European countries’ role as a vassal states exposed again

Lately, some European countries’ role as vassal states have been exposed to the public again, in particular by two events:

1. The withdrawal of military from Afghanistan (?)

The failure of the war in Afghanistan has been known for a long time, but it was only after the United States decided to withdraw their military that countries like Sweden could decide to also do so. But will these countries really end their destructive interventions? Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand writes in Dagens Nyheter (most links in this post are to content in Swedish):

After 20 years of war, the Swedish flag is being lowered in silence in Afghanistan. Sweden must now stand outside NATO’s new war adventures in the region

For those who don’t know, Sweden has been at war in Afghanistan under NATO command. Five Swedes were killed during their military service there and an unknown number of Afghans. Liljestrand continues:

Sweden’s minister of defense Peter Hultqvist (S) has for the longest time resisted ending the participation. In November 2020, when the then US President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw, Hultqvist warned against “leaving a vacuum for other actors”. It is the same as saying continued war without end.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also claimed in the end that the troops would remain. The Taliban must show that the threat posed by terrorists such as IS and al-Qaeda has been eliminated. For NATO, it was important to be able to point to some result after 20 years.

When the current US President Joe Biden decided that the last American soldier should leave Afghanistan by 11 September this year, without making it a condition of the Taliban’s action, Stoltenberg’s policy collapsed. He can now show no lasting success after the biggest and longest war in the alliance’s history. The US administration has signaled that it will continue its military intervention in other ways. Air and drone bases in neighboring countries should be able to be used to enter Afghanistan with bombings to support the Afghan army when needed.

NATO has stated that training of Afghan special forces will be able to continue from bases in the region. It is thus paved for continued foreign intervention. 

2. Some of Edward Snowden’s revelations confirmed

Revelations made by Edward Snowden many years ago about how European countries are used to spy on each other (which we have written about before), have been confirmed in Denmark. First, Danish Radio reported that Swedish industry had been a target. At that time, also Swedish reporters who had talked to a whistleblower were treated threateningly. Now it has also been confirmed that politicians in several European countries were targets, among others. A funny thing about the interview with Hultqvist last evening is that he seems to pretend that this comes as a surprise. Note that he gets the relevant question, from the journalist Camilla Kvartoft, if also FRA spied on Danish politicians? In any case, Hultqvist makes it clear that the cooperation with the US will continue. Snowden also revealed that the NSA has been pressuring EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance.

It is a shame to see that so many Europeans obviously accept to to be exploited and humiliated by participating in this. But as a vassal state, that is your role. Will someone now be able to break this absurd pattern?