October 30, 2020

SWEDEN: Sweden Embarks On Its Largest Military Build-Up For Decades. Swedish Lawmaker, Norwegian Lawmaker, And Group Of Australian Professors Nominated President Trump For Nobel Peace Prize.

The Economist
The Reason is Russia.
written by Staff
Monday October 19, 2020

An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” warned Peter Hultqvist, Sweden’s defence minister, shortly after he introduced a new defence bill on October 14th. It promises the country’s largest military expansion for 70 years. The reason is plain. Russia’s assertive behaviour across Europe, from invasion to assassination, has alarmed Swedes.

In recent years, Sweden has accused Russia of violating its air space and waters several times. Accordingly, it has deepened military ties with nato (though not a member of the alliance) and with America and its Nordic neighbours. If the new bill is passed, as is likely, the defence budget is set to rise by SKr27.5bn ($3.1bn) between 2021 and 2025, a 40% boost that will bring expenditure to around 1.5% of gdp—the highest level for 17 years.

The new cash will pay for a 50% increase in the armed forces to 90,000 people, including regular soldiers, conscripts and local reservists in the Home Guard (no longer the Dad’s Army of yesteryear). The army will grow from two mechanised brigades to three, each of around 5,000 soldiers, with a smaller additional brigade for the Stockholm area.

The draft, abolished a decade ago but brought back for both sexes in 2017, will double in size to 8,000 conscripts a year. Five new local-defence battalions will be set up around the country, tasked with protecting supply lines from the Norwegian ports of Oslo and Trondheim. An amphibious unit will be re-established in Gothenburg, Scandinavia’s largest port.

The air force can look forward to newer Gripen fighter jets with longer ranges and better radar, some of which will go to a new air wing in Uppsala, 70km (43 miles) north of Stockholm. The navy will get an extra submarine, money to design a new type of warship, and air-defence missiles which its ships have needed for 15 years.

Civil defence will get more funds for cyber-security, the electricity grid and health care. “We’ve begun to rebuild a newer version of what we had during the cold war,” says Niklas Granholm of foi, Sweden’s defence-research agency. The aim is to enable Sweden to hold out in a crisis or war for at least three months until help arrives (assuming it does).

Much of this dramatic expansion is to patch up a creaking force. “The armed forces were in a state of crisis for the last 20 years,” says Henrik Paulsson of the Swedish Defence University. In 2013 Sweden’s top general admitted that his forces could defend only part of the country—and only for a week. Sweden’s army has just two dozen artillery pieces. They are in the north, more than ten hours’ drive from the brigades they are supposed to support, says Mr Paulsson. Under the new plan, the army will have a more respectable 72 pieces.

“We are finally getting our house in order,” says Mr Granholm. But “new budgetary black holes” may appear after 2026. “The debate about the bill after this one”, he says, “has already begun.” ■

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline "Less neutral, more beefy".
ABC News
written by The Associated Press
Tuesday September 22, 2020

STOCKHOLM -- A Swedish lawmaker who nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the Middle East says he got a phone call of thanks from the American leader.

Magnus Jacobsson, a member of Sweden’s Parliament for the Christian Democrats, wrote Tuesday on Twitter that he was “on my way to the stable with my daughter” when he got the call.

“We had a good conversation about peace in the Middle East and the Balkans. I wish the President good luck with the peace processes,” Jacobsson wrote.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed last month to a deal normalizing relations that was signed at the White House on Sept. 15.

The Daily Wire
written by Ryan Saavedra
Wednesday September 9, 2020

Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament, has nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize after the administration helped facilitate a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees,” Tybring-Gjedde, who also serves as chairman of the Norwegian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, told Fox News. “I’m not a big Trump supporter. The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes. The people who have received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump. For example, Barack Obama did nothing.”

Tybring-Gjedde wrote in his nomination letter to the Nobel Committee: “As it is expected other Middle Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity.” Tybring-Gjedde also mentioned Trump’s “key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and … creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan, and the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea.”

The letter also referenced Trump’s moves to withdraw U.S. soldiers from the Middle East, saying that Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter to not start a war or drag the U.S. into an international conflict.

The accord reached between the United States, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, 2020, is a courageous step toward a more stable, integrated, and prosperous Middle East.

The accord inverts traditional thinking about the way to address the region’s problems and challenges, focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible, practical outcomes. It carries with it the promise of new bridges that will serve to de-escalate existing conflicts and prevent future conflicts.

And it comes at the right time. Over the last decade we have seen a marked increase in war, destruction, and dislocation, and a growing demographic shift towards a younger population. If we are to meet the needs of current and future generations, we must be responding actively to all these changes.

The accord has initiated a historic breakthrough in normalizing ties between Israel and the UAE and has led to the suspension of Israel’s plans to extend its sovereignty. The United States and the UAE urge Palestinian leaders to reengage with their Israeli counterparts in discussions aimed at achieving peace.

On Saturday, the UAE formally abolished its 40-year boycott law, thereby allowing UAE companies and individuals to trade directly with Israel.

Israeli and Emirati ministers, from foreign affairs to food security, have initiated their first official discussions on continuing and strengthening cooperation. We have already opened phone lines between the two countries and, as we speak, Israelis and Emiratis are collaborating on research we hope will lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of COVID-19.

Today we have witnessed the first commercial flight by Israel’s El Al airlines to the UAE, carrying both Israeli officials and media. Tomorrow, Emirati, Israeli and American officials will begin discussing bilateral technical cooperation in seven key areas: investment, finance, health, the civilian space program, civil aviation, foreign policy and diplomatic affairs, and tourism and culture. The result will be broad cooperation between two of the region’s most innovative and dynamic economies.

The UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world. They are especially grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough. They are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.

All the countries hope and expect that in the near future our collective efforts will set in motion a cascade of positive changes, both large and small, that will put our respective peoples and the wider region on a solid path to security, prosperity, and peace.
The Washington Examiner
written by Emma Colton
Monday September 28, 2020

President Trump locked down his third Nobel Peace Prize nomination after a group of Australian professors nominated him based on his “Trump Doctrine."

"He went ahead and negotiated against all advice, but he did it with common sense. He negotiated directly with the Arab states concerned and Israel and brought them together," Australian law professor David Flint told Sky News Australia, lauding the president for his “Trump Doctrine” foreign policies.

“What he has done with the Trump Doctrine is that he has decided that he would no longer have America involved in endless wars, wars which achieve nothing but the killing of thousands of young Americans,” Flint added.

Hundreds of diplomats and government officials gathered at the White House earlier this month to witness leaders from the UAE, Israel, and Bahrain sign the "Abraham Accords," which normalized diplomatic relations between the nations.

Trump has already been nominated twice for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, including by a Norwegian member of Parliament for the Middle East peace deal and by a member of the Swedish Parliament for normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Law professors and members of Parliament can nominate a person for the esteemed prize. Flint joined three other Australian legal scholars in nominating the president on the basis of his “Trump Doctrine.”

"So he's reducing America's tendency to get involved in any and every war,” Flint added. "The states are lining up, Arab and Middle Eastern, to join that network of peace which will dominate the Middle East.”

"He is really producing peace in the world in a way in which none of his predecessors did, and he fully deserves the Nobel Peace Prize."
UPDATE 10/31/20 at 12:19pm: Added info below.

Fox News
written by Adam Shaw
Saturday October 10, 2020

President Trump has picked up another nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, after a Finnish member of the European Parliament (MEP) called for the American president to receive the honor.

(1) Laura Huhtasaari, an MEP and a member of the right-wing Finns Party, wrote to the Nobel Committee to nominate Trump for the 2021 prize “in recognition of his endeavors to end the era of endless wars, construct peace by encouraging conflicting parties for dialogue and negotiations, as well as underpin internal cohesion and stability of his country.”

Huhtasaari said Trump has nearly completed a presidential term without involving the U.S. in a new foreign conflict, while withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. She also cited the Abraham Accords -- peace deals between two Arab Gulf nations and Israel.

“It is hard to imagine a president of the United States from the last decades, or a current head of state, who would deserve more the Committee’s recognition in 2021 than President Trump for his efforts to build peace in the world,” Huhtasaari writes.

The letter marks the latest in a growing push in Europe and elsewhere for Trump to be awarded the prize.

Trump was first nominated by a (2) Norwegian Parliament member for his role in the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Days later, a (3) Swedish Parliament member nominated Trump again for his role in a U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Serbia and Kosovo.

(4) Vilhelm Junnila, a Member of Finland's Parliament, also nominated Trump -- along with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa -- for the prize because of the Bahrain-Israel deal.

Last month, (5) three members of the European Parliament on Thursday submitted a resolution to call on the E.U. to nominate President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize -- the latest in a growing effort to nominate the president for the prestigious award.

But Roos also noted the recent peace agreements known as the Abraham Accords, which included the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and Israel, and Bahrain and Israel.

“It was well-known that Trump wanted to crown his first presidency with a diplomatic success but few can have predicted the scale of this one,” Roos argued, noting that it is believed that other countries will follow.

He also cited the U.S.-brokered economic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo -- two former adversaries who normalized relations this month, as well as attempts at a peace agreement with North Korea, and U.S. moves to encourage peace talks in Afghanistan.

“In spite of his sometimes contradictory pronouncements, the overall direction of travel of his presidency has been very clear,” Roos said. “Moreover, with his Scottish mother and Slovene wife, Trump is one of the most European American presidents. That is why it would be only right if Europe were to acknowledge his achievements for world peace.”

Separately, (6) a group of Australian law professors backed Trump for the award.

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