Thursday, October 09, 2014

We Need More Than a Strong Defence - On the System Threat From Russia

Originally published in Dala-Demokraten, 9 October 2014: It is time to face realities. Europe is at war and Ukraine is the first victim. We have awoken to new realities with an aggressive and authoritarian Russia, an annihilated European security order and the destruction of international law. A reactionary Russia poses a system's threat to freedom, democracy, and justice.

The new Swedish government needs to meet the challenges of the threat in our neighbourhood, and regain initiative to preserve peace and security in our surroundings.

The West has given up on Ukraine, lost the information war, and betrayed the promises of funding for a vulnerable Ukrainian democracy. NATO and the EU stand nonplussed in front of Russian aggression, occupation, and destabilization of Europe's next largest state. It is a moral capitulation, not by military superiority, but by human impotence. Russia's strength is our weakness in a battle of wills rather than realities. As Moscow's will meets realities, the risk also increases of a Russian Ragnarok in a putinistic regime collapse. What we with Ukraine have not dared call a war a war, so we dare not call the Russian regime by its true nam. Let us thus no longer deceive ourselves: Putinism is fascism. Russia is ruled by a party that since 2006 is a sworn enemy of a free and open society.

Putin speaks in terms from Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and threatens the use of nuclear arms if his will won't be done. Russia's threat is a system's threat that concerns all areas of society. We need more than a strong defence to counter this threat. We need a comprehensive security policy with a wide approach that beyond foreign and defence policies, also addresses economic, business, and legal policies.

The foundations of non-alignment in international law and sovereignty as well as Nordic-Baltic balance and stability in our surroundings is the nexus of Swedish security policy. Here, we need to regain initiative, widen maneuverability, increase our freedom of action, to preserve peace and security in Europe. Sweden's role to recreate a European security order should not be underestimated. To bind us to a nonplussed and spineless NATO confronted by Russian aggression bears witness to an incapability of assuming the responsibility for our own security. Security policy takes courage, judgment, and patience for the long-term construction in defence of Sweden's strategic interests and values. Beyond traditional Swedish security policy we are however confronted by a struggle in new arenas.

A first line of battle runs along the information arena. It takes political will and perseverance, distinction and openness about the Russian threat to oppose Moscow's power. We should not be misled and directed by Russian information warfare, paralyzing European initiative in Ukraine. A new psychological defence should be forward-looking, independent and flexible, with a capacity to oppose influence of politics and economy as well as defence and security.

No comments: