"Om de rödgröna vinner valet kommer Sverige att behålla sin militära närvaro i Afghanistan i höst, men truppnärvaron kommer ska inte utökas, vilket den borgerliga alliansen gemensamt gått ut med att man vill göra.
– Vi säger absolut nej till det, sade Mona Sahlin under presskonferensen där hon hade Peter Eriksson (MP) och Lars Ohly (V) vid sin sida.
Enligt de rödgrönas gemensamma strategi för Afghanistan ska ett militärt tillbakadragande påbörjas i juli 2011. Första halvåret 2013 ska svensk militär vara helt ute ur Afghanistan."
If you divide 150,000/300m with 500/9.3m, you will find out that the per capita number of soldiers from the US is about ten times that of Sweden in Afghanistan. The right of center governing coalition 'Alliansen' wants to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan but the opposition in the Swedish election on September 19, the 'Red-Greens', has today decided to bring the troops home starting July 2011, the same date as President Obama suggested. Troops should be out by 2013.
How does Sweden defend the fact that the US has 10 times more troops per capita in Afghanistan? Is it ten times more likely with a terrorist attack in the US than in Sweden? Possibly, but another way of reasoning is that Sweden should help out to fight international terrorism to the same extent as the US do, for example, keep the seaways of the world open for traffic. Maintaining order in the world and fighting terrorism is a burden that should be shared and Sweden should stay as long as NATO stays for solidarity reasons.
There are problems with terrorism in many places in the world and if Sweden can help out in Afghanistan that is where we should be. It is uncertain for how long a boost in security is necessary before Afghans can maintain order themselves. Before this time the methods of the Taliban, stepping into a village and executing the village elders for control, simply will destroy the possibility of other types of aid. Right now there is a surge of activity and it is also a little premature to make a withdrawal decision before the strategy review by Obama in December.
Based on what I can read in the media, the war in Afghanistan is lost, like the war in Iraq was around 2006. However, if I consider the full context and discount the hype, and incorporate General Petraeus recent hedge for the July 2011 start of withdrawal, the West is pressured by the terrorists to show resolve. We need to stay in order to achieve stability and to not show signs of defeat like a mosque at Ground Zero.
It remains important to not tolerate the ruling tactics of a group like the Taliban especially now after the deluge in Pakistan where Talibans have threatened to attack aid workers. The Pakistani Taliban is dependent on the Pakistani anti-Americanism and sees aid workers as a threat because of this.