File Under: Who Knew?

by Nathan Hamm on 6/12/2005 · 1 comment

There are Swedish troops in Uzbekistan?

Apparently there are, and the secretary general of Amnesty International’s Swedish branch wants them to shut down their base.

Maybe I’m just being silly, but I hardly think two soldiers overseeing Swedish equipment at Termez, the ISAF base sometimes referred to (by, for example, me) as the German base, hardly qualifies the base as being “Swedish.” Even when the number goes up to 30 in August, it’ll hardly be Swedish. And something tells me Sweden’s decision of where it’ll base 30 troops to support its work in Afghanistan is going to continue to be “We’ll put them wherever the rest of the ISAF troops are.”

Realizing that’s silly, the secretary general, Mr. Soderbergh has additional unsolicited advice on how to powerfully leverage the presence of those two troops.

“If that is impossible, Sweden should use its presence in Uzbekistan to engage in a dialogue with the regime and criticize how human rights are violated in the country,” Soderbergh said.

Since turnabout is fair play, I have some advice for Mr. Soderbergh. If it’s impossible for Amnesty to not horn in on Human Rights Watch’s racket and instead get back to the business of being a fair and credible defender of human rights, maybe it should just close shop.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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