Archive for April, 2009


April 30, 2009

After several years of cyberattacks on Western countries (from China and Russia among other countries) the United States has decided to increase the sophistication of American cyber defense (New York Times, April 28, 2009). So far only states have had the capacity to wage cyber warfare but the growing resources of the international terrorists may open the door for guerrilla type of attacks. The vulnerability of Wall Street is obvious and bringing down the the electric power grids of the larger Western nations is a threat as well.

Attacks to blind air traffic controllers and perhaps military aerospace defense networks could be reality in the future. Cellphone towers, emergency-service communications are other attack targets. The Chinese are already working within American electricity grids according to military sources.

Like always the best defense may be to attack. This thinking has lead to a debate if the lessons of “mutual assured destruction” during the Cold War can be applied to cyberwar. A recent report from the American National Research Council has argued for a US offensive cybercapability.

A new term in the strategic debate is “hybrid warfare”. It means that attacks via Internet could be launched as a warning or pave the way for traditional military attacks. Georgia was the target of Russian cyberwar. The financial crisis that began in 2008 is offering the future cyberattacker a playbook. There is a possibility that the same kind of infrastructure could be built around Western cyber-defense as was built for nuclear weapons in the 1940s and 1950s.

The next step of attacks could be from “cyber terrorism”. Although the gravest threat today is from nation states (mainly China) computer savy, well financed global guerrillas could hire professional hackers to create havoc in the West, especially focusing on “the main enemy”, United States.

What has been called “networks of effective social organizations” has been studied since the 1990s (John Arquilla and DavidRonfeldt, The Advent of Netwar (RAND, 1996), John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, eds., Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy (RAND, 2001). See also Thomas Rid’s article, “War 2.0” in Hoover Institution’s Web Special in February 2007). On “Cyber-Mobilization” note Audrey Kurth Cronin, “Cyber-Mobilization: The New Levée en Masse,” Parameters (Summer 2006). The EU is doing its own cyberwar studies but is behind the United States although the large countries like Great Britain, Germany, and France are certainly in focus of the coming global cyber guerrilla.


April 29, 2009

Jakub Grygiel is the George H. W. Bush Associate Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. He has published a highly acclaimed book on geopolitics (Great Powers and Geopolitical Change, 2006). In an important journal article (“The Power of Statelessness”) Grygiel has pondered with revolutionary and terrorist groups seem to no longer want to build and control a state. Nonstate groups are more capable to achieve their goals without a state apparatus. A state is more of a burden. Modern technologies and globalization make it possible for them to organize, seek finances and plan without establishing a state. They actively avoid a state.

These groups today mainly make out the greatest threat to a nationstate (not the neighbouring state as it was in earlier centuries). Thus states have to prepare for sudden attacks against the infrastructure and destabilization. Since Georgia 2008, however, we know that attacks from neighbours have not quite receeded into the past.

Grygiel: “The response to the threat of stateless groups may be a trend toward state decentralization. In fact, the most effective way of defending oneself against unpredictable attacks deep inside one’s own territory is a devolution of security tasks to local communities. This may lead to a weakening of the monopoly of violence, which monopoly characterized the modern state. Paradoxically, then, the response to stateless groups may be the rise of more stateless — or sub-state — groups.”

What is needed is obviously defense both against neighbours (like Sweden against Russia) but also defense against attacks by terrorists on the infrastructure and large population centers.

An interesting aspect of the reasoning of Grygiel is the question of the Soviet Union. As a revolutionary terrorist group the Bolsheviks from 1917 sought the creation of a state (USSR). Establishing a state made the Soviet communists more vulnerable to containment and liberation from the West. On the other the state could be used for backing a large number of left-wing militant and terrorist groups in the Third World: PLO, the Red Army Faction in Germany, Italy’s Red Brigades, the Japanese Red Army, the Sandinista military forces in Nicaragua, FARC and so on. With Soviet assistance training camps for militant groups were set up in for instance Libya, Iraq, East Germany, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. The terrorist groups were given funds, training, weaponry and ideological support to further the global aggression of the Soviet Union. The Communist regime in Moscow is gone but of course not the old contacts of the Soviet leadership in Africa, Asia and Latin America.. Some of the Cold War contacts of the Soviet Union could be revived in the coming years. It depends on how the relations to the United States and the European Union develop.

The weaponry of the Cold War terrorists was not overwhelming. The Soviets never sold small nuclear arms to the revolutionary groups. After 1991 with proliferation of nuclear weapons there are a growing number of states who might e willing to provide terrorist groups with weapons of mass destruction.

Grygiels reasoning is important and one can only hope that he will continue to write on the question of why nonstate groups do not seek statehood any more. A prime example in this category is Hizbollah in Lebanon.


April 29, 2009

Nassim Taleb in his 2007 book ”The Black Swan – The Impact of the Improbable” pondered the effects of events that are not only rare and consequential but predictable only in retrospect. We don’t see them coming and often explain them as having been obvious. What is of interest here is Taleb’s view of 9/11. Was it a black swan? Maybe it was a vicious black swan. Such an event helps creating the conditions for it to happen. “Had a terrorist attack been a conceivable risk on September 10, 2001, it would not have happened. Humans are engaged in what is called hindsight bias. There is a tendency to try to believe after the black swan occurred that it was predictable.

In the case of 9/11 certain facts were discovered that resulted in great controversy. As Robb wrote after the publication of the Taleb book:

In their analysis of black swans (which by definition will likely never be repeated), human beings engage in what is called hindsight bias. This is the tendency to believe that the event was predictable based on knowledge gained after the event happened. In effect, people unknowingly substitute current knowledge of outcomes into the gaps of knowledge that were present when building earlier expectations of potential events. In regards to 9/11, Nassim points out the following:

“The flaw is that specific facts taken out of context prevents sufficient consideration of the larger informational landscape. A better approach is to develop general knowledge that can be used to improve future responses (improvements in intelligence information flow for example).”

It is also impossible to guard against every attack. Compare Pearl Harbor. There are not infinite resources in the West. Certainly the attackers (and coming terrorist attackers) hope to make the West expand enormous sums on defense against terrorism.

Taleb believes governments should hire creative thinkers that can imagine the impossible. The reason, unstated, is that these people will challenge existing expectations.

Robb believes there is a continuing pattern to follow in terrorist attacks. If the pattern should be considered an essential element of the general knowledge this can be used to prevent future attacks. International terrorism is in the process of evolving into new forms. Strategy is a dynamic process, it evolves.

Creative thinking on what these new forms of terrorism will likely be is essential.
With the right methods prognosticism it could probably be possible to predict improbable events. But what about the present global financial crisis?

Taleb: For the last years, I have been telling anyone who would listen to me that we are taking huge risks and massive exposure to rare events. The Black Swan is a philosophy book (epistemology, philosophy of history & philosophy of science), but I used banks as a particularly worrisome case of epistemic arrogance –and the use of “science” to measure the risk of rare events, making society dependent on very spurious measurements. To me a banking crisis was unavoidable and NOT A BLACK SWAN, just as a drunk and incompetent pilot would eventually crash the plane.

Further from Taleb’s writings: Globalization creates interlocking fragility, while reducing volatility and giving the appearance of stability. In other words it creates devastating Black Swans. We have never lived before under the threat of a global collapse.

There is a linkage between global terrorism and globalization. The global guerrillas have discovered the existing fragility in the Western system.


April 29, 2009

With the publication of ”Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter” (The Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, 2009, 679 pages)
The married couple that was the top United States nuclear strategists, is again in the forefront. An important reason for the renewed interest in the Wohlstetter couple’s is the awareness that their writings still speak to the challenges faced by the United States and its NATO allies. The most obvious example is the book Roberta Wohlstetter published in 1962, “Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision”, which described the failures of American intelligence and imagination before the fateful Japanese attack in 1941. Her study became more important in the wake of 9/11. United States, so Roberta Wohlstetter, failed to foresee the attack “not for the want of the relevant materials, but because of a plethora of irrelevant one. The decisionmakers all had failed to distinguish the small, faint signals warning of disaster in Hawaii from the larger, louder mass of background noise suggesting anything but.

Roberta Wohlstetter: “We cannot count on strategic warning. We might get it, and we might be able to take useful preparatory actions that would be impossible without it.”

Albert Wohlstetter, who came to RAND from a background in industry and academia, grappled with many problems during the Cold War that are now on the decisionmakers tables: the spread of nuclear bombs (Iran, North Korea), fuel-making technologies, and fissile materials to new states and, most importantly, to nonstate actors. The new book is a must read for anybody wanting the finest of advise in an era of nuclear weapons maybe even more dangerous than the cold war.

In the beginning of April this year Avigdor Lieberman became foreign minister of Israel. His maiden speech made many listeners squirm in their seats. It was by many accounts a brilliant speech: The Westphalia order of states was dead. It had been replaced by a modern system which did not only include states but semi-states and irrational international players as well. The free world must focus on defeating the countries, the forces, and the extremist entities that try to violate it. The real problems do not come from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but from the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda in Iraq plus the rulers in Iran. So Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, prepare for war, be strong.

At this time in the history of Israel the threat against the existence of the state and its people has never been greater. Inaction could mean the destruction of Israel, Israel’s Pearl Harbor. It would certainly be wise for Israel’s decisionmakers, the new government, to read and ponder the new book with the papers and articles of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter. As sanctions and negotiations are plodding along the rulers of Iran are continuing to build on their nuclear arsenal. It will be there to intimidate the Gulf states and be a sword over the heads of the Israelis. There must not be an Israeli Pearl Harbor.

Most likely the Israelis are prepared to act the day when the point of no return arrives.


April 28, 2009

Det världsinbördeskrig, som inleddes 1789, var inledningsvis ett europeiskt inbördeskrig. Över jakobinismen, kommunismen och nazismen har detta världskrig kommit att övergå i något som närmast är ett globalt gerillakrig. Sedan 2001 är det ett krig av muslimska jihadister mot väst. För närmare detaljer se inläggen ”Världsinbördeskriget och extremisterna” och ”Global Guerrillas in the Global Civil War”. Den globala gerillan har blivit ett hot genom global kommunikationsteknologi (bland annat) och möjligheten till skiftande globala transaktioner. Globaliseringen (handel, gränsöverskridande investeringar och kapitalflöden samt utbyte av information och teknologi mellan stater) har givit den globala gerillan hjälp på traven.

Globaliseringen, främst då aspekten av spridning av teknologi och kunnande, leder till splittring i världen, och kan var fröet till en underminering av staternas auktoritet och makt.
En aspekt av globaliseringen är naturligtvis spridningen av massförstörelsevapen. Vad som inledningsvis var ett begränsat område för stormakterna har numera blivit ett “vapen för alla”. Det är inte bara spridningen av till exempel kärnvapen till stater som Nordkorea och Iran. Hotet kommer också från risken att små kärnvapen hamnar i händerna på internationella terroristorganisationer. Ännu farligare är givetvis de lätt tillverkade kemiska och biologiska vapnen som i händerna på terrorister blir allvarliga hot.

Den koppling som finns mellan världsinbördeskriget, den globala gerillan och globaliseringen är främst en negativ aspekt, globaliseringens negativa följder. Den kan via internationell terrorism underminera det Westafaliska systemet av stater med ursprung 1600-talet. Denna blogg kommer att ta upp denna fråga bland annat ur vinkeln att det finns en del som talar för att västs försvar kan bli starkare om man decentraliserar. I den moderna staten är en stor andel av funktionerna på olika områden centraliserad. En decentralisering skulle kunna göra det lättare att försvara sig mot gerillaangrepp.

Att decentralisera är en form av försvar därför att den bidrar till att hålla tillbaka skadorna från ett angrepp. En segmenterad infrastruktur överlever lättare än en som är beroende av flera central knutpunkter. Elnätet, för att ta ett exempel, är kraftigt centraliserat till ett fåtal punkter som lätt kan slås ut. För städer kan det vara att skapa egna nät eller utveckla regionala nät. Det kanske till och med skulle vara av värde ur försvarssynpunkt att stadsdelar och enskilda hus kunde fungera utan koppling till de nationella näten. För att det skulle vara möjligt att slå ut elektriciteten i ett land måste angripare rikta sina slag mot en rad individuella generatorer.

För att uttrycka det drastiskt: en stat utan huvudstad är mer motståndskraftig än en som har alla huvudfunktioner kopplade till denna. En spridning av funktioner i en stat är inte utan risker. De kan under vissa förutsättningar leda till att privata aktörer kommer att spela en roll. Men fördelarna ur försvarssynpunkt är många och betydelsefulla. I slutändan blir det en balans: hur mycket decentralisering behövs för att motstå angrepp jämfört med de risker som finns för upplösningstendenser inom den aktuella staten.

Det pågående världsinbördeskrigets relation till globaliseringen är komplex. Här återstår mycket analysarbete. Det är emellertid viktigt att väga globaliseringens fördelar mot de risker den medför för det existerande statssystemet.


April 27, 2009

Världsinbördeskriget, jakobinismen, kommunismen och nazismen

Ett inbördeskrig mellan revolution och motrevolution har pågått sedan 1789. Det fyllde 200 år 1989 men pågår fortfarande. Redan året efter revolutionen började i Paris utkom den första motståndsskriften ut i England. Det än så länge europeiska inbördeskriget fortsatte.

Franska revolutionen
Världsinbördeskriget inleddes då kungamakten avskaffades i Frankrike och stormningen av fängelset Bastiljen i Paris genomfördes. Efter några års revolutionärt styre i Frankrike infördes republik. Den jakobinska terrorn kostade 1793 till 1795 tusentals människor livet. Drottning Marie Antoinette avrättades. Rojalisterna i västra Frankrike och i många andra områden av landet gjorde väpnat uppror. Det var under dessa år det jakobinska skräckväldet härjade, lett av Välfärdsutskottets ordförande, advokaten och lärjungen till Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Maxmilien Robespierre. Blodiga repressalier genomfördes mot de rojalistiska upprorsmännen. Revolutionen fick en naturlig fortsättning i Napoleons franska kejsardöme med dess erövringspolitik i Europa.

Motståndet mot revolutionen
Edmund Burkes skrift (Reflektioner om franska revolutionen, översättning till svenska 1982) utkom 1790. Burke var parlamentsledamot och varnade för att den franska revolutionen kunde få ödesdigra följder också i England. Talet från Paris om mänskliga rättigheter och frihet hade tidigt genomskådats av Burke. I stället skulle revolutionen enligt honom utmynna i totalt förtryck och skräckvälde, vilket också blev fallet från 1793. Den store engelske filosofen och politikern beskrev dock före sin död 1797 det globala hotet från jakobinismens i en rad brev (ett av dem publicerades postumt först 1812 , Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1797). Det finns inte någon modern översättning till svenska av breven. Citaten nedan är hämtade ur Russell Kirks strålande Burkebiografi, Edmund Burke – A Genius Reconsidered (1967).
Det var Englands plikt att rädda Europa från den jakobinska faran och Napoleon. Ett krig till militär seger måste föras, ett långt krig. Det pågick också till 1815.
In international law war was justified…They may be wrong and violent: but also they may be ‘the sole means of justice among nations’…Britain should wage war unrelentingly upon the Jacobins…they were bent on ruining the Christian commonwealth of Europe…Jacobinism was a general evil, not merely a local one; so what was being fought was a civil war, not a foreign war…Britain must strike at the heart of Jacobin power, in France. Should Jacobinism be allowed to retain the core of the European commonwealth, in time Jacobinism would triumph everywhere…It did not rely on numbers, but upon tight organization and fanatic belief.
Kirk beskriver här inte bara fransk despotism. Långt efter Burkes död hotade kommunismen och nazismen Europa och världen. För över tvåhundra år sedan skrev han:
By propaganda and terror, the masters of such a total state [will conquer]…Only intervention by a free nation, employing all its resources and faith with a force and spirit equal to that of the radical oligarchy, can work emancipation…
Den jakobinska staten måste förstöras, skrev en av konservatismens viktigaste tänkare, annars skulle den förstöra hela Europa. Vi kan fortfarande höra Burkes stämma genom århundradena i kampen mot abstrakta doktriner: socialism, kommunism, nazism, maoism, anarkism och en rad andra läror.

Karl Marx och det kommunistiska manifestet 1848
Den franska revolutionen blev upphovet till en rad organisationer i socialistisk anda. Man kan på goda grunder hävda att den franska revolutionen blev inledningen till ett socialistiskt teoribygge, som nådde sin “höjdpunkt” med bolsjevikrevolutionen i Ryssland 1917.
Karl Marx och Friedrich Engels skrev det kommunistiska manifestet 1848 för det första kommunistpartiet. Huvudmålet var våldsam revolution och en omstrukturering av samhället. “Kommunisterna försmår att hemlighålla sina åsikter och avsikter. De förklarar öppet, att deras mål blott kan nås genom våldsam omstörtning av all hittillsvarande samhällsordning”.

Pariskommunen 1871
Marx beskrev Pariskommunen som den första socialistiska staten, som hade initierats, påstod han, av honom själv. Kommunen varade i 72 dagar och kostade mer än 20 000 människor livet. Samma år publicerade Marx boken Inbördeskriget i Frankrike och skrev att kommunen förverkligade proletariatets diktatur. Kommunen var dock i verkligheten aldrig socialistisk. Socialisternas roll i kommunens ledningen var liten.

Ryska revolutionen 1917
De ryska revolutionärerna hade Robespierre och jakobinernas skräckvälde i Frankrike som förebild. Det var i samband med den ryska revolutionen som det europeiska inbördeskrigets massmördande inleddes av kommunisterna. Detta har detaljerat beskrivits i Kommunismens svarta bok (på svenska 1999) i avsnittet “En stat mot sitt folk: Våld, repression och terror i Sovjetunionen”.
Efter det kommunistiska maktövertagande började det sovjetiska kommunistpartiet (SUKP) med klassutrotning. Borgerligheten skulle förintas och det europeiska inbördeskriget nådde nya höjdpunkter. Redan sommaren 1918 rapporterades i europeiska tidningar om det fruktansvärda krossandet av en samhällsklass och 1921 angavs förlusterna i det europeiska inbördeskrigets ryska front till 1 600 000. Alexander Solzjenitsyn (GULAG-arkipelagen) och Lev Kopelev (I evigt förvar, på svenska 1977) har insiktsfullt skildrat massmorden fram till Stalins död 1953. Karl Radek, när han var SUKP:s partirepresentant i Tyskland, skrev: “Revolutionen diskuterar inte med sina fiender, den krossar dem;” (Karl Radek, Die Entwicklung des Sozialismus von der Wissenschaft zur Tat, Berlin 1919).

Nazismen – jakobinismens arvtagare
Den tyska nazismen utnyttjade borgerlighetens rädsla för att klassutrotningen i Ryssland skulle bli en modell i Tyskland om kommunisterna kom till makten. I Tyskland kopierades den ryska kommunistiska tekniken för utrotning av motståndare, både politiska och påstådda “rasfiender” (judarna).
Efter en förberedelsetid på 1930-talet inleddes en ny fas av det europeiska inbördeskriget. Tyskland och Italien gick till angrepp i Europa. Efter hand utvidgades den s.k. Stålpakten till Antikominternpakten med den asiatiska stormakten Japan. Efter det japanska angreppet på USA utvecklades det europeiska inbördeskriget till ett världsinbördeskrig, som slutade med att Tyskland, Italien och Japan och deras förbundna besegrades av de västliga demokratierna med hjälp av Stalins tyranni.

Det kalla kriget
Nu övergick det “varma kriget” till ett kallt världsinbördeskrig med global omfattning (Stefan T. Possony, A Century of Conflict – Communist Techniques of World Revolution 1848 – 1950, Chicago 1953). De kinesiska kommunisterna tog makten på Fastlandskina 1949 och inledde en regim med våldsam klassutrotning. Denna fas av världsinbördeskriget finns beskriven i detalj i “Kommunismens svarta bok” i avsnittet “Kina – en lång marsch i mörkret” och i Bertil Häggmans Den kommunistiska förintelsen, 1982). Antalet offer för världsinbördeskriget i Folkrepubliken Kina är fler än de i Sovjetunionen, kanske 80 miljoner döda.
Kommunistregimen i Moskva kollapsade 1991 sedan Förenta Staterna under president Ronald Reagan ändrade sin politik från att hålla tillbaka (containment) Sovjetunion till en politik för att befria de av regimen förslavade folken, inklusive det ryska. En period av politisk och ekonomisk krigföring inleddes 1982 – 1983 av USA och kom att leda till frihet för en rad förtryckta folk.
Det kalla kriget var ett världsomfattande revolutionärt angrepp på Väst. Kommunisterna i Moskva och överallt i världen förde ett totalt krig för att förstöra fiendens sociala struktur. Målet var att eliminera de ledande klasserna i Väst och distribuera deras ägodelar (framför allt till kommunister). Det fanns inget annat mål i den fas av världsinbördeskriget som det kalla kriget utgjorde. Undergrävande verksamhet var metoden. Användningen av militära och icke-militära metoder var en tillfällighet som berodde på omständigheterna och både legala och olagliga metoder användes för att ta makten i Väst.

Världsinbördeskriget fortsätter
I samband med firandet av 200-årsminnet av den franska revolutionen framträdde historikern Francois Furet med en grundläggande analys av den franska revolutionen och i en bok som kom ut 1995 (Le passé d’une illusion. Essai sur le communisme aux XXe siècle) har Furet, med utgångspunkt från franska revolutionen, analyserat kommunismen.
Författaren till denna artikel hävdar att det från 1789 till 1991 har pågått först ett europeiskt inbördeskrig och sedan ett världsinbördeskrig. Det har fortsatt även efter 1991 och från 2001 för det islamofascistiska jihadister kampen vidare i den franska revolutionens och leninismens anda. Kvar finns också den kinesiska kommunistregimen, som härskar över mer en en miljard människor, och revolutionärer i väst och öst som understödjer fortsatt kamp. Den nya fasen av världsinbördeskriget är ett stort hot mot Väst. Det radikala Islam vill i samarbete med skurkregimer som Irak och Nordkorea krossa västerlandet eller åtminstone försvaga det. Risken nu är att regimer som samarbetar med muslimska terrorister överför massförstörelsevapen till dessa (bara i Nordkorea kan finnas 5 000 ton biologiska och kemiska stridsmedel). Terroristerna är beredda att angripa USA och andra länder i väst för att åstadkomma maximala offer i människoliv. Sedan 11 september 2001 har världsinbördeskriget gått in i en ny fas. Offren kan i framtiden inte räknas i tusental som under franska revolutionen. Jihadisterna i världsinbördeskriget planerar offer i miljoner. 2000-talet kan, om de lyckas, bli lika blodigt som 1900-talet, då kommunisterna och deras kusiner nazisterna, lät massmordet bli det främsta kännetecknet i inbördeskriget.

Mot fanatikerna i Paris, Moskva och Peking
Franska revolutionens jakobiner var de första som utrotade och kriminaliserade sina fiender på ideologiska grunder. Edmund Burkes Reflektioner om franska revolutionen utkom i original 1790 innan skräckväldet i Frankrike började. Men Burke räknade med den kommande terrorn: “I närvarande form kan (ert samfund) knappast bestå, men innan det finner en slutlig form kan det vara tvunget genomgå, som en av våra skalder säger, ‘en stor mängd oprövade existenser’, och i alla omvandlingarna renas av eld och blod” ( s 238). Också övergången till militärdiktatur i Frankrike förutspåddes.
Lenin kunde ha skrivit Robespierres program säger en av hans främsta biografer, J. M. Thompson (Robespierre, New York 1936). Politiskt var terrorns organisatör i Paris en marxistisk revolutionär och jakobinerna genomförde en statskupp. Dessa var vänsterradikaler, som under franska revolutionen organiserade sig i klubbar. Jakobinerna, Marx och 1880-talets socialister utnyttjade och förvärrade impulser som redan fanns. Lenin, Hitler och Stalin, 1900-talets stenhårda totalitära jakobiner, grundade en politisk religion, som byggde på massornas maktövertagande ( Eugene H. Methvin, The Rise of Radicalism, New Rochelle, N.Y. 1973, s 84).
När kommunisterna tog makten 1917 i Ryssland inleddes en våldsam och brutal omvandling av det ryska samhället och en aggressiv världsrevolution. Nazisterna lärde under 1920- och 1930-talet mycket av sina sovjetiska förebilder. Bägge partierna, SUKP och NSDAP, var totalitära med jakobinska rötter. President Carters säkerhetsrådgivare skrev redan 1956 med den tyske statsvetaren Carl J. Friedrich:
Much more typical and indeed unique in its scope is the liquidation of vast masses of people, categorized in an arbitrary fashion as ‘enemies of the people’ and therefore unsuitable for further existence in the totalitarian system. Such was the fate of the Jews killed by the Nazis in the death camps, or of the Polish officers murdered by the Russians in Katyn, or of the Chechen-Ingush deported IN TOTO to Siberia for allegedly having fought against the Soviet Union. (Carl J. Friedrich – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Cambridge, Mass., s 141).
De totalitära likheterna mellan kommunismen och nazismen är främst ett oinskränkt härskande av ett enhetsparti och dess ledare, en enda gemensam ideologi som legitimitet, den hemliga polisens centrala roll, kontroll av ekonomin men också utrotning av politiska och andra motståndare.
Klassmördandet i Sovjetunionen var väl känt redan på 1920-talet i böcker av S.P. Melgunov, Essad Bey, I. Steinberg, Pavel Axelrod och Panait Istrati. I en intervju med den tyske journalisten Emil Ludwig 1931 sade Stalin att man från sovjetisk sida inte bara försökte skrämma de fientliga klasserna, som utgjorde 10 procent av befolkningen, utan syftet var att likvidera dem. Det skulle innebära 15 miljoner offer, men det blev troligen fram till år 1953 20 till 40 miljoner offer i Sovjet. I Folkrepubliken Kina rörde det sig förmodligen om 80 miljoner döda.
Koncentrationslägerschefen Rudolf Höss skrev i sina självbiografiska anteckningar, som gavs ut 1963 (s 139) att SS högkvarter (RSHA) sände ut till kommendanterna för de nationalsocialistiska lägren omfattande skildringar av de ryska koncentrationslägren. Det framhävdes särskilt tvångsdeportationerna av hela folk. Att jämföra kommunismens och nazismens brott är inte att försöka bortförklara eller minska avskyn för Hitlers brutala rasmord på judarna. I stället framstår allt tydligare att de bruna lärde av de röda. Men kommunisterna var inte huvudfienden för nazisterna. Judarna var huvudmotståndaren (som i Hitlers ögon var ansvariga för kommunismen) och den bestialiska folkutrotningen ett rasmord medan den kommunistiska utrotningen av fiender var ett klassmord.
Ett intressant vittnesmål kommer från den tyske kommunistiske experten på frontorganisationer, Willi Münzenberg, som mördades på Stalins order. Den tyske experten skrev (Propaganda als Waffe, Paris 1937, s 172 ff) att Hitlerpropagandan inte nöjde sig med att använda motståndarens inrättningar för sina syften. Man studerade från den bruna sidan ständigt de röda, granskade varje fas i utvecklingen. Det finns knappast någon annan rörelse, som har övertagit så många medel och metoder från motståndaren.
I Sverige garanterar vänsterdominansen i den akademiska världen att utvecklingen från jakobinism över kommunism till nazism göms undan eller avfärdas. Den statliga säkerhetstjänstkommissionen menar att skildringen av SUKP som ett blodtörstigt parti är överdriven (Statens Offentliga Utredningar 2002:87). Det var deklasserade emigranter, som kommissionen uttrycker det, som flytt från Sovjet som spred “ohyggliga historier om bolsjevikernas framfart” (s 140). Kommunismens “mål var att upprätta en värld i frihet och jämlikhet” (s 134). Med en sådan inställning är det inte förvånansvärt att det jakobinska arvet hos Stalin och Hitler väntar på sin svenska undersökning. Den torde knappast initieras i den akademiska världen i Sverige. På ett statligt område har dock möjligheter öppnats. Det statliga svenska verket Forum för Levande historia har tidigare skildrat nazismens illgärningar. Den borgerliga regering som tillträdde 2006 har gett verket i uppdrag att också presentera kommunismens brott, men det är inte troligt att axeln jakobinismen, kommunismen och nazismen då kommer att beskrivas. Det tycks vara tabu i Sverige att bedriva jämförande tyranniforskning. En utgivning av en svensk (och varför inte en dansk och norsk) översättning av Burkes brev om kungamord och jakobinism skulle behövas liksom en kort och instruktiv skrift om det kommunistiska folkmordet avsedd för skolor och allmänhet.


April 27, 2009


“Geopolitics” and “geopolitical” are terms widely in use today, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Geopolitics, a term first used in 1901 by the Swedish professor and MP, Rudolf Kjellén, is not about power. Kjellén was active during the First World War. He understood that a new era was coming. The old system that existed before the First World War had broken down. Rival power blocs were rising. Modern technology was entering the world stage. The Swedish geopolitician and others concluded that stability was over and the hubris of Europe was coming to an end. What remained was everlasting struggle. A global survival plan was needed.

Theodor Herzl – An Early Modern Geopolitician ?
The Western social model was dissolving in the period after the First World War. This was well understood by Theodor Herzl, who could be termed a forerunner of modern geopolitics. In his Diaries one can find that in one way or another Herzl must have been influenced by the existing geopolitical debate. The Jews needed their own space to survive in the coming contest of the extremists. From the Old World powers he thus tried to extract the Jewish state. Modern technology could transform the destinies of all peoples. Swamps could be drained, illnesses cured, all was possible. In many ways the modern wonder of Israel but also for instance the newborn Japan after the Second World War, is the proof. A state can have limited natural resources but still create wonderful wealth.

Herzl did understand that if possible order should be preserved. In this sense he was still a man of the nineteenth century. International approval of Zionism was needed to protect the Jewish people. So in the end the founder of Zionism was hoping for peaceful settlements of disputes, free trade, freedom of thought and conscience. Also, and perhaps most important of all, free speech was the fundamental cornerstone of this democratic process.

As the importance of geopolitical thinking is growing a strong Israel to a great degree has Herzl to thank for lasting insights in global geopolitics.

A peace process is under way between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Entity. This is important but the question is if true peace can come as long as Iran is working to create nuclear weapons in order to be able to destroy Israel. As long as this threat continues it is doubtful if there can be real progress of the peace process. A solution to the problem of Teheran and its extremist leader likely has to be found first. How can Israel negotiate under the threat of nuclear annihilation, a second Holocaust.


April 27, 2009

Part II

Karl Haushofer and German Geopolitik
German Professor Karl Haushofer identified strong economic regions or spheres of influence, which he called pan-regions (Geopolitik der Panideen). Germany, Japan and the United States were core nations of each region. They in turn controlled peripheral states. Haushofer´s geopolitical theories centered around a synthesis of history, economics, politics and the physical sciences with application of a spatial and territorial perspective. In practical terms Haushofer, who has been accused of having had great influence on the foreign and military policies of Nazi Germany, recommended a powerful alliance of continental states, which would give Germany strength to challenge the sea-power of Great Britain. In reality later research has proven that Professor Haushofer had little access to the inner circles of the German Reich. German Geopolitik of the Haushofer school is to-day mostly of historical interest. His geopolitics was misused by the Nazi authorities in Germany to promote the idea of Lebensraum. There is a modern geopolitical debate in Germany reunification, which has nothing to do with Geopolitik of the 1930s and the 1940s.

Economic Power

Economic power is playing a growing role in geopolitical analysis. Such a great role that it might even be said that geoeconomics has replaced geopolitics as an instrument of analysis. Russian Professor Nikolai Kondratieff presented a system of “cyclical economic rythms” in the 1920s. He has documented cycles with an average length of 50 – 60 years going back around 200 years. A sign that a new Kondratieff cycle has started, is the rise of a nation state among many other nation states in a multi-polar environment. While this state competes geopolitically, it might achieve hegemonic maturity.

Cycles and Trends
Other cycle rythms are claimed by American Professor George Modelski (“The Long Cycle of Global Politics and the Nation State”). According to him for the past 500 years, the world has followed 100 year patterns of power with different “hegemonic states”: Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States and others. The approach of the 21st century could mean the rise of a new hegemon challenging the United States.

Professor Immanuel Wallerstein (The Capitalist Economy) of the Fernand Braudel Center (FBC) in New York has created the world-system theory. He identifies a single world market, a multiple state system, and a three-tier structure. The world-system creates, so Professor Wallerstein, an environment of inequality, through exploitation and separation of classes and is thus basically Marxist in nature and of little relevance in today’s geopolitical debate.

The world-systems, according to Wallerstein, follow a 300 year cycle rythm. In this world-system one core power ismuch more powerful than other core powers. It thus can obtain its way with minimal use of power. According to the FBC there has only been three hegemonic powers in the modern world-system: the United Provinces (Netherlands), Great Britain and the United States.

Conclusion and Prognosis

It is obvious from the different analytic tools of prognosticism concerning future global development that a new system is emerging. The United States will remain hegemon for decades to come. It may be the final hegemon. Much depends on how America comes out of the global financial crisis that started in 2008.

At the same time imperialist China (PRC) will try to expand. Probably first northward – into the Russian Far East and southward (India, Burma, Indochina ?) and eastward against Australasia. If the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remains in power well into the 21st century and stops democratization it may align China with aggressive Muslim regimes (notably Iran). Thus might a core of a new “counter-allance” comprising anti-Western nations be created. This would in effect be a return to the bi-polar world of the 1944 – 1991 era. On the other side a democratic alliance led by the United States emerge..

It is important that the Russian Federation is integrated into the new democratic alliance. For the time being Russia seemms to be on the road to becoming an autocratic state. Should Russia join the democracies the new alliance could be identified as the Eurasian Transcontinental Bloc (ETB), a group of land and
sea-powers, but this need not be the final term chosen. The European Union(including Eastern Europe), the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Japan might in the future establish this Eurasian partnership in co-operation with seapowers United States and Japan. This would be a combination of economic and military strength that could not be challenged in the 21st century and onward. The development after 2000 has however made a cooperation between ETB and the United States and Japan unlikely. Instead there are signs of a growing co-operation between Russia and China.

Ongoing struggles on the border between the bloc taking shape and the counter-allian has been seen in Bosnia, in the Greek-Turkish conflict, in attacks against US installations in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East conflict involving Israel and opponents.

A growing Chinese market which might make it the world´s largest by 2020 will provide China and the CCP with a blue-water navy and the ability to provide aggressive Muslim regimes in the Third World with modern weapons including long-range missiles. The powerful Chinese navy will be able to operate against the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand and other nations.

The focus of tomorrows conflict will probably be in the China Sea and in the Pacific but also in the Indian Ocean. Sneak attacks on America, European and Japanese interests will grow in number. For deterring attacks they will depend on the ability of their intelligence services, aided by growing technical sophistication, to infiltrate, to predict.

It is important for the United States to strengthen Thailand, prevent growing Chinese influence in Burma and help foster a free economy and prosperity in Indochina. Russia could be aided in developing a Far Eastern infrastructure to prevent Chinese subversion if the circumstances are right. Japan should take on a greater responsibility for this development as China has replaced Russia as Japan´s main enemy. This has of course to be preceeded by a solution of the Kurile Islands conflict.

It is possible that no new hegemonic power challenging the United States will emerge in the 21st century. The United States might well be the last superpower and single hegemon as well as the only superpower. Claims that the rise of India and China is creating a multipolar order in the world are premature. The 1990s did not, as envisioned, produce a “new world order”. The influence of the United Nations, which was never great anyway, is waning. Strong forces in the United States demand a reduced influence of the UN.

United States hegemony will in a forseeable future guarantee freedom and democracy worldwide. The challenger will be a China ruled by the CCP with global reach possibly allied to a number of aggressive Muslim regimes. It is for the G 8 to prepare for the Chinese and extremist Muslim threat of the 21st century. The recent policy of Russia, however, makes a Russian co-operation in the new system after 2000 unlikely at (at least for now, in 2009).


April 21, 2009

Last year I was fortunate to discover the work of American John Robb. He had in 2007 published an important book ( The Decentralizing World of the Global Guerrilla Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (John Wiley & Sons, 208 pages). The former USAF intelligence officer takes on the difficult questions of threat to globalized capitalism from disaffected groups (global guerrillas). His theory fits well in with my own thoughts on the ongoing global civil war. The major thesis of Robb is that our reliance on interconnected technology-communications, large industrial facilities, energy distribution makes us in the first world vulnerable to what he calls “open-source warfare) with a large number of decentralized actors. As far back as in the 1970s I published an article on the vulnerable modern industrial state in an srael academic journal. Open-source warfare connects with the same type of technology (internet) and acts in concert to destabilize and destroy the West.As in the ongoing global civil war there is an interesting connection between the many religious wars in Europe in the seventeenth century and our own age. It might be that we are seeing the high-water mark of the type of state that was created at the end of the Thirty Year’s War (Peace of Westphalia).

Robb believes that we are in for a great number of global systematic shocks from a great number of sources.

The Problems We Face

The scale of our system is beyond the ability of nation-states and the global community of nation-states.The current financial crisis is one sign that the global GDP (60 trillion US dollars) is becoming difficult to handle in the system.

The speed of the spread of shocks in a global interconnected system is hard to handle and so fast that the response time is too much for governmental institutions.

The large system is beyond understanding. It is becoming too complex.

The result is that there is a risk that in time the nation-state might be delegitimized as political leaders will fail to take effective corrective action. Resources to solve crises will be expended too hastily. This might eventually lead to a situation where the nation-state cannot answer any more to disasters and wars of the future. The result, at least in the beginning, will be more hollow/failed states.

In the networked design of our global system small events can grow into large global shocks.

The Future

We have not yet seen what the present global financial crisis will lead to. It could mean an acceleration of the decline of the state. New black swans (this term will be explained and commented on in a future blog) may lead to greater dislocations than before. The hollow/failed states might lurch from crisis to crisis. Global guerrillas will take the opportunity to opt for open source warfare (this term will also be commented on in a future blog) to fight the enemy (both states and multinational corporations). Robb’s solution to this future is a shift towards resilient communities. In a forthcoming blog the reader will find comments on why insurgency and global groups are now avoiding establishing states (this trend has been described by professor Jacub Grygiel in a brilliant article not so long ago). Eventually the gradual weakening of nation-states could lead to the replacement of government services by corporate services. Violence of global guerrillas in the fight for control of failed states might be a common occurance in the future.


April 18, 2009


Part I



 Geopolitics has been on a renewed rise since the fall of the Soviet Union. In a recent high point in the beginning of 2009 Robert Kagan published in Foreign Affairs an article on the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. It was accompanied by a reading list on geopolitics by a prominent geopolitician.


Geopolitics can be described as the study of the international scene from a spatial or geocentric viewpoint, the understanding of the whole being the ultimate object and justification. The national states of the world control a territory exercising power mainly within their geographic borders, and occasionally outside of them. The shape, location and the position of a country determines the influence in a particular setting. Domestic and foreign policy can be said to be inter-related. Classical geopolitics has been shaped by a number of theorists but the term (in Swedish geopolitik) was created by the Swedish geographer and political scientist Rudolf  Kjellén (1864 – 1922) (see his The State as a Life Form) . He was influenced by the organic theory of the state.


Friedrich Ratzel and the State As an Organism

 Friedrich Ratzel was a product of his age, German nineteenth century thinking on philosophy and natural sciences. Man had to adjust to his environment in the same way as flora and fauna. Ratzel attempted to describe and explain the creation and growth of states. The state was a form of biological organism in a real rather than a metaphorical sense and it behaved according to biological laws. Like a tree the state had “roots” in the land. It therefore developed in accordance with the nature of its territory, the location. Its success depended on how well it adapted to the environment. Expansion and political growth was healthy for a state because it added to its strength. A growing state would tend to absorb less successful ones. Every state needs to grow if it is to be a healthy one. The organic view contained the elements of growth, struggle, evolution and decay, the same elements that Oswald Spengler claimed was inherent in civilizations (what he called high cultures) in his comparative civilizational study The Decline of the West. Ratzel’s geopolitical theories were presented in his work Politische Geographie (1897).


Sir Halford Mackinder: Land vs. Sea

 Geopolitical science drifted away from the organic theory. The most influential geopolitician of the beginning of the twentieth century was Sir Halford Mackinder. He based his heartland theory on the presumption that world history is basically a recurring conflict between the lands-men and the sea-men. This British geographer (see The Geographical Pivot of History and The Round World and the Winning of the Peace and others) believed that the Eurasian landmass, dominated by Russia, which had replaced the Mongol empires. This had granted Russia an immensely strong position. Mackinder believed Great Britain’s position as a dominant power was waning in the first decade of the twentieth century. He was basically a land power theorist. Outside the heartland were two concentric crescents. The inner crescent, had nurtured some of the great civilizations of the world: Europe, the Middle East, India and China. The other crescent was made up of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa and Australasia. The basic theory was changed by Mackinder several times. Mackinder warned of  Germany trying to control the heartland and later of the Soviet Union, that would attempt to control what was termed the World Island (Europe, Asia and Africa). We now know that the Soviets failed and that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.


American Geopolitics – Mahan, Spykman and Cohen

 In my opinion American geopolitics is most influential in the classical geopolitical science after the Second World War. Professor Nicholas Spykman (see The Geography of the Peace) in the 1940s described the succession of Great Britain, the dominant power. He saw three great centers of world power: the Atlantic coastal regions of North America, Europe and the Far-Eastern coastland of Eurasia. Of these centers Europe was of highest interest to the United States. To some extent George F. Kennan built his theories on Spykman. Kennan believed, as Spykman did, in the necessity of a tight containment of the Eurasian communist world. Much of United States policy since 1890 can be seen in the light of American geopolitics. The containment of former USSR was a way of controlling a land-power from becoming to influential and powerful.

 In many way American naval military strategist Alfred T. Mahan (The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1890) can be seen as a counterpart to Mackinder. Mahan believed in the importance of sea-power and concluded in his time that seas were controlled by the Anglo-American West. Great Britain was the only nation, in Mahan’s view, that could attain world supremacy. It was important that the United States developed her own maritime power. The ideas of Mahan have proven to be correct. The United States has followed Great Britain as the dominant world power.

 After the Second World War American professor of Geography, Saul B. Cohen, (see Geography and Politics In a Divided World) added new analysis to the geopolitics of the Cold War. Cohen thought of the world as a world of regions and defined two types of regions: geostrategic and geopolitical. In the former category there was the Trade-Dependent Maritime World and the Eurasian Continental World. The two large geostrategic regions in turn were made up of Anglo-America and the Caribbean, Maritime Europe and the Maghreb, South America, Africa south of the Sahara an Off-Shore Asia and Oceania. The ContinentalWorld consisted only of the heartland, together with Eastern Europe and East Asia. Cohen’s theory valid until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

To be followed by part II.