The Hungarians are responding to a record-breaking wave of “migrants” from the war zones of the Middle East by constructing one of those border fences that’s supposed to be impossibly expensive and ineffective. According to the Associated Press, the fence will be up to 13 feet high, rising behind three layers of razor wire, ranging along the 109-mile border with Serbia through which migrant populations have been pouring.
About 140,000 migrants have trooped through Hungary so far this year – over three times as many as they handled in all of 2014, according to the AP, and it’s only August. Monday saw 2,093 migrants detained by Hungarian police in a single day, well above the astounding daily average of 1,493. Another ten thousand poured over the Macedonian border over the weekend, with a fresh thousand camped in Serbia and preparing to move across the Hungarian border. Macedonia, in turn, has seen over 43,000 migrants in just the past two months.
After imposing the cost of their presence upon the Hungarians, most of this migratory population presses on to the greener pastures of “richer European Union countries like Germany or the Netherlands before their claims are settled.” Among other things, this has produced a massive security and humanitarian crisis along the English Channel, as migrants strive to make the final push from France into the lavish welfare state of Britain.
Migrants are detained by Hungarian police after crossing the Hungarian-Serbian border illegally.
Once protected by hundreds of thousands of conscripted units and armed with an ingenious mobile force, Sweden’s defence capabilities began to decline during the late 1980s. Now, the nation faces an immense dilemma: a weak army incapable of defending its homeland.
Just before the Second World War began, the PM at the time Per Albin Hansson told the public that, “Sweden’s preparedness is good.” This was a lie; Sweden’s military had been greatly reduced since the 1920s. All of the army’s technology was outdated and there were simply not enough soldiers. Sweden declared neutrality, allowing Germany to use their railways.
By becoming neutral and giving Germany access to their railroads, the Germans had a route to Norway that permitted the movement of soldiers and weaponry. As a result of this, Sweden was spared the German occupation that Denmark and Norway experienced. Despite being neutral, the Swedish military did strengthen during WWII.
Part of Sweden’s defence was a spectacularly devised system called “mobilization repositories”. Coupled with the draft that made military service for all young men mandatory, Sweden had the ability to bring much of its military into service within hours. Over 6,000 of these repositories were hidden in the woods, consisting of arms and equipment caches. Drills were consistently conducted in order to keep the nation ready for defence on short notice.
“The potential was huge if you went full throttle, which we never did,” Wilhelm Agrell, Swedish military historian.
Sweden’s strong defences began to diminish once the mid-1980s came around. Supporting such a powerful force was not cheap, and changing attitudes among the top officials prompted them to suggest cuts. The Cold War had ended, the Soviet Union had collapsed and the Berlin wall had been removed. It seemed as though Sweden no longer had a purpose for its military.
Throughout the nineties and early 2000s, the Swedish Army was subjected to a series of cuts that saw its combat capabilities reduced to 6% of its strength in the 80s. Air and naval forces also dwindled; by 2004, only 100 planes were ready to go and a mere seven vessels and four submarines remained functional. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia, resulting in a war that lasted less than a week.
Russia’s invasion of Georgia was completely unseen, and Swedish military personnel and politicians were in trouble.
“The consensus had been that no state in Europe would ever attack another state. But someone just had, and it wasn’t just anybody. It was Russia. It was not supposed to happen, but it had. Suddenly Swedish politicians understood that we need to have some kind of ability to defend ourselves, if we against all odds were to be threatened again.”
National service was abolished in 2010 in favour of voluntary professional armed forces, as Sweden could not order its conscripts to participate in Afghanistan’s conflicts. One year later, Russia resumed the Cold War practice of flying military aircraft uncomfortably close to Sweden’s airspace, and Russian submarines were sighted in their waters.
“We can defend ourselves against an attack against a localized target. We’re talking about a week on our own,” Sverker Göransson, the Swedish military’s Supreme Commander, made this statement in 2013.
Russia went so far as to make a joke out of Sweden’s incredibly poor military strength.
Gotland is an island belonging to Swedish sovereignty that is of great strategic importance, but is also very undermanned. Located in the Baltic Sea, Russia could capture the island with ease and there isn’t a thing Sweden could do about it. The purpose of Russia capturing Gotland would grant them further leverage over the Baltic nations. The fourteen tanks stationed there would be inefficient during an invasion.
Former military officials who were responsible for encouraging the dismantling of the Swedish military have expressed their regrets. In the 2015 documentary “What Happened to Defense?”, former Supreme Commander Owe Wictorin is deeply saddened by what has happened. He says that the idea of slowly reducing military spending was good, but it all happened much too quickly.
Sweden’s biggest threat is likely not Russia, however; it is the hordes of non-Europeans that have settled there. Their destructive behaviour and penchant to become violent over minor provocations, usually with regards to their faith, makes them a powder keg. Taking into account the ease that groups like ISIS have when entering European nations and the volatility of “peaceful” Muslims, the Swedish army and police would not stop an Islamic revolution.
Military service is a must for any country that wishes to defend itself and build a strong character in its men. A nationalist leader will strongly prioritize the quality of its soldiers by implementing conscription. Until Sweden and other weakened European countries begin increasing their military power and removing non-Europeans, the threat of a hostile takeover from within will continue to loom.
“One needs to always be prepared to defend the nation’s capital, vital infrastructure, power supply and telecommunications, important airports, import of basic necessities and military reinforcements. … [Sweden] today does not have that capability.”
US warplanes have carried out their first air strikes on Islamic State (Isis) targets in Syria after taking off from a Turkish base, kicking off a key new phase in the campaign against the jihadists.
US drones had previously executed a single lethal air strike against an Isis target in Syria but this was the first time manned US fighter jets had carried out raids after taking off from Turkey’s strategically located Incirlik base.
Turkey is currently pressing a two-pronged “anti-terror” offensive against Isis jihadists in Syria and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq and south-east Turkey following a wave of attacks inside the country.
But until now the Turkish air strikes have overwhelmingly concentrated on the separatist Kurdish rebels, to the frustration of western commentators who want to see Turkey ramp up its involvement in the fight against Isis.
Using the Incirlik base outside the city of Adana in southern Turkey drastically cuts the distance needed for the US jets to fly to northern Syria compared with other launch bases farther afield in the Middle East.
“Today, the United States began flying manned counter-Isil missions from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Strikes were conducted,” Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith said, using an alternate name for the terror group.
Turkey’s Dogan news agency said three US fighter jets were seen taking off from Incirlik in the evening.
Last month, Turkey agreed to open up the base to coalition planes for bombing Isis targets in Syria following months of tough negotiations.
The UK and France have urged other EU nations to help address the root causes of the Calais migrant crisis.
In the Sunday Telegraph, Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve said it was part of a "global migration crisis".
Migrants in Calais are making nightly bids to cross the Channel, leading to delays on cross-Channel services.
Meanwhile, the Home Office said support could end for failed asylum-seekers, to discourage illegal migration.
Bolstered security measures planned for around the French end of the Channel Tunnel, which include more CCTV surveillance, French police reinforcements and extra fencing, were agreed between Prime Minister David Cameron and President Francois Hollande on Friday.
There have been thousands of attempts by migrants to access the Eurotunnel terminal in the last week.
A man believed to be Sudanese was killed on Tuesday night while attempting to make the journey, the ninth person to die while trying to access the tunnel since the start of June.
About forty representatives of the national socialist Finnish Resistance Movement demonstrated in the central Finnish city of Jyväskylä on Saturday. Although the demonstration started out calmly, brawling broke out as the protest proceeded, leading to thirty people being charged with rioting and assault.
A public demonstration by the Finnish Resistance Movement (Kansallinen Vastarinta), which describes itself as national socialist, ended in fighting on Saturday.
Local police say the extreme right group’s protest began peacefully and that approximately 40 people were in attendance. As the event proceeded, however, the protesters began to assault bystanders and aggressively prevent the police from performing their duty. Some of the aggressors continued their violent behaviour within the premises of the nearby Sokos department store.
The situation was quickly brought under control, say the police, and 30 people were apprehended. Several will be charged with violent rioting and assault.
The Finnish Resistance Movement says it is part of the Nordic Resistance Movement led by the Swedish neo-Nazi Klas Lund. Three of the Finnish group's members were involved in a 2013 scuffle at the Jyväskylä Library, when one person was stabbed.
Finns Party MP Olli Immonen, who recently came under fire for posting an inflammatory Facebook status update calling for a “fight until the end” against the “nightmare called multiculturalism”, posed in June for a photograph with members of the Finnish Resistance Movement in Porvoo. He posted the photo on his Facebook page after the event.