For several years, one of the most important tasks of the defense was to protect Sweden abroad, and to acquire allies in the same vein.
That was one of the points of the effort in Afghanistan and now most recently in Mali in West Africa. There, Sweden has participated both in the UN force Minusma and in the more offensive, French-led operation Task Force Takuba, which fought terrorists.
Approximately 4,000 Swedish soldiers have been on the ground over the years and although they have survived, many others have died in battle.
End of battle in the sands of the Sahara
This winter, Sweden is wrapping up its efforts in Mali and it will also be the end of an era. The world is changing rapidly and the focus is shifting from operational defense to defense on Swedish soil.
Mali is a clear example where Sweden has participated in international cooperation on several levels, among other things to show that we stand up, but also to gain influence and acquire military allies.
– If we look at it in terms of security policy, I would say that Mali has been very successful, says Lars Wikman, researcher and teacher of military strategy at the Norwegian Defense Academy.
But if you look at the situation in Mali, where a military junta is in power and the situation has rather worsened, the issue is more complex, says Lars Wikman.
– Those are very big goals. And they failed to fulfill them, he says.
Dennis Löfvenborg, chief of staff at K3, who worked in Mali for two periods.
Lars Wikman, researcher and teacher in military strategy at the Norwegian Defense Academy.
Elin Hellquist, senior analyst at Total Defense Research Institute, FOI.
Program manager: Bo Torbjörn Ek and Ulrika Bergqvist.
Producer: Karin Hållsten.
Technician: Mats Jonsson.
Sound from Sweden’s Radio and Youtube.
Source: ICELAND NEWS