Friday, 1 April 2011

Cold war still alive in Russia: Swedish contribution to Libya no-fly zone "dangerous"

These guys seem to frighten the Russians - regrettably the Swedish pilots are not allowed to use their weapons in Libya

Yesterday´s Pravda article cited below about the Swedish decision to participate in the UN sanctioned Libya operation could have been written in the middle of the cold war. It has all the vintage communist party paper ingredients about the the US and NATO "carrying out an active policy of encirlement of Russia,  creating a ring of military bases around us". Having read the views of  Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues, the question arises: When the communist system broke down, did Mr. Ivashov go into hiding somewhere in a basement room where all the old party propaganda leaflets and films were stored? If that is indeed the case, the editors of Pravda are to be congratulated for finding him. But they would have been well adviced to brief him about the change of date and year.

The Swedish army is 25,000 people strong, but the local General Staff has developed a plan that allows it to quickly double. The Scandinavian military machine has 165 combat and 102 support aircrafts, over 50 surface ships and five submarines. It is noteworthy that the decision to build combat power in Sweden was made after the war in South Ossetia.

Sweden's participation in the bombing of Libya is a possible trial step towards membership in NATO, or at least establishing a special relationship with the alliance. How does it change the situation at the Russian borders? What kind of troubles Sweden's membership in NATO can cause Russia? Military experts Leonid Ivashov and Anatoly Tsyganok shared their thoughts with Pravda.Ru.

Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues:

"I would not say that Sweden has too strong of an army, capable of solving extra-combat tasks. It thinks more about maintaining its higher status in comparison to Norway and Finland. During last decades Russia has had good cooperative relations with the Swedes. The Swedish General von Sydow was very happy that his country did not participate in the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia. This fact should be noted separately.

"However, the U.S. is carrying out an active policy of encirclement of Russia, creating a ring of military bases around us. There are bases in the Black Sea region, at our northern borders. The Americans started working with Sweden to attract it into NATO. It seems that the political decision has been made and the Swedes will be joining the North Atlantic bloc. Participation in the bombing of Libya and the creation of "Arctic mini-NATO" are steps in this direction.

"Sweden alone is unlikely to threaten Russia. However, as a part of NATO, it is much more dangerous. The Alliance is a well-honed, sophisticated American system designed to encircle Russia. In that sense, the end of the era of Swedish neutrality is not good for Russia."

Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Center for Military Forecasting, Institute of Political and Military Analysis:

"To date, there is no consensus about the possible entry into NATO in Swedish society. Proponents point to the danger posed by Russia, the adversaries point to the costs of the membership in the alliance. However, the fact that the Swedes have been recently coordinating closely with NATO forces, and that the planes have been sent to Libya, says that the "Atlantic" vector of Swedish politics today is stronger.

"If Sweden joins the Atlantic alliance, it will create many problems for Russia both at the Baltic Sea and the Arctic. In the north, near Russian borders, a joint Swedish-Norwegian strike group will appear, theoretically able to act against our Baltic and Northern fleets. Today, NATO is increasing its presence in the Arctic. In this regard, the addition of Sweden to the alliance is a very bad signal for Russia."
Read he entire piece here.

This is one of the films Mr. Ivashov must have been watching during his years in the basement:


It is very sad that this kind of thinking still is so prevalent in Russia today. But one cannot say that it is a surprise. As long as an old (second or third rate) KGB spy is in charge, not very much will change, inspite of all the talk (especially by the puppet president). 

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