s Foreign Policy Team Once Again – New York Times

”Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is considering a reorganization of the White House foreign policy team that would give him control of Homeland Security and guarantee full access to the military and intelligence agencies.

Just days after arriving at the White House, Mr. McMaster is weighing changes to an organization chart that generated consternation when it was issued last month.”

The Insurgent in the White House – Politico

”Indeed, given the odd-couple dynamic in the relationship between the president and his new national security adviser, McMaster’s fiery determination to “win” may be what most attracted Trump. In a recent speech at the Virginia Military Academy, for instance, McMaster was passionate in rejecting the assumption that “war will end if we just disengage from it,” and telegraphing a lack of national will by putting artificial deadlines on troop withdrawals. It wasn’t hard to perceive criticism of Obama administration policies in those remarks, which were vintage McMaster: an encyclopedic tour of military-intellectual history shot through with the code of a warrior.”

Tyskland:

Germany’s Self-Imposed Obstacles to Increasing Defense Spending – Atlantic Council

”Nobody is more aware of the problems than [German Defense Minister Ursula] von der Leyen’s armaments secretary Katrin Suder, a former McKinsey consultant. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, a pale-faced Suder, struggling to ignore her rising fever, sought to explain some of the problems facing procurement. The list includes, for example, the fact that the defense budget is the only one in the German government where each expenditure of over 25 million euros must be approved by the Budget Committee in German parliament. This limit has existed since 1981 and has never been adjusted for inflation. A limit of three times that amount would make more sense. The consequence, though, is that more and more expenditures exceed that limit and significant effort must be expended to push them through parliament, even if they are as politically irrelevant as a mobile crane.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel backs 2 percent of GDP NATO contribution – DW

”Chancellor Angela Merkel told her home northeastern constituents on Saturday that Germany was obligated to lift its defense spending from its current 1.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to the 2 percent agreed by NATO members at its summit in 2014.

Electioneering in Stralsund, ahead of Germany’s federal election in September, Merkel said: ”Obligations have to be fulfilled. And, others in the world will demand that of us. And, I think they’re right that Germany must uphold its obligations.”

Merkel’s remarks endorse the stance of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, also of Merkel’s Christian Democrat (CDU) party, but contradict Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s new foreign minister and vice-chancellor in Merkel’s coalition cabinet.”

 

Fråga till George Shulz om INF-avtalet

Frågade igår USA:s tidigare utrikesminister George Shultz (1982-1989) om INF-avtalet. Jag tackade honom också för hans insatser för frihet i Europa.

National Security College: The future of Australia’s alliance with the United States

Ett intressant anförande om hur utvecklingen i USA påverkar alliansen mellan USA och Australien:

It is easy to be troubled by Trump, and the unpredictability of his Presidency. Many of us are.

But we are here today because what matters to Australia is our alliance with the United States.

Those who recognise the enduring importance of the alliance to Australia have some challenging tasks ahead.

One is to explain and advocate the alliance regardless of President Trump – and to remind at every turn that the alliance is more robust and lasting than any one Administration.

Another task of course is to look dispassionately at the facts, and to ensure that this remains true.

A third task is to steer Australia’s policy settings in a way that helps us weather the turbulence of this era.

Thus: more resilience, more self-reliance, a deepening and diversification of our security relations with others.

These include powers seeking a stable regional balance – like Japan and India – or likeminded partners in Europe and globally in protecting the liberal international order.

And a fourth mission is to do what we can to shape the choices of the United States – and of others – to defend regional stability.

It is hard to capture in one thought the multiple challenges ahead for the alliance.

Läs hela talet här: The future of Australia’s alliance with the United States.

Twitter: Intressant tråd om populister och hur de regerar

Intressant tråd på Twitter från en professor från Yale baserat på hans erfarenheter och observationer i Grekland.

Hela texten:

#1: abysmal incompetence of populist government leads many to mistaken belief it will be over quickly

#2: for a long time you think you’ve seen the worst, but you haven’t seen anything yet

#3: the things that strike you as utterly shocking are applauded by others, perhaps even the majority

#4: when assessing a populist govt it’s always hard to tell whether it’s just incompetence or dark designs

#5: nothing like a populist government to re-legitimize mainstream politics. If you manage to survive

#6: best way to boost opposition populist agenda/candidates? Ask experts to show why they are wrong

#7: populist parties are protest movements; they often ask good questions but have neither answers nor clues

#8: populists gain traction by scolding the ”elites” for corruption, but when in power they out-corrupt them

#9: populist govts won’t end just because their record is terrible; they can last if opposition is in disarray

#10: because populist govts have few achievements to sell, they manufacture polarization, division, hatred

#11: worst enemy of those opposed to populist governments? Believing ”this is so bad, it can’t possibly go on”

#12: most wrenching realization? That the demise of populism might require a major disaster

#13: populists’ typical rhetorical weapon against opposition: ”you aren’t Greek enough”

#14: Wrong to think that people will turn against populist government as soon as it fails to deliver, but…

#15:…but equally wrong to believe that people will stick with populist govt for the long run not matter what

#16: because they are obsessed with control, populist govts erode institutions and undermine civil society

#17: … but I don’t know the extent or reversibility of this damage based on what I have seen so far

Brookings: Two cents on the 2 percent question

Intressanta tankar från Brookings forskare om frågan kring bördefördelning mellan USA och Europa:

As for the question of burden-sharing per se, I’m rather more sympathetic than many in D.C. to the notion that this balance should shift decisively. Looking at the world from Washington, there are the following realities: In the Pacific, the $12 trillion entity that is modern China is flexing its muscles, and the American presence is still the only potential source of stability in an otherwise volatile Asia. Even with our $18 trillion economy, meeting the challenge of stability in Asia will be a heavy drain on American resources.

Then there’s Russia—a $1 trillion entity; smaller than Italy, smaller than Spain, a third the size of Britain, a quarter of the size of Germany or France. Can the $17 trillion entity that is Europe not handle the basic defense—security, political, informational—of its own territory, versus whatever threat Russia actually poses? That can mean NATO, that can mean the EU, that can mean effective European strategy—the tool is not the point. The United States has a huge stake in the outcomes in Europe and continuing to shoulder an important part of the burden is logical—and especially necessary in the nuclear realm—but in support of, not substitution for, a credible European security architecture.

Läs hela analysen här: Two cents on the 2 percent question.

 

MUST: Årsöversikt för 2016

Den Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten (MUST) har precis publicerat sin årsöversikt för 2016. Den innehåller många värdefulla observationer om den säkerhetspolitiska utvecklingen såväl i närområdet som i mer avlägsna regioner.

Årsöversikten kan läsas här. 

PBS: Who is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s new national security adviser?

PBS om Trumps nye säkerhetsrådgivare, H.R. McMaster:

Försvars- och säkerhetspolitik i närområdet – vecka 7

Den gångna veckan har varit mycket händelserik för försvars- och säkerhetspolitik i närområdet. Två stora konferenser har ägt rum – Leangkollen i Norge och Munich Security Conference i Tyskland – och hos Nato anordnades årets första försvarsministermöte där bland annat USA:s nye försvarsminister James Mattis närvarade.

  1. Det viktigaste från veckan
  2. Sverige
  3. Norden
  4. Baltikum
  5. Nato
  6. Ryssland
  7. USA
  8. Tyskland

Det viktigaste från veckan:

USA:s försvarsminister James Mattis öppningsanförande hos Natos försvarsministermöte – US Delegation to NATO

”The impatience Secretary Gates predicted is now a governmental reality.  As noted by a European Minister of Defense, calling for two percent defense spending is a “fair” demand from the American people to their long-time Allies and friends in Europe.  No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of western values.  Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.  Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the Alliance, and for the freedoms we inherited, which are now clearly threatened.”

Utrikesminister Margot Wallström presenterade årets Utrikesdeklaration – Utrikesdepartementet

”Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska linje ligger fast. Vår militära alliansfrihet tjänar oss väl och bidrar till stabilitet och säkerhet i norra Europa. Den förutsätter en aktiv, bred och ansvarsfull utrikes- och säkerhetspolitik i kombination med fördjupade försvarssamarbeten, särskilt med Finland, och en trovärdig nationell försvarsförmåga.”

Mike Flynn lämnar posten som säkerhetspolitisk rådgivare till Trump – Reuters

”President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.”

Ryssland bryter mot INF-avtalet – New York Times

”Administration officials said the Russians now have two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile. One is still located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in southern Russia near Volgograd. The other was shifted in December from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in the country, according to a senior official who did not provide further details and requested anonymity to discuss recent intelligence reports about the missile.”

Sverige:

Tal av Peter Hultqvist Leangkollen Security Conference – Försvarsdepartementet

Like I said before, I am glad that I and my State Secretary could meet with our Norwegian counterparts in the end of last year in order to develop the cooperation between our countries. We agreed to reinstate defence attachés in each other’s capitals. We are going to exchange information on total defence. We are going to deepen our dialogue on security issues. And we are continuing to exercise together.

I am looking forward to host Ine and her State Secretary later this spring.

Besides the Nordic countries, we have during the last couple of years deepened our cooperation with the Baltic states, the USA, the UK and Poland. This year I hope to further develop our cooperation with Germany and I met with the German Minister for Defence in Berlin last autumn and we will meet again in Stockholm this summer.”

Värdefull samövning på Östersjön – Försvarsmakten

”Övningen med USS Hue City genomfördes under den gångna helgen, 10-11 februari i södra Östersjön.  Särskilda höjdpunkter för HMS Härnösands besättning var duellövningarna där det gäller att hitta motståndaren, undvika att själv bli upptäckt och insätta simulerade sjömålsrobotanfall. Trots kryssarens tillgång till avancerade system, och inte minst sin stora fördel med en spanande Sea Hawk-helikopter, kunde HMS Härnösand hävda sig väl och göra lyckade sjömålsrobotanfall.”

Utrikesdeklarationen 2017 – Utrikesdepartementet

”Sveriges säkerhetspolitiska linje ligger fast. Vår militära alliansfrihet tjänar oss väl och bidrar till stabilitet och säkerhet i norra Europa. Den förutsätter en aktiv, bred och ansvarsfull utrikes- och säkerhetspolitik i kombination med fördjupade försvarssamarbeten, särskilt med Finland, och en trovärdig nationell försvarsförmåga.”

Nordic countries pledge closer ties amid perceived Russian threat – Financial Times

”Ms Wallstrom reiterated the centre-left Swedish government’s opposition to joining Nato, saying that it was important for the country to “keep flexibility” by being militarily nonaligned.

The UK’s planned exit from the EU has also unsettled Stockholm, she said. “It’s the fear that many have in this region: what will it mean? That is why we will strengthen our co-operation around the Baltic Sea and with our Nordic neighbours in particular.”

Ms Wallstrom, who will present Sweden’s foreign policy objectives to parliament on Wednesday, underlined Stockholm’s hostility to any attempts by Britain to lower corporate tax levels aggressively after leaving the EU.”

Svenska FN-soldater i Mali tvingas betala för sin egen utrustning – Expressen

Årsrapport 2016: Oförutsägbar omvärld – FRA

”FRA har under året rapporterat om förändringar i den taktiska militära närvaron runt Östersjön, där flera länder har tillfört nya militära förmågor. FRA har sett exempel på faktisk ökning av främmande makts militära förmåga, men också identifierat händelser som snarare utgör medvetna säkerhetspolitiska markeringar.

FRA följer IT-angrepp i det globala nätet. Under en typisk månad under 2016 kunde FRA se tiotusentals aktiviteter med skadlig kod mot Sverige som kan härledas till de stater eller statliga aktörer som FRA följer.  Bakom siffran finns såväl fullbordade angrepp, upprepade angreppsförsök med skadlig kod mot samma mål, och fall där svenska datorer används som ett mellansteg i ett angrepp mot ett mål utanför Sverige.”

Norden:

Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide’s opening remarks: Leangkollenseminaret 2017  – Norska försvarsdepartementet

”The Nordic countries have a responsibility to promote stability and security in our region. While Norway and Denmark are members of NATO, Sweden and Finland are not. But as close friends and neighbors, we are facing the same challenges. That has sparked us to strengthen our dialogue and step up our military cooperation.

We have established secure communication lines between our countries. And we continue to develop our cooperation with regards to air surveillance, international operations and joint training and exercises. Last year we signed an agreement with the aim of allowing easier access to each other’s sea-, air-, and land domain for common training and defense purposes in peacetime. Almost every week, Nordic combat aircraft are conducting Cross-Border Training in the North.

And with NATO’s partnership with Sweden and Finland, and both countries’ participation in annual winter exercises in Norway, and their planned participation in next year’s NATO exercise Trident Juncture in Norway, we are taking Nordic and NATO cooperation to a new level.

Firmly rooted in our NATO membership, Norway sees Nordic cooperation as a pragmatic and sensible approach to increasing predictability, ensuring stability and promoting peaceful cooperation without confrontation or conflict in our part of the world. We have a shared understanding of the security challenges we are facing, and we are all adapting our defence capabilities. The value of close consultations has increased in a changing security security environment.”

Minister Niinistö diskuterade nordiskt försvarssamarbete vid Leangkollen-konferensen i Norge – Finska försvarsministeriet

”I sitt anförande betonade minister Niinistö att till följd av den likartade men föränderliga säkerhetspolitiska omgivningen för de nordiska länderna borde man investera mera nationellt i försvaret. Dessutom bör det nordiska försvarssamarbetet vidareutvecklas. Han påminde om att det nordiska samarbetet för Finland är en viktig del av det internationella försvarssamarbetet, som igen för sin del utvecklar Finlands nationella försvar.”

Statsrådets försvarspolitiska redogörelse – Finska försvarsministeriet

”Redogörelsen drar upp de försvarspolitiska riktlinjerna för hur den finska försvarsförmågan ska upprätthållas, utvecklas och användas. Genom försvarsredogörelsen och verkställandet av den tryggas Finlands försvarsförmåga i en föränderlig säkerhetssituation, skapas förutsättningar för att upprätthålla ett trovärdigt försvarssystem som täcker hela landet, dras riktlinjer upp för genomförande av strategiska kapacitetsprojekt, förbättras försvarsmaktens beredskap och styrs fördjupandet av försvarssamarbetet samt utvecklandet av den nationella lagstiftningen. Den tid som redogörelsen omfattar sträcker sig till mitten av 2020-talet.”

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Bilateral Meeting with Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide – USA:s försvarsdepartement

”Secretary Mattis and Minister Søreide reaffirmed the close defense relationship between the United States and Norway and acknowledged how extensive military-to-military cooperation as NATO allies has resulted in effective combined operations on the battlefield. The secretary shared his long-time respect for Norway’s highly trained armed forces and thanked the minister for Norway’s commitment to international security, including significant contributions to Afghanistan, the counter-ISIS campaign, and Baltic Air Policing mission. The secretary thanked the minister for Norway’s leadership on security in the Nordic-Baltic region. Both pledged to work closely in the coming months.”

Minister Soini: The Sea of Change – Finska utrikesministeriet

”Although the Ukrainian crisis has increased tensions in the Baltic Sea region, the differences between Russia and the other Baltic Sea states in their approach to regional security had been evident for quite some time. Indeed, it appears that Russia, unlike the NB8, views the Baltic Sea more from the traditional geopolitical perspective of gaining physical control over territory. While the NB8 pursues positive-sum efforts of multi-level interdependence, Russia disagrees with the notion that NATO is a strictly defensive alliance, arguing that it is out to reduce Russia’s security.”

Finland förstärker sitt försvar – Metro

”Finlands regering föreslår att landets truppstyrka under krigstid ska höjas från nuvarande 230 000 soldater till 280 000 för att förbättra försvarsförmågan.”

Niinistö diskuterade säkerhetsfrågor med Mattis i München – Yle

”President Sauli Niinistö träffade på fredagen USA:s nye försvarsminister James Mattis vid den pågående säkerhetskonferensen i München. Mattis försäkrade att USA förbinder sig vid säkerheten i Europa.”

Nordens tid er nå! – Dagbladet

”I februar 2009 la tidligere utenriks- og forsvarsminister Thorvald Stoltenberg fram en rapport for de nordiske forsvarsministrene om hvordan de nordiske landene kunne styrke sitt utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitiske samarbeid. Rapporten var et viktig steg på veien mot et mer sikkerhetspolitisk samlet Norden. Forslagene bygget videre på det ambisiøse militære samarbeidet som da var under etablering på initiativ fra daværende norske, svenske og finske forsvarssjefer.

Nedsettelsen av en nordisk forsvarskommisjon vil være et viktig steg videre. De nordiske land er enda ikke formelt allierte, men de har i stor grad sammenfallende syn på hvor de søker støtte og hvor de ser farer og utfordringer i sine nærområder. Dette gir et godt utgangspunkt for å diskutere hvordan landene i fellesskap kan samarbeide for å håndtere dagens sikkerhetsutfordringer. En nordisk forsvarskommisjon vil utgjøre en viktig milepæl på veien mot å bygge et forent nordisk svar på dagens sikkerhetsutfordringer – og dermed bidra til å skape et sikrere Norden.”

Baltikum:

The restless Tartu peace treaty – ERR

”Twenty years later these fears were in fact realized. The fate of the physical document of the Treaty of Tartu was a complicated one during our homeland’s pivotal years as well. At the beginning of 1940, three employees of the Republic of Estonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were assigned to review the ministry’s secret archive and remove from there more important documents which would be safer to preserve at a foreign representation. In the course of this secret operation, four boxes of documents were sent from Tallinn to Stockholm via the icebreaker Suur Tõll, on March 14.”

Baltic presidents meet with US Vice President Pence – ERR

”President Kersti Kaljulaid along with her Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on Saturday. The meeting focused on security issues and confirmed the close mutual co-operation between the USA and Europe as well as the Baltic states.”

Nato:

What Trump Doesn’t Get About NATO and Putin – Wall Street Journal

”Perhaps the strongest barrier against a rupture within the Western alliance are the sentimental and institutional memories of the armed forces. The bond between comrade and comrade isn’t easily broken, and officers don’t easily forget debts of gratitude. Gen. Hodges told the assembled troops and dignitaries that the current deployment was a “down payment from us for paying back” the two Polish generals “who helped us win liberty.”

Pulaski and Kosciuszko—the latter helped fortify West Point, was instrumental in the American victory at Saratoga and was hailed by Jefferson as a “pure son of liberty”—were products of the Polish Enlightenment. They were old-school liberals who saw America’s promise as an exceptional nation.”

14 Februari: Pre-ministerial press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (NATO)

”In my two phone calls with President Trump defence spending has been a main topic and he has strongly expressed his strong commitment to NATO, to the transatlantic bond but at the same time President Trump has in both the phone calls also underlined the importance of a fairer burden sharing. And that those countries that spends less than 2 % have to meet the 2 % target. And I agree with him. And that’s the reason why I welcome that we are now are making progress but also the reason why I’m stressing and underlining so much that we still have a long way to go. It’s not enough. We will discuss at the defence ministerial meeting what more we can do to make sure that we are delivering, that we are implementing as soon as possible and I also look forward to have President Trump here in Brussels together with other NATO leaders sitting around the table and discussing how can we deliver on fairer burden sharing. More details about exactly how we will make sure that we continue to deliver, make sure that we continue to move towards fair burden sharing, I think we have to wait and see after the different meetings where decisions are going to be discussed.”

Meetings of NATO Ministers of Defence – NATO

Hail Fellow Well Met: Mattis Meets NATO’S European Allies – RUSI

”But what Mattis should most certainly not avoid engaging in is a discussion about the values which bind Europe and the US, and how these transcend the personalities of leaders either in the White House or in Europe’s chancelleries.

For without values which are stated, accepted and shared by its member-states, the Alliance will not hold together. Trump’s preference of treating NATO as a piggy bank operation in which one gets out only as much as one puts in is potentially much more corrosive for the future of the Alliance than all the other ill-considered remarks the new White House occupant has made over the past few months.”

Trump Puts NATO Allies in the Crosshairs Over Military Spending – Wall Street Journal

Military spending by NATO members – The Economist

”At a summit in 2014, NATO reiterated its commitment to the 2% target. Members that fell short at the time promised to meet their obligations by 2024. Some have duly ramped up military spending since. However, they are mostly in eastern Europe, where the threat from Russia is felt most keenly. These countries also tend to have relatively small economies by NATO standards. Estonia and Poland now meet the target, and Latvia and Lithuania are on course to do so. In contrast, some of the alliance′s bigger and richer members remain resistant to pulling their weight. Germany, which has more fiscal room for manoeuvre than any other NATO country, spends just 1.2% of its GDP on defence. Spain and Italy have also cut their military budgets to around 1% during the past decade. They would struggle to satisfy NATO while observing restrictive European Union budget rules.”

Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Munich Security Conference – NATO

”The ability of our Alliance to fulfil all its tasks depends on all Allies contributing their fair share. Europeans cannot ask the United States to commit to Europe’s defence if they are not willing to commit more themselves. In 2014, Allies sat around the same table, looked each other in the eye and agreed to invest more in defence and all heard Chancellor Merkel and Vice President Pence stressing this morning the importance of increased defence spending and fairer burden sharing. That is good for Europe and it’s good for NATO. I applaud Chancellor Merkel’s commitment to increasing Germany’s defence spending. It is a vital contribution to European freedom, peace and security. Fairer burden sharing has been my top priority since taking office. In 2016, after many years of cuts, defence spending increased across Europe and Canada by 3.8 % in real terms or ten billion US dollars. That is a significant step in the right direction, but it is not enough. The Alliance still has a long way to go. All Allies must speed up their efforts to meet the target of spending 2% of GDP on defence. Burden sharing is not just about spending. It’s also about the skilled troops and high-end capabilities for NATO operations. And the political will to come to each other’s defence. NATO’s new enhanced forward presence is an example of burden sharing. Four battlegroups involving 15 European Allies are deploying to the Baltic States and Poland. Sending a clear signal of solidarity. A strong European defence also contributes to fairer burden-sharing. And High Representative Vice President Federica Mogherini and I we work very closely on how we can make sure that stronger European defence complements what NATO does and do not compete. And our cooperation is excellent, we are really moving forward together. So as long as NATO and the European Union complement, not compete with, each other.”

Ryssland:

Of European Defense and Islam in the North Caucasus – CSIS Russian Roulette Podcast

Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump – New York Times

”Administration officials said the Russians now have two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile. One is still located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in southern Russia near Volgograd. The other was shifted in December from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in the country, according to a senior official who did not provide further details and requested anonymity to discuss recent intelligence reports about the missile.”

Russians fear that moment to come in from the cold has been lost – Financial Times

”The storm engulfing the White House over the extent of ties between Donald Trump’s aides and the Kremlin has left many in Russia fearing that the new US administration may not deliver the pro-Moscow stance they bargained for.

Stung by the departure of Michael Flynn, considered one of the most pro-Russian officials in Mr Trump’s cabinet, Russian media and former officials claimed on Wednesday that the US security establishment was waging a campaign against the White House.”

Air defence units of the Baltic Fleet conducted fire training using Pantsyr-S1 air defence complex in the Kaliningrad region – Ryska försvarsdepartementet

”Air defence unit of the Baltic Fleet, which had been armed with Pantsyr-S1 air defence complexes, carried out a long-distance march to one of the Kaliningrad region ranges and conducted firing training.”

Statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at Munich Security Conference – Munich Security Conference

USA

Turmoil at the National Security Council, From the Top Down – New York Times

”There is always a shakedown period for any new National Security Council, whose staff is drawn from the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies and is largely housed opposite the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

President Barack Obama replaced his first national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, a four-star former supreme allied commander in Europe, after concluding that the general was a bad fit for the administration. The first years of President George W. Bush’s council were defined by clashes among experienced bureaucratic infighters — Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell among them — and by decisions that often took place outside official channels.

But what is happening under the Trump White House is different, officials say, and not just because of Mr. Trump’s Twitter foreign policy. (Two officials said that at one recent meeting, there was talk of feeding suggested Twitter posts to the president so the council’s staff would have greater influence.)”

Confrontation vs conformists in the White House – Axios

”A big reason the first three weeks of the Trump presidency have been such a rollercoaster: the intense, daily competition between two very different world views in the West Wing — those who want radical confrontation at home and abroad, versus those who want to conform better to Washington and international norms. Hence, the wild swings from confrontation over a ”One China” policy to total accommodation, or a full-court fight over extreme vetting to growing momentum to simply fix it.”

Michael Flynn, General Chaos – New Yorker

”Two days before the Inauguration of Donald Trump as the forty-fifth President of the United States, Michael Flynn, a retired lieutenant general and former intelligence officer, sat down in a Washington restaurant. On the tablecloth, he placed a leather-bound folder and two phones, which flashed with text messages and incoming calls. A gaunt, stern-looking man with hooded eyes and a Roman nose, Flynn is sharp in both manner and language. He had been one of Trump’s earliest supporters, a vociferous booster on television, on Twitter, and, most memorably, from the stage of the Republican National Convention. Strident views and a penchant for conspiracy theories often embroiled him in controversy—in a hacked e-mail from last summer, former Secretary of State Colin Powell called him “right-wing nutty”—but Trump rewarded Flynn’s loyalty by making him his national-security adviser. Now, after months of unrelenting scrutiny, Flynn seemed to believe that he could find a measure of obscurity in the West Wing, steps away from Trump and the Oval Office. “I want to go back to having an out-of-sight role,” he told me.”

Intervention by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at North Atlantic Council, NATO Defense Ministerial – US Delelegation to NATO

”The impatience Secretary Gates predicted is now a governmental reality.  As noted by a European Minister of Defense, calling for two percent defense spending is a “fair” demand from the American people to their long-time Allies and friends in Europe.  No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of western values.  Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.  Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the Alliance, and for the freedoms we inherited, which are now clearly threatened.”

Remarks by Secretary Mattis at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany – USA:s försvarsdepartement

”The message I delivered in Brussels was expected.  It was well received by my fellow defense ministers, as you heard a moment ago, and aligned with the message of Secretary General Stoltenberg.  I stand here with you, I’m confident that our alliance will be unified in meeting today’s security challenges and I’m also confident that the alliance will adopt a plan this year, including milestone dates, to make steady progress toward meeting Warsaw and Wales commitments to carry our fair share of the security burden.”

In Munich, Pence Says U.S. Commitment to NATO Is ‘Unwavering’ – New York Times

”Bearing what he said was a message from President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence told anxious European political and security leaders on Saturday that “the United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to this trans-Atlantic alliance.”

But while offering that assurance to European partners alarmed by Mr. Trump’s rise, along with some tough words on Russia and Ukraine, Mr. Pence also warned that Europe must increase its military spending in a dangerous world, saying, “As you keep faith with us, under President Trump, we will always keep faith with you.”

The NATO treaty demands not only collective defense but a vow to “contribute our fair share to our common defense,” Mr. Pence, making his first overseas trip as vice president, said at an annual security conference here.”

Tyskland

Germany has taken itself out of the nuclear running – Financial Times

”So, the unthinkable has become the undoable. By 2023, Germany will have none of the wherewithal for a weapons option, except a limited low-enrichment capability doomed to go when the last power reactor goes. You cannot build a bomb without a complete fuel cycle: from the gaseous diffusion of uranium ore to its transformation into bomb metal, from spent-fuel to fissionable plutonium, which is the other road to the bomb.”

Germany to buy six MKS-180 multi-role warships – ministry – Reuters

”German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has decided to buy six MKS-180 multi-role warships instead of putting off a decision on two of those ships until 2030, her spokesman said on Monday.

The ministry decided last October to delay a tender for four warships, which was valued at 4 billion euros (£3.4 billion), to ensure that quality standards were met. A decision on two extra warships had initially been planned in 2030.”

NATO survival will depend on Germany – Politico

”With Europe’s largest GDP and by far its strongest economy, Germany is the swing state in European defense. If Berlin commits to spending the recommended 2 percent of GDP on defense, it would add $30 billion of defense spending in Europe — a large share of the $100 billion surplus that would be generated if all European members and Canada met their targets. The move would significantly boost European defense.”

Merkel stresses NATO also crucial for US – DW

”German Chancellor Angela Merkel  on Saturday emphasized the necessity of international alliances, such as NATO, to cope with the challenges currently facing the world.

Speaking on the second day of the Munich Security Conference, Merkel said that problems such as those posed by Islamist terrorism could not be mastered by one nation alone, and called for a ”networked world.”

At the same time, she said it was necessary to improve and streamline multilateral bodies such as the European Union, while stressing how vital they were.

Among other things, Merkel reiterated European commitment to the NATO defense alliance, saying that Germany would do its best to reach the NATO-mandated defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

However, she emphasized that NATO was in the interest not only of Europe, but of the United States as well.”

Germany Forging Post-Brexit Defense ’Road Map’ With the U.K. – Bloomberg

”Germany’s defense chief said she’s forging a security “road map” with the U.K. to ensure that tight cooperation on military matters survives Britain’s exit from the European Union.”

Certainties in an uncertain world – Tyska utrikesdepartementet

”Germany has already started filling gaps in European capability, together with our partners in the Framework Nations Concept.

After all, spending more on defense is necessary, but not sufficient: European members of NATO and the EU must also spend their funds in a more coordinated manner.

The unity of the transatlantic alliance between Europe, the United States and Canada is another certainty we build on. During my recent visit to the United States, my interlocutors confirmed this common transatlantic commitment.

Germany has shown leadership from Wales to Warsaw and beyond, conceptually and as the main European contributor to operations and to NATO activities to secure ist eastern border. At the same time our civilian efforts are at an all-time high. In terms of the current budget of the Federal Foreign Office, we will invest more than ever before in international peace and security, including humanitarian assistance, conflict prevention and arms control, as well as stabilization. Supporting the United Nations in its many roles remains the center of our activities, not least in Mali and other parts of the African continent.”

 

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