“Who Knew?” Part Two

by Nathan Hamm on 6/13/2005 · 2 comments

So, Amnesty’s “Remove the Swedish two!” campaign looks like it’s going to be a success.

Reacting to the criticism on Monday, Swedish Defence Minister Leni Björklund wrote in an email to the paper that “the military will be charged with finding alternative solutions to the activities in Termez”.

“Using the Kabul airport could be a possibility, but I don’t know if there will be room for us there. We looked into Kabul first before turning to Termez, but now we’ll have to look into it again,” military spokesman Anders Hedgren told the paper.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Things that are utterly silly about this story:

  1. That Amnesty bothered to make an issue of it.
  2. That Sweden’s Defense Minister bothered to give a response other than to say that Sweden’s decision will be made jointly with NATO.
  3. That anyone seriously thinks removing two soldiers to make a point is anything more than pissing into the wind.

You know what would be totally awesome? If fewer hollow gestures were introduced as serious responses to Andijon.

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– 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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Curzon June 13, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Yeah, but remember this is SWEDEN we’re talking about here.

Ever talk politics with a Swede?


david_walther June 14, 2005 at 12:00 am

Well, that, and not to step on anybody’s political toes, but I think we kind of set the Gold Standard for this kind of discussion…
after all, this is just a shot in the dark, but those two soldiers are very likely Sweden’s contribution to the “coalition of the willing!”

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