Finland Joins NATO

I kept waiting for this topic to appear on BB and it didn’t, so I’m doing it.

This seems like a really big deal. There are talks with Sweden now as well. It’ll be the first time in history that there isn’t a buffer between NATO in Western Europe and Russia. This could either be the beginning of a new peace, or the trigger for WWIII.

I suspect the former because Russia’s military is a failing, poorly organized, demoralized mess, and they know it. I think even Putin knows better than to pick a fight with NATO, and now Finland is no longer a soft target for him. The goal is presumably to rope him in, and I think this will do that.


I’m no geopolitical strategist but I’m starting to think maybe that invasion of Ukraine was a bad tactical move on Putin’s part.


Beau of the Fifth Column has often mentioned the quote “war is politics by other means”. Prior to Feb 2022, Ukraine was on track to becoming a NATO member the first NATO country to border Russia, and the Ukraine war was partly to prevent NATO expansion. Now we see it’s had the opposite effect on NATO.

Beau has used that quote to make the point: regardless of what territory changes hands in Ukraine (if any), the war is already a failure for Russia because of this failed political objective.

edit: updated after @smulder 's comment


Norway, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were already NATO members that had land borders with Russia—Estonia in particular being less than 100 miles from St Petersburg, if I’m reading this map right


(source: Newsweek)

Made to Fight Russia

Finland’s annual military budget of around $6 billion supports standing armed forces of around 23,000. But the country’s system of universal male conscription means Helsinki can expand its military to around 280,000 personnel in wartime, drawing from 900,000 reserves who undertake regular training exercises. Finnish troops have relatively fresh combat experience, with a small number having served as part of the Western coalition in Afghanistan.

Finland already spends just over 2 percent of its GDP on defense, meeting the NATO target set for member states in 2014; a figure that may soon be revised upwards amid deepening tensions with Moscow.

Russia is the cornerstone of Finland’s military ideology and system. Defense of the 800-mile forested and swampy border is the priority, with all 5.6 million Finns well aware of the danger given the country was invaded by Russia or the Soviet Union more than once in the 20th century.

The Global Firepower Index ranks Finland’s military as the 51st-most powerful in the world. But Finland’s unique doctrine and position means it can punch above its weight, focused as it is on devastating mobile artillery use—Finland has more artillery than Germany and France combined—and the use of highly skilled small units to wreak havoc on a much larger invading force.


Good catch. I shall edit to suit.


It’s taken a long time but “Putin is clearly a genius, so maybe this is all playing into his hands” has slowly been ebbing away.


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