by Peter Zeihan on April 15, 2022
An official policy of neutrality – or at least, explicit unalignment – was once critical to the national security policies of Sweden and Finland. Not anymore. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused seismic shifts in European strategic planning almost overnight. Germany doubled its defense budget. NATO laggards found their spine. Perhaps nowhere is the change in sentiment more visible than in Swedish and Finnish attitudes toward joining NATO.
All of their non-Russian neighbors are enthusiastic members of NATO. In many ways, Sweden and Finland’s reticence is an anachronistic holdover. As is being argued Helsinki and Stockholm, no longer can one expect that obsequence to Russian insecurity is a ticket to avoiding Russian aggression. Given the quickly shifting national security environment in Europe, and Sweden and Finland’s close ties to the Americans and Europe (both are already members of the EU, and Finland a member of the Eurozone) if a final decision to join NATO is made, I expect it to happen fairly quickly. And while Moscow may rant and rave… there’s not much Russia can realistically do to stop it.
Leave a Reply