Archive for the ‘GLOBAL CIVIL WAR’ Category

NEW US NATIONAL DEFENSE STRATEGY: FOCUS ON GREAT POWER COMPETITION

January 20, 2018

Fox News on January 19, 2018 reported on the new National Defense Strategy of the United States. Excerpts below:

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that the U.S. military’s advantage over Russia and China is “eroding,” when he unveiled the new US National Defense Strategy….The document also says that ISIS no longer remains a top threat.

“Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,” Mattis said. “We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models.”

Mattis named the rogue regimes in North Korea and Iran as top threats as well. But the strategy does not ignore the ability of terrorist groups to persist and evolve. ISIS has largely been defeated in Iraq and Syria, but Mattis warned the group will keep trying to reestablish itself and make a comeback like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.

He warned that America’s ability to respond to threats has diminished.

He also said, “We will modernize key capabilities, recognizing we cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s weapons or equipment.”

Mattis said the modernization of China’s military over the past two decades as well as Russia’s advantages coupled with the U.S fighting its longest war in the nation’s history have led to loss of a competitive advantage.

“To those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy: if you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day,” he warned.

This is the first national defense strategy in 10 years. The classified version of the strategy is five times bigger than the 11-page unclassified report released today.

Comment: This is good news not only for the United States but for the West as a whole. The great power threat of China and Russia has during the period 2008 to 2016 been underestimated by the American administration of Obama.

This is not the first time in US history. During World War Two there was a vast deception that kept Stalin’s henchmen on American federal payroll. This resulted in a sabotaged foreign policy in favor of the Soviet Union. Presidential aides such as Lauchlin Currie and Harry Hopkins exerted pro-communist influence on US policy. Massive breaches of internal security and betrayal of free-world interests were ignored by the US administrations. Countless American officials turned a blind eye to the penetration problem. Some of the worst betrayals was in the atomic weapons area which resulted in the Soviets being able to develop the atomic bomb.

Important is also the the United States will continue to defend against terrorist movements. With ISIS defeated in Iraq and Syria there could be new emerging threats from Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.

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THE GREATEST COLD WARRIOR – A NEW BOOK BY MAX BOOT

January 17, 2018

Washington Times on January 16, 2018 published a review of Max Boots latest book: The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, Liveright, US dollars 35.00, 768 pages. Excerpts from the review by Gary Anderson below:

Edward Lansdale is probably the greatest cold warrior that most Americans have never heard of. Max Boot has written a fascinating account of how this California college humorist, frat boy and advertising executive evolved into a counterinsurgency expert before the term was even coined. He was a virtual shadow American proconsul in both the Philippines and South Vietnam in the 1950s wisely advising both Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and South Vietnamese leader No Dinh Diem on how to deal with Communist inspired insurgencies.

His success in the Philippines was spectacular and made his reputation. In Vietnam he was originally successful, but saw his influence wane for reasons beyond his control. However, he became the father of today’s American counterinsurgency doctrine even though few American advisers have been able to replicate his skill in influencing foreign leaders.

Max Boot has become one of the master chroniclers of American counterinsurgency efforts, and his biography of Mr. Lansdale is a tribute to a guy who recognized the threat of insurgency in a post-World War II environment where most American leaders saw only brute force as a solution to any political-military problem.

Mr. Lansdale argued that success was dependent on getting the people to stop supporting the insurgents, and have some hope that the government was a better alternative. Eliminating insurgents militarily was only a secondary part of the Lansdale approach. It worked in the Philippines because Mr. Lansdale developed a unique brand of trust with that nation’s leader.

When he was asked to do the same things in South Vietnam, Mr. Lansdale was initially successful in developing a personal rapport with Prime Minister Diem. However, Mr. Lansdale eventually lost influence with Mr. Diem due to the machinations of Mr. Diem’s brother No Diem Nhu and his manipulative wife Madam Nhu.

Mr. Boot also points out that the differences in culture and language worked against Lansdale in Vietnam — he never developed a facility for foreign languages — but he was still able to develop a close personal relationship with Diem. Unlike the island archipelago of the Philippines, South Vietnam’s insurgents had sanctuary in North Vietnam and China that would prove fatal to the south in the end.

Mr. Lansdale eventually became an Air Force major general and Pentagon official; but he was never able to replicate the success inside the Washington Beltway accomplished in Asia, and he watched the American tragedy in Vietnam unfold despite several attempts to change policy on trips to Saigon before it fell to the Communists.

Mr. Lansdale’s ability to develop personal relationships with foreign leaders and guide their policy-making has never been fully replicated by his modern American adviser successors in fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His philosophy of attempting to separate the civilian population from the insurgents has now been codified in U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine. He was a firm believer that American constitutional democracy was far superior to the kind of authoritarianism that the Communists offered and believed that local forces, not Americans, should lead the fight.

This book should be read in Baghdad and Kabul, not only by Americans, but by local leaders.

Gary Anderson is a retired Marine Corps colonel who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq and Afghanistan.

FIVE TIMES THE SPEED OF SOUND – BOEING’S NEW HYPERSONIC STRIKE AIRCRAFT

January 17, 2018

Fox News on January 15, 2018, reported on Boeing’s new hypersonic strike aircraft. Excerpts below:

It happened at an event in Orlando, Florida, but it’s only a concept design for now.

The new aircraft will be a direct competitor to Lockheed martin’s upcoming SR-72.

These rival firms are racing to create a hypersonic aircraft that’s capable of stealthy recon assignments – and strike missions, too.

…Boeing’s hypersonics chief described how Boeing was planning a two-step development process for the new war plane.

The first stage would involve flight tests of an “F16-sized, single-engine” precursor vehicle that acts as a “proof of concept”.

The second stage is the creation of a “twin-engine, full-scale operational vehicle” that has roughly similar dimensions to the 107-foot-long SR-71.

Boeing’s end goal is an aircraft that can travel at speeds beyond Mach 5 – that’s five times the speed of sound.

The tricky part is that the SR-71 replacement needs to to be able to take off, accelerate, slow down and land all on its own – just like the original 1964 model.

Boeing is looking at using a conventional turbojet to hit Mach 3, then switching to a different configuration to boost beyond Mach 5.

DET BLIR ETT NYTT PSYKOLOGISKT FÖRSVAR I SVERIGE MEN ÄR DET FÖR SENT

January 15, 2018

I januari 2014 publicerade Kristianstadsbladet en insändare av författaren Bertil Häggman, där han beklagade nedrustningen av det civila psykologiska försvaret sedan 2006. Ett besök sommaren 2013 visade att Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskaps (MSB) hemsida inte kunde presentera någon ny forskning på området. MSB har haft huvudansvaret under perioden efter det kalla krigets slut 1991. Allt man kunde finna var hänvisningar till äldre skrifter från det kalla kriget.

Ett visst uppvaknande skedde under 2014 och Statskontoret fick i uppdrag att utreda det psykologiska försvaret. Under 2017 kom så utredningsrapport 2017:5 (”Myndigheternas arbete med psykologiskt försvar”) där det konstaterades att de flesta statliga myndigheter hade verksamheter som är av betydelse för ett modernt psykologiskt försvar. Däremot är det bara en dryg tredjedel av myndigheterna som själva anser att de är en del av det psykologiska försvaret.

Att s-regeringen 2018 har agerat i frågan beror till stor del på en växande kritik för overksamhet på område psykologiskt försvar i borgerliga tidningar och från borgerliga försvarsexperter. Sverige kommer nu enligt statsministern att få en myndighet för psykologiskt försvar, men det kommer att ta tid att bygga upp den eftersom verksamheten praktiskt taget legat nere i över ett årtionde.

Den svenska nedrustningsskandalen efter det kalla kriget är unik. Sverige har det senaste årtiondet haft ett försvar som är svagast i Europa. Mycket talar för att Ryssland håller på att återuppliva Operation Polarka. Det var en gång Sovjets plan mot Sverige (och Norge samt Danmark). Då avslöjade den avhoppade tjeckiske generalmajoren Jan Sejna från 1968 att Moskva var berett att sätta in 1,5 miljoner man mot Skandinavien. Sydsverige beräknades vara ockuperat efter tre dagar. Den behövliga ockupationsarmén för Sverige, Norge och Danmark uppskattades då till 90 000 sovjetsoldater.

Vid anfallet skulle med hänsyn till Sveriges stora territorium osedvanligt mycket fallskärmssoldater användas. Huvudargumentet för ockupationen var under det kalla kriget att Moskva ville ”värna om svensk alliansfrihet”. Generalmajor Sejna uppgav att ockupationen av Sverige skulle vara väl förberedd. Det fanns fler sovjetiska agenter i Sverige än i något annat land i Västeuropa i förhållande till befolkningen. I Sverige, Norge och Danmark fanns 60 sovjetiska huvudagenter. Var och en hade i sin tur ett nätverk av spioner och agenter under sig. Listor på svenskar som skulle arresteras, fängslas och likvideras fanns färdiga i Moskva.

Mer information om Operation Polarka finns i Bertil Häggmans skrift ”Operation Polarka (1974). Tidskriften Se publicerade under 1971 en serie artiklar om det sovjetiska hotet mot Sverige byggda på Sejnas avslöjanden. Här nedan ett citat:

”Upplysningar, som samlas in om industri och näringsliv, analyseras av KGB. Informationerna bidrar till att bestämma vilka mål som sabotagegrupper kan ge sig i kast med. Sådan mål är redan utsedda och kartotekförda i Kreml. Dessa spioner hjälper dessutom till att samla negativa informationer om betydande personer i ett land. Sådana upplysningar eller meritförteckningar skall användas för att oskadliggöra personer genom att förtala dem i deras eget land och på det sättet få dem ur spel. Jag vet att Kreml har tusen och åter tusen namn från Sverige, Norge och Danmark i sina listor. De täcker namn från alla näringsgrenar och hela det politiska livet, inklusive journalister och konstnärer. Under en ockupation av Skandinavien blir många av dessa människor ögonblickligen arresterade och avrättade. Ryska ”domstolar” har faktiskt redan utsetts för sådana uppdrag. De skall träda i kraft omedelbart efter det att länderna ockuperats. ”

Inför nya hot från Ryssland efter det kalla kriget har svenska politiker utan folkligt stöd nedrustat det svenska försvaret på de flesta områden. Utan NATO-medlemskap utsätter den socialdemokratiska regeringen Sverige för stora risker.

CHINA MOVING INTO FORMER ”TRIBUTARY TERRITORY” WITH MAJOR INVESTMENTS

January 11, 2018

Fox News on January 11, 2018 reported that Cambodia and China have signed nearly 20 agreements worth several billion dollars to develop the impoverished Southeast Asian country’s infrastructure, agriculture and health care. Excerpts below:

The agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed during a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang.

Among the major agreements is building a new expressway more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) long linking the capital, Phnom Penh, with the coastal city of Sihanoukville,, and a new Phnom Penh international airport.

Cambodia was part of the tribute system was established during the Chinese Han dynasty. The first tributary missions arrived in China around the first century BC. Cambodia was a tributary state to China from 616 to 1863. Annam (part of Vietnam) sent tributary missions to China and in the case of Laos it was from 1400 to 1912. Burma and Thailand were also linked to China for centuries.

Comment: From the period 2010 to 2012 China has been increasingly assertive even aggressive in its relations with South-East Asian nation but in other areas as well.

China seems to believe that America’s role in the worldwide financial crisis as well as the costly military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened the United States. The soft China policy of Washington DC from 2008 to 2016. The rising China has interpreted this as an indication of Western weakness.

It is important to introduce geopolitical thinking when studying the other Chinese flashpoint of the South China Sea. During the first decade of the 21st century a Greater China has emerged. China must be prevented from having too much influence in the Rimland according to Dutch-American geopolitician Nicholas Spykman (1893 – 1943). He was the founder of the Yale Institute of International Relations. The Rimland of Eurasia from Norway to the Bering Strait is of main importance in geopolitics according to Spykman The upheavals in the Greater Middle East since the beginning of the twentyfirst century and the growing tensions in South Asia and the Korean Peninsula is reason to watch China as both landpower and seapower.

US MILITARY FORCES COULD LOOSE NEXT WAR . THREATS ARE POSED BY RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN

December 15, 2017

Washington Times on December 13, 2017, published news on a new study by the Rand Corporation that says US forces are poorly structured. Excerpts below:

The study, “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World,” presents the stark conclusion that the American military needs to reform its structure and war fighting plans to better deal with military challenges.

U.S. forces currently are larger than needed to fight a single major war and have failed to keep pace with military advances by major powers (note that would be the three emoires on the world island that are presently challenging the West: Russia, China, and Iran).

…Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a speech last month warned that American military advantages over China and Russia are eroding and said more investments are needed.

The Rand study recommended that instead of readying military forces to fight two regional wars in overlapping time frames, the military needs to shift the focus toward battling the five main adversaries today: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and Islamic terrorist groups.

The scenarios call for a new force structure prepared to wage one major war against Russia or China; or forces ready to wage one major war and a regional conflict against North Korea or Iran. The third option is a force structure for two major wars, a buildup that requires larger numbers of combat brigades, fighter squadrons and warships.

The report states that the current approach to force planning and resource allocation by the Pentagon has “placed too little emphasis on modernizing the capabilities, posture, and operating concepts of U.S. forces for power projection.”

“The result — a force that is insufficiently robust to face the challenges posed by the most-capable adversaries — poses growing risks to the viability of the United States’ most-important security relationships.”Military reforms are needed to counter the growing power of America’s adversaries.

For example, to deal with China, the military needs to speed up development of faster, longer range air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, more stocks of regional based cruise missiles; more electronic warfare gear, more stealth drones and satellites hardened from attacks along with space weapons such as missiles and jammers.
Many of those same weapons are needed to defeat Russia in a conflict as well as deploying three heavy combat brigades in the Baltic States and one in Poland.

To counter Iran, the report recommends improved mine countermeasures deployed in the region and greater close-in defenses for warships.

ENFORCEMENT OF TAXES, JUDGEMENTS, DECISIONS AND ORDERS IN SWEDEN

December 13, 2017

1.1 The Enforcement Service (exekutionsväsendet)

The Enforcement Service is a state service. Historically it was paid for by local authorities. The local district was headed by a country bailiff (landsfiskal) in the rural areas and in the cities by a city bailiff (stadsfiskal). He was also district police commissioner and district prosecutor.

In 1965 police, public prosecution and enforcement administration were reorganized and the three services were taken over by the state and three separate authorities were introduced: the police administration, the public prosecutor administration and the enforcement administration. During the period 1965 – 1988 there were in all 81 districts of local enforcement authorities (kronofogdemyndigheter). Head of each authority was a chief enforcement officer. A reorganization in 1988 created 24 county enforcement administrations (länskronofogdemyndigheter) each headed by a county enforcement director (länskronodirektor), which is an administrative appointment. Already in 1997 the Enforcement Service was again reorganized and 10 regional enforcement authorities (regionkronofogdemyndigheter) were created each headed by a Regional Enforcement Director (regionkronodirektör). Later in 2006 a National Enforcement Administration, one single administration with a number of regional offices was created for all of Sweden.

There are mainly three categories of personnel in the Enforcement Administration. Enforcement officers (who have a law degree and experience of court service as assistant judges), enforcement personnel (responsible for the field operations of the authority) and office personnel.

Earlier a Department for Administration of the Enforcement Service was divided into two sections: Enforcement Law Section and Enforcement Administration Section.

The board’s main responsibility was however supervision of direct taxation and a number of other taxes.

It was also supervisory authority for such services as Civic Registration and Administration of General Elections. The department responsible for the Enforcement Administration was actually one of the minor roles of the board.

The total number of employees in the Enforcement Service countrywide is around 2,900.

1.2 Public and Private Claims

The Enforcement Administration is responsible for the collection of both public and private claims. Public claims (allmänna mål) are debts to central and local authorities (taxes, VAT, excise duties, social security contributions but also for instance television licenses and parking fines).

Private claims (enskilda mål) are based on judgements by general and administrative courts. But they also include titles based on Summary Procedure of the Enforcement Administration, repossessions and evictions ordinarily based on summary decisions.

The enforcement cases (utsökningsmålen) are based on public claims of several kinds as noted above. The handling of enforcement cases differ. They can mainly be divided into two categories: the first category is claims in which the Regional Enforcement Authority can apply for bankruptcy and decide on its own to stop enforcement procedures.

Concerning for instance foreign taxes the Enforcement Authority does not have that right. are accounted for to the applicant authority when collection is completed. Limitation in the enforcement cases is generally five years from the end of the year the tax originally had to be paid).

1.3 Enforceable judgements, decisions and orders

Enforcement claims in private cases are, as mentioned above, mainly based on court judgements and titles. Judgements of the general courts: the District Court (tingsrätten), the Court of Appeal (hovrätten) and the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) and the Administrative Court (länsrätt, now förvaltningsdomstol), the Administrative Court of Appeal (kammarrätt) and the Administrative Supreme Court (Regeringsrätten, nu Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolen) can all be enforced.

Some private documents can also be enforced as for instance contracts for child and spousal support. The general rules on the enforceable titles can be found in Chapter 4 of the Enforcement Code. For more on codes, acts and statutes see section 4.4 below) but the title or judgement must be legally binding. An important exception to this general rule is that all titles and judgments involving an obligation to pay can be enforced without being legally valid. Default judgements can also be enforced in the same way as injunctions to pay.

Chapter 4 Section 1 contains a more detailed account of rules on the enforcement of various judgements and titles.

PIETISM IN THE ARMY OF SWEDEN’S KING CHARLES XII IN SIBERIA FROM 1709 to 1722 AND SWEDISH SIBERIAN EXPLORERS 1709 to 1761

December 2, 2017

Introduction

Pietism in the Army of Sweden’s King Charles XII in Siberia from 1709 to 1722 is an important part of the history of pietism in Scandinavia. After the battle of Poltava in 1709 in Ukraine the king and his ally, Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa managed with a few of their armies to escape to Ottoman territory (present day Moldavia). King Charles left it to his leading generals to decide if the main Swedish army was to retreat to the Crimean Khanate, an ally of Sweden, to continue the fight, or surrender. The over 20,000 strong army including almost 2,000 women and children did surrender and the captives were marched by foot to Moscow to be humiliated in a march through the Russian capital guarded by Russian officers and soldiers. After this end to the march from the village of Perevolochna to Moscow the prisoners were divided up. A great part was sent to the capital of Siberia, Tobolsk, while others were forced to work in the newly established Russian shipyards at St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea and Voronets on the Black Sea.

Many of the prisoners, their wives and children died during the years in captivity and it is estimated that only 25 percent of them could return to Sweden in 1722 after the Peace Treaty at Nystad, Finland, was signed in 1721.

The First Contacts

In his thesis ”Yttre kyla och inre glöd – Pietismen bland Karl XII:s Karoliner i Sibirien 1709-1722” (Freezing Outside and Fire inside – Pietism among the Army of Charles XII in Siberia 1709-1722) in history of theology Marcus Johansson has in 2012 (University of Stockholm) brought to life the harrowing experience of the soldier families in Tobolsk and how they reached out for spiritual guidance to the leading pietist in Germany, August Hermann Francke of Halle.

Johansson in his work has studied both published and unpublished material. He concludes that the evangelical movement had its origin in the piety of the Swedish soldiers of the age combined with their situation of deprivation in captivity. The spiritual origins came from Halle and German pietism. The focus was on conversion, struggle against sin and participation in conventicles combined with social activities in education in a school that in practice was a children’s home. Bible reading was important, the views concerning divine retribution and the belief that grace only could save man. The representatives of the state Church of Sweden allowed the pietists in Tobolsk to express their religious belief as long as it did not compete with Lutheran orthodoxy.

Pietism, Francke and the Swedish Prisoners

Pietism began with Philipp Jakob Spener (1635 – 1705), who was born in Alsace and had a devout Christian upbringing. in Rappoltsweiler, a village in upper Alsace, northwest of what is present day Colmar, France. He was raised by his devout Christian and pious parents, and entered the University of Strassburg in 1651 and completed his studies in 1659. After that he did some travelling, first to Basel in Switzerland, and then to Geneva, Switzerland. Here, he listened to the preachings of French reformed preacher Jean de Labadie (1610 – 1674) who was calling for a true belief and holy living.

In 1675 he published his Pia desideria proposing reform. Firstly he suggested a greater emphasis and use of the Bible, including institute small group Bible studies. The second proposal was about the priesthood. Thirdly he wrote that knowledge of Christian doctrine was not enough, for Christianity consisted also of practice. The unbelievers and heretics should be prayed for, corrected with loving admonition and led back to Christianity by living a godly example of the Christian life was the fourth proposal. This approach should be used instead of disputation, polemics and virulent personal attacks. Fifthly, universities and schools should encourage godly, instead of worldly, living amongst their students. The sixth proposal was that sermons should be written with the goal of instilling faith and its fruits in the listener to the greatest possible degree. There was generally a very positive public response to the book, but also opposition.

In 1686 Spener was called to become court preacher in Saxony. Shortly after the arrival in Dresden Spener was informed about a conventicle which was administered by August Hermann Francke (1663 – 1727) and Paul Anton (1661 – 1730). Francke had studied at Leipzig University and later lectured there but his employment was terminated and conventicles were forbidden by the Saxon government.

Later Francke was ordained as pastor in Erfurt but had to leave the city in 1691. Soon thereafter he was called to Halle and appointed professor of Greek and Oriental languages. Halle would later be known around the world as a center of pietism. It was in Halle that Francke started to develop his famous foundations. He started a school for poor children and later in 1696 an orphanage, a hospital, a bookstore, a home for widows, a library, a bakery, a brewery and an art museum. A print shop for bibles was opened in 1697. In 1710 a Bible Institute was created and the world’s first Bible Society. Pietism in Scandinavia first took hold in Denmark and Francke helped the Danes to send missionaries to the trading post of Tranquebar, India.

In 1713 nine Swedish officers imprisoned in Tobolsk had written to Francke in Halle requesting aid in education, medical facilities, and libraries. He was positive and provided money, medicine, books and equipment. This resulted in the creation of pietist institutions for the prisoners in Tobolsk. Swedish soldiers started to carry devotional booklets written by Francke and printed in Halle. When he passed away in 1727, the pietist movement had been born and continued to thrive.

The short overview above is based on The Rise of German Pietism in the 17th Century by James Paulgaard. It is available on Internet but was first published as a thesis in History 285.6, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, December 1,1998.

Halle was earlier in East Germany and during the Soviet occupation until 1989 – 1991 the foundations of Francke suffered great damage from neglect. They were restored in the 1990s and Halle now houses a study center, libraries and archives devoted to Pietism and the Early Enlightenment. The large orphanage is once more in perfect condition.

Swedish Explorers of Siberia 1700 – 1761

The Great Northern War (1700 – 1721) ended catastrophically for Sweden. After initial successes the main Swedish army was defeated in Ukraine. The Swedish prisoners in Tobolsk in Siberia in many cases contributed to the exploration of the region. Some returned to Sweden and others joined and remained in Russian service.

Commander Waxell (see below), for instance, joined the Russian Navy after the Great Northern War in 1725.

Halle pietism had a representative in Moscow, Pastor Ulrich Thomas Roloff. The Swedish Cavalry Captain Curt Friedrich von Wreech, who had been converted to pietism, founded a school in Tobolsk in the spirit of Francke (see above). This took place in 1713/14. The German preacher and founder of pietist institutions also sent Christoph Eberhard (1675-1750) as pastor to the prisoners in Tobolsk. Eberhard and Wreech published reports on the prisoners from 1718-1725.

Many of the reports of the Swedes on Siberia preceded those of the two Germanled Russian Siberian expeditions of Daniel Georg Messerschmidt (1685-1735) and Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1746). Von Stralenberg took part in the Messerschmidt expedition.

Commander Sven Larsson Waxell

Born in Stockholm 1701. Father: Lorenz Waxell, innkeeper. Mother: Christina Waxell, born Sandberg.

Waxell, born too late to participate in the Russian-Ukrainian campaign of King Charles XII, served first in the British navy but travelled to Russia in 1725, joined the Russian navy and rose to mate. Participated with among others German natural scientist Georg Wilhelm Steller under Dane Vitus Bering in the Russian Imperial Great Northern Expedition, that discovered Alaska. It was Waxell who saved the crew of one of Bering’s ships when stranded on Bering Island. After returning to St.Petersburg after the expedition was completed Waxell commanded several Russian naval ships between 1751 to 1761. Promoted to Commander he was stationed at the Kronstadt Naval Station. Waxell died on 14 February 1761. His son Lars (Lavrentiy) Waxell, who had also joined the expedition at the age of 12, was along with the two other sons, Vasiliy and Saveliy, knighted in Russia in 1778. Professor Lönnberg (see underneath) in 1907 corresponded with a Russian Imperial Chamberlain de Waxell, who claimed to be a descendant of Sven Larsson Waxell.

Source: Professor Einar Loennberg, “Sven Larsson Waxell. Ett 200-aarsminne” in Yearbook of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 1941, pp. 259 – 299.

Lt. Colonel Philip Johan Stralenberg

Born in Stralsund, then Swedish Pomerania. Produced the first reliable map of Siberia. Returned to Sweden from Russia after 1721. Promoted to Lt.Colonel. In 1740 appointed Commander at Karlshamn, Province of Blekinge, Sweden. Died 1747 and is buried in Getinge, Province of Halland, Sweden.

In 1730 his geographical work on the northern and eastern parts of Europe and Asia was published. Later it was translated into English, French, Spanish and Russian. Stralenberg was with Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt (1685 – 1735) on his Siberian expedition with Karl Gustaf Schulman

Literature: Einar Bratt, “Karolinen Philip Johan von Stralenberg och hans sibiriska karta” in Meddelanden från Kungl. Armemuseum, 1966.

Cavalry Captain Petter Schönström

Schoenstroem lived for ten years in a city on the River Kama. He cooperated with Stralenberg collecting data for the Siberian map.

Literature: Carl Hallendorff, “Petter Schönströem och Stralenbergs karta” in Yearbook Ymer, 1925.

Lorents Lange

Lange was a Swede in German service. He accompanied the British surgeon Thomas Garvine on an expedition to China. Wrote a diary published in Das veränderte Russland by Friedrich Christian Weber. Lange made six journeys to China. He stayed in Siberia and was appointed Vice Governor in Irkutsk and wrote six diaries. One, covering the years 1720- 1722, was published in French and German in 1726. The Swedish author August Strindberg in 1878 in Historiskt bibliotek published a Lange biography. The origin of Lange is shrouded in mystery. Born in the 1690s his name has not been found in the Swedish army muster rolls.

Sergeant-Major of Artillery Johan Gustaf Renat 

Sergeant-Major Renat came to Tobolsk 1715 and joined a Russian expedition to Central Asia. He eturned to Sweden 1733 after spending a long time in Kalmykia. Renat did not write on his experiences but there is an exchange of letters between Bishop Benzelius and Renat (on Benzelius see elsewhere in these notes). Renat brought back to Sweden two Chinese maps of Eastern Central Asia captured by the Kalmyks (they are now in the Uppsala University Library).

Literature: Hans Krook, “Karolinen Johan Gustaf Renat och hans kartor” in Yearbook Ymer 1948. Renat´s military service record is in Biografica, National Military Archives, Stockholm.

Corporal Heinrich Busch

Tsar Peter decided during the Great Northern War that Swedish prisoners of war, who had navigational experience and knowledge, were to be sent to the Russian Far East. Busch started as a sailor in the Swedish navy but later joined the cavalry. Captured at Viborg (now Russian Vyborg) Busch joined an expedition under Kozak Kozun Sokolov which in May 1714 reached Yakutsk and in July1714 Ochotsk at the coast. A ship was built and the group sailed north in July 1716. It reached Ola and drifted to Kamchatka. After overwintering the expedition went to sea again in May 1717 and returned to Ochotsk in July that year.

Lieutenant Ambjörn Molin, North Scanian Cavalry, Swedish Army

Molin left Tobolsk in July 1716 and returned in December 1718. He took part in a Siberian expedition and was involved in shipbuilding on the Sea of Ochotsk. When returning to Sweden he wrote, on request of Archbishop Erik Benzelius, the younger, on Tartars in northeastern Asia.

Captain Johan Bernhard Müller, Karelian Dragoon Squadron, Swedish Army

Mueller joined a Greek-Orthodox missionary expedition led by the Metropolit of Siberia and Tobolsk, Filofey Lechtunskiy. It lasted for three months. Müller was in Russian service and ended his career as First Commissar.

Literature: Johan Bernhard Mueller, Das Leben und Gewohnheiten der Ostiaken (Berlin 1720).

Second Lieutenant Johan Christoffer Schnitzker, Gyllenstierna´s Dragoons, Swedish Army

Schnitzker joined Russian service and in 1712-1714 escorted a Chinese diplomatic mission through Russian territory to the Kalmykian Khan in Saratov on the Volga. Schnitzker rose in the ranks to Lt.Colonel but returned to Sweden after the peace in 1721.

Literature: Johan Christoffer Schnitzker, Beraettelse om Ajuchiniska Calmuckiet (Stockholm 1744).

Fortification Officer Johan Anton Matern

Matern cooperated with Stralenberg. He was allowed in 1715 to travel from Tobolsk to Tomsk and back.

Quartermaster Daniel Capell and artist Karl Gustaf Schulman

Capell and Schulman joined the Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt Russian Siberian expedition. Capell died on the way. In 1721 Stralenberg and Schulman found inscriptions of an unknown kind at a tributary to the river Yenitsey. Schulman copied the inscriptions. The secret of the Old Turkic inscriptions was in the 19th century solved by the Danish linguist Vilhelm Thomsen , who concluded that they were in a Turkic “runic” script. Unfortunately little is known about Schulman’s life and later career.

Stralenberg (or Messerschmidt) were the first to classify languages in Finno-Ugrian, Samoyedic, Tungusic and Turkic. They presumed these languages belonged to the “Tartar” language. In reality they belong to the Altai languages. The classification, however, preceded Judge William Jones classification of Indo-European languages in 1786.

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Bertil Häggman is an attorney and author born in 1940 in Helsingborg, Sweden. He received his Master in Law degree at the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1964. From 1969 he was a Senior Enforcement Service Officer and Enforcement Service Officer, Sweden, 1969 – 2001 serving first as Assistant Judge, Sweden, 1967 – 1969.

SOME GENERAL SOURCES

Pietism

Franck, Margit, 1988: Karolinernas skola i Tobolsk. I: Karolinska Förbundets Årsbok. 1987.

Furseth, Inger & Repstad, Pål, 2005: Religionssociologi. En introduktion. 2005.

Halldorf, Joel, Av denna världen? Emil Gustafson, moderniteten och den evangelikala väckelsen. 2012.

Hanson, Bradley, Modern Christian Spirituality: Methodological and Historical Essays. 1990.

Hellgren, Lars, Fromhetslivet bland karoliner i Ryssland och Sibirien. I: Julhälsningar till församlingarna i Göteborgs stift. 1997.

Hope, Nicholas, German and Scandinavian Protestantism 1700 to 1918. 1995.

Källström, Arvid, Bidrag till den svenska pietismens historia. 1894.

Matthias, Markus, August Hermann Francke (1663-1727). I: The Pietist Theologians. An Introduction to Theology in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. 2005.

Nordbäck, Carola, Samvetets röst. Om mötet mellan luthersk ortodoxi och konservativ pietism i 1720-talets Sverige. 2004.

Odenvik, Nathan, August Hermann Francke – ett trosliv, verksamt genom kärlek. 1945.

Ward, William Reginald, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening. 1992.

Early Evangelicalism – A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789. 2006.

Swedish Explorers of Siberia

Professor Alf Åberg, Fångars elände – Karolinerna i Ryssland 1700 – 1723, Stockholm 1991 (on Swedish prisoners of war in Russia during the Great Northern War).

Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, “Edvin Petrovich Zinner om de karolinska krigsfångarnas insatser för utforskandet av Sibirien”, Yearbook of Karolinska Förbundet (KFÅ) 1979 – 1980.

Yuri Semyonov, Sven Waxell och den skandinaviska insatsen i Sibirien (1953).

Yuri Semyonov, Die Eroberung Sibiriens (1955). Semyonov lived in Berlin during the Second World War and cooperated with the prominent Bavarianborn German geopolitician General von Niedermayer, who was a professor in the German capital. The Russian LL.D Semyonov later settled in Sweden and lectured at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, until retirement. For more on Semyonov see Theo Hartman’s article on the Carl Schmitt reception in Sweden (Schmittiana 1998).

Catalogue Pietas Hallensis Universalis – Weltweite Beziehungen der Frankeschen Stiftungen im 18. Jahrhundert. 1995.

Catalogue Die Grosse Nordische Expedition – Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1746) – Ein Lutheraner erforscht Sibirien und Alaska – Eine Ausstellung der Frankeschen Stiftungen zu Halle. 1996 (information on Waxell, Stralenberg, and Lange).
Bertil Häggman, “Pietism and Exploration of Siberia – Sweden’s Role 1709 to 1761”, International Conference “Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt (1685 – 1735) – Europa entdeckt Sibirien. Erforschung Sibiriens seit dem frühen 18. Jahrhundert und die Bedeutung für die europäische Wissenwelt”, Halle, November 12 – 16, 2014.

IRAN’S IMPERIAL PROJECT – A CHALLENGE TO THE WEST

December 2, 2017

Washington Times on November 20, 2017, published a commentary by Ilan Berman, a leading US foreign policy expert on what is actually the main political problem in the Middle East. Excerpts below:
Iran is on the march in the Middle East.

…accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.

Already three years ago, the contours of Iran’s regional ambitions were coming into focus. With the seizure of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, by the country’s Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in the fall of 2014, the Islamic Republic of Iran could effectively claim control of four Arab regional capitals (including Beirut, Damascus and Baghdad).

Since then, Tehran’s grip on those territories has only tightened. In Syria, Iran’s strategic footprint has expanded steadily, to the point at which Tehran is now reportedly planning a permanent military presence in the country as part of its partnership with the regime of Bashar Assad.

In Lebanon, working via its chief terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, the Islamic republic has become…dominant in national politics…

Meanwhile in Iraq, Iran’s support for the hashd al-shaabi, the powerful Shiite militias that now dominate the country’s Ministry of Interior, has made it a key stakeholder in (and the most likely winner of) the country’s national elections next year.

And in Yemen, the expanding power of the Houthis, and the threat that they pose to neighboring Saudi Arabia as well as to American forces in the Gulf, has had everything to do with growing political and military support from Tehran.

…Iran’s imperial project is now accelerating in at least two ways.

First, mounting evidence from the Syrian theater indicates that Iran has succeeded in deploying a formidable expeditionary force of fighters there. Historically, Iran’s clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has served as the regime’s dedicated foreign legion. But the Syrian civil war has provided Iranian officials with an opportunity to marshal a supplemental cadre of irregular fighters and “volunteers,” drawn from Iraq’s Shiite militias as well as places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The result is a secondary Iranian proxy force that, according to some estimates, could number as many as 200,000 men under arms, and which can be deployed by Tehran to other theaters in the future, once the war in Syria dies down.
Second, Iran has succeeded in establishing resupply routes to funnel both personnel and materiel to the Levant….Iran’s growing control over Iraq via the Hashd al-Shaabi has created a land corridor that provides a direct transport link into Syria for Iranian forces and arms. This has been supplemented by an “air bridge” of flights spearheaded by Iran’s national air carrier, Iran Air, which has helped to ferry both guerrillas and Guardsmen to the Syrian front. The end result is a zone of Iranian control stretching from territorial Iran all the way to the Eastern Mediterranean.

What has made all this possible? A large portion of the blame rests with the 2015 nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the P5+1 powers. That agreement proffered enormous economic benefits to the Islamic Republic in hopes that, over time, it would lead to a moderation of the Iranian regime. Instead, the opposite has happened. The extensive sanctions relief built into the deal has provided Iran’s ailing economy a much-needed fiscal shot in the arm, and freed up funds that Iran has poured into its proxy forces and its military modernization efforts.

Today, policymakers in Washington remain preoccupied with degrading and defeating the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. As a result, they have paid scant attention to how other regional actors might be empowered by our counterterrorism fight.

Comment: Iran is a long-time challenger of the West. The Persian Sassanian empire has been the organizational model (third to seventh century AD) for the Islamic Iranian state. The statecraft offered a bureaucracy, an effective military system and diplomacy intelligence. Muslim rule is built on classical Persian documentation such as the tenth century Book of Kings and the epic Shahnama.

The Sassanian empire was centered on a Persian “power state”. The Book of Government (seyasat-nameh) by Nizam al-Mulk (d. 1092 AD) was prepared as aid to helping sustain fundamentalist Islam, but the origin of the work is completely Iranian.

Persia was also the home to the Assassins (ca 1000 to 1275 AD).

Iran is a megastate and empire on the world island. It is the home of endemic conspiracy thinking. The coastline in the south constitutes half of the Arabian Gulf. With Oman it controls the vital Strait of Hormuz.

Russia was for a long time a provider of arms to Iran. Moscow has also since the 1990s provided Iran with nuclear materials and technology for missile systems. Iran also has military cooperation with North Korea despite. Another threat to the West (including Israel) is that Iran is actively seeking Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist partners of Iran.

NEW VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM CAUCUS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS

November 17, 2017

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington D.C. on November 7, 2017 in a Media Advisory informed of a new caucus having been formed in Congress. Excerpts below:

Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Dennis Ross (R-FL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) have announced the formation of the Victims of Communism Caucus for the 115th Congress (2017-2019). The Victims of Communism Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to raising awareness of how communism victimized and enslaved more than one hundred million people in the past and how its tyranny in the five existing communist countries (China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam) and its legacy in the post-Soviet sphere shapes international relations today.

During the upcoming session, the Victims of Communism Caucus will focus on several issues, including Russian expansionism in Ukraine; the role of the United States in ameliorating the deteriorating political and economic situation in Venezuela; the continuing human rights abuses of the Castro regime in Cuba; and the increasing threat that the dangerous North Korean rhetoric surrounding the country’s nuclear program poses to the free world.

The Caucus will honor the memory of the 100 million victims of communism and raise awareness about the dissidents who continue to protest against current communist regimes.

Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Marion Smith said, “There is no more fitting occasion than the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution to announce the Victims of Communism Caucus. It sends a powerful message on behalf of the more than 100 million people victimized by communism in the last century and one fifth of the world’s population who still live in a single party state that adheres to this failed ideology.”