“The Debate” with Jim Walsh, MIT and Jan Oberg, TFF Lund, Sweden – May 30, 2017 Last night “The Debate” on PressTV was devoted to the future of European-US relations in the wake of the NATO Summit, President Trump’s words and omissions and the – historic – words, in particular, of Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately after. Undoubtedly, we are at a turning point in these relations in general and for the NATO alliance in particular. To discuss these issues – past, present and future perspectives – were Jim Walsh, senior research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program, Massachusetts, and Jan Oberg, director of TFF, Lund. Thanks to PressTV’s excellently structured program and interviewer we touched upon a series of aspects and dimensions around which we found both agreements and slight disagreements – all in a sober tone fit for public education and personal reflection. We hope this debate will stimulate your own thoughts about the future of war, security and peace. We’d be grateful for your sharing it to media people, students and other academics as well as to decision-makers in the field that you may know. See it here – The Debate
A 30 min debate about NATO, Ukraine, Crimea, Yugoslavia, Syria the eternal enemy images and the – obsolete – philosophy on which NATO builds. Time for something new, I argue in the debate with former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence under Reagon, Mr. Lawrence J. Korb who at the time was in command of 70% of Pentagon’s budget. Here in TFF PressInfo # 403 is a little longer text about this debate and there is also a little about my experience and policy vis-a-vis the media.
I’ve felt deeply touched by Johan Grimonprez’ brilliant and frightening documentary “Shadow World” which is based on Andrew Feinstein’s book with the same name. I want to share it with my readers and here is all about the book and the movie. It was shown in November 2016 by Swedish Television with Swedish text but is due to be taken down a couple […]
Today – 16 years since NATO began to bomb Serbia and did so mercilessly for 78 days to carve out Kosovo as an independent state – still today a failed one. Remember that when you talk about Crimea today. Here is a link to “Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done?” – probably the world’s most comprehensive blog about the dissolution of Yugoslavia; it’s written since 1991 by three experts and published as they wrote it at the time. The people who masterminded this destruction without a UN mandate are all still at large – e.g. Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Javier Solana, Wesley Clark and Tony Blair – the latter, without an ounce of shame, today “adviser” to the government in… yes, oh yes, Belgrade! It was the largest ever NATO operation. It was conducted without a mandate from the UN Security Council. It was out-of-area and not in response to an attack on a member state according to Article 5 in NATO’s charter. It came in the wake of the – fraud – negotiations at the castle of Rambouillet outside Paris during which (the Serb and the the Albanian delegations never met face-to-face) the Serb side was forced to accept that NATO could roam around freely all over Serbia with no legal responsibility (and potentially arrest anyone, including President Milosevic) and without paying anything for it. That was when the Serbs said no – and NATO’s bombing started soon […]
Baffling Kosovo mass exodus exposes domestic hardships – Al Jazeera 5% of the people have left, 100,000 this year. Funny how in the 1990s the only problems were Serbs and Belgrade. NATO bombed and forced Kosovo out of Yugoslavia. Billions of dollars have poured in from the world; EU, NATO etc. helped build the country. When TFF was there as mediators (1991-2001), we always said: Discuss first what kind of Kosovo you want, then decide its status vis-a-vis Serbia. Nobody listened: Independence was everything, no one bothered about the day after. There was no expertise on economy, production, society’s development and how to run a complex society as an independent state; there were traders and people of culture – ad then the West threw out, literally, all Serbs who operated the infrastructure, the energy system and managed the institutions. (The method was repeated in Iraq…) Today we see the predictable results when you make quick military fixes, let war criminals run a new, deeply corrupt state and all sides run on obsessive nationalism. It’s feels very tragic to be proven right.
Or, rather, of violence against violence + terrorism against terrorism. Among the marchers against terrorism and for freedom of expression we find leaders from France, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Turkey, Russia, the U.S., Israel, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Ukraine. What do they have in common? A deep belief in violence – violence of various types: 9-10 of them presently fighting […]
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TFF PressInfo # 288 – Where it all went wrong and lessons were never learnt Why the “conflict management” and “peace making” by the West during the dissolution of Yugoslavia was much more important for our time and what happens now than anticipated. Much of the terrible crisis we see today was started by policies and principles introduced for the first time in Yugoslavia from 1991. The PressInfo contains a series of arguments and points you to the TFF blog “Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done?” – Jan Oberg
26 years ago on November 9: Fall of the Berlin Wall It was thanks to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell. In my view, one of the greatest statesmen of our times – unfortunately never supported by exploited by a triumphalist, winner-takes-it-all West. Those of us who remember those days and went down to hammer down that Wall can never ever forget! November 1989 was the best opportunity of our times to have created a better world. Short-sighted policies and politicans not reaching Gorbachev to the knees intellectually created the crises that we see today in Ukraine and elsewhere. Europe today could have been such a fabulous place. Tragic. Tragic.
Voting has begun in Bosnia in an election dominated by nationalist rhetoric and a stagnant economy. A good 2000 pages by three scholars who were present during the wars in Yugoslavia and did not buy the Western political and media simplifications and blame game. Neither did they buy the Western ‘peace’ making, the results of which can be seen in today’s Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time but you can fool quite a proportion of the people most of the time – but not forever. If there is one thing that should be abundantly clear by now it is this: As brilliant as the West is at fighting wars as lousy it is as a mediator and peacemaker – a major reason it is going down in relation to the rest of the world. By and large that process started in Yugoslavia.
Interview med Jens Malling – Publiceret i Arbejderen Efterlader en verden i kaos Anders Fogh Rasmussen træder tilbage som Natos generalsekretær i dag efter fem år på posten. Aggressivitet over for Rusland og hykleri når det gælder Irak har ifølge fredsforsker Jan Øberg kendetegnet hans sidste år i spidsen for organisationen. Et udtryk for Vestens moralske forfald, mener han AF JENS MALLING ”Verden er et mere usikkert sted nu, end da jeg trådte til”. Så klart udtrykte den afgående generalsekretær Anders Fogh Rasmussen sig efter Nato-topmødet i Wales i september, ifølge DR. Med situationen i Mellemøsten fuldstændig ude af kontrol samt en dødsensfarlig og eskalerende konfrontation med Rusland over Ukraine kan udtalelsen virke som fornuftig selverkendelse. Den rækker dog ikke længere end at Fogh Rasmussen i interviewet med det samme bruger de to konflikter som argument for et endnu stærkere Nato. Han dvæler ikke ved, at den organisation han på femte år står i spidsen for – samt enkelte medlemslande – kan siges at have en væsentlig del af ansvaret for den tragiske udvikling i både Ukraine og Irak. Men det mener fredsforsker Jan Øberg at generalsekretæren bør gøre. ”Natos ekspansion i Østeuropa – og særligt den planlagte indlemmelse af Georgien og Ukraine – er den væsentligste årsag til at Rusland omsider viser tænder. I Kreml opfattes Nato-udvidelse som en alvorlig sikkerhedspolitisk trussel. Putin har sagt stop og prøver at sætte sig imod, at organisationen inddæmmer Rusland fra Baltikum til […]
☮ ☮ New TFF PressInfo 277 – After all this, what? Messages to NATO – After Yugoslavia? After the fall of the US Empire? After NATO? And After Violence – the world needs something else…
► A major event in peace and conflict research & policy studies • Three authors with 130+ man years of experience with Yugoslavia • All their writings, equivalent to 2000 A4 pages, written 1991-2014 ► Not a word changed: for anyone to see whose analyses and predictions stand the test of time • Freely accessible for anyone worldwide instead of […]
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Philip M. Breedlove: A NATO for a Dangerous World – WSJ Here is the West’s intellectual high jumpers when they are at their best. Sorry to say it, it ain’t good enough. NATO is for a dangerous world. It couldn’t live without finding new enemies on a permanent basis. Here they omit every fact, including the US/EU-instigated regime change – for the worse – in Kiev and NATO’s overwhelming superiority in the military field. And note how history is falsified too – as if it wasn’t with the consent of NATO that Bosnia was bombed and Kosovo was carved out of an existing European state. Fogh Rasmussen recently said on Danish Television that “we gave the Iraqis a chance to make a better society but they didn’t take it!” when he should explain ISIS. I guess he is now making a world a better place but the rest of us don’t take his generous offer either…
Omfattende interview med RÆSON per 1. august 2014: Om situationen i Gaza, om mægling og fred, om Irak, krigen mod terror, Ukrain, en ny kold krig, om hvordan verdensordnen er under forandring, USA på vej ned og hvorfor danske udenrigspolitik må begynde at stille om… Tryk på forsidebilledet:
Håkan Wiberg was one of my mentors in peace studies and a friend over almost 40 years – and dearly missed today. He was an Associate of TFF from 1985 to his death in 2010. A few of the many to whom Håkan meant a lot have decided to create a blog to preserve the memory of this giant – in more than […]