‘Our Decision Was Made on February 24’

 

“Our decision was made on February 24”, is a quote from a former Finnish Prime Minister. The date that Russia invaded Ukraine. Sweden will probably make the same decision in the weeks or days to come. 76% of respondents to the last poll taken in Finland approved joining NATO.

Since 2014 Finland has been increasing their defense spending to 1.96% of their GDP. NATO has set a goal of two percent for NATO nations.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey has said he is not in favor of Finland and Sweden joining NATO due to the fact that both countries have Kurdish refugees in both countries. President Erdoğan is still upset that Greece was allowed to join NATO. “Greece remains the alliance’s biggest spender (on defense) as a share of GDP, contributing 3.59%.” Turkey does not meet the 2% GDP NATO goal on defense spending. Turkey spends about 1.60% of GDP on defense spending. Greece and Turkey have a long contentious history of conflict between them.

Russia has now cut-off electricity to Finland. Russia provides about 6% of Finland’s electricity. There have been military threats as well. Putin’s Special Operation in Ukraine has resulted in a new NATO neighbor that has an 800-mile-long border with Russia.

As a side note, a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

Finland has been involved with NATO armed forces in military exercises. Like Sweden, they have military assistance pact with the US and the UK.

.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Turkey  can get out.

    • #1
  2. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Putin didn’t think this all the way through.

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    A Turkish government official as of today has indicated that they might be more open to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

    Newsweek has contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry to request comment. Erdogan adviser and spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin appeared to soften the president’s line on Saturday, telling Reuters: “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    A Turkish government official as of today has indicated that they might be more open to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

    Newsweek has contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry to request comment. Erdogan adviser and spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin appeared to soften the president’s line on Saturday, telling Reuters: “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”

    Turkey controls the Dardanelles, so it’s good to have that country on our side. It can be a difficult partner, though.

    • #4
  5. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    We should focus on countries that provide talent to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

    • #5
  6. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Doug Watt: As a side note a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

    So, war with NATO it is.

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As a side note a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

    So, war with NATO it is.

    Is Russia really in a position to threaten Poland, given its, um, “progress” (lack thereof) in Ukraine? I haven’t been following closely enough to know, but my impression is it’s bogged down. 

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As a side note a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

    So, war with NATO it is.

    Is Russia really in a position to threaten Poland, given its, um, “progress” (lack thereof) in Ukraine? I haven’t been following closely enough to know, but my impression is it’s bogged down.

    Russia has been lobbing occasional missiles in the vicinity of Lviv, which is the large city closest to Poland. And I believe there was at least one that was a lot closer to the border. But it is in no position to invade. I’m all for doing what we can to help Ukraine keep it that way.  

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As a side note a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

    So, war with NATO it is.

    Is Russia really in a position to threaten Poland, given its, um, “progress” (lack thereof) in Ukraine? I haven’t been following closely enough to know, but my impression is it’s bogged down.

    Russia isn’t bogged down. It is moving north and east quite quickly around Kharkov. Especially the last few days.

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As a side note a Russian legislator has said that after a Russian victory in Ukraine Poland will be next on the list of nations for the Reconquista of Eastern Europe.

    So, war with NATO it is.

    Is Russia really in a position to threaten Poland, given its, um, “progress” (lack thereof) in Ukraine? I haven’t been following closely enough to know, but my impression is it’s bogged down.

    Russia isn’t bogged down. It is moving north and east quite quickly around Kharkov. Especially the last few days.

    That would be a retreat, no? 

    • #10
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The Institute for the Study of War issues a daily assessment of the Russian Campaign in Ukraine. They have published assessments of the successes and failures of both Russian and Ukrainian forces. I tend to avoid bloggers from both sides as well as Russian and Ukrainian defense ministry statements.

    May 13, 2022 – Press ISW

    The Russian military has likely decided to withdraw fully from its positions around Kharkiv City in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives and the limited availability of reinforcements. Russian units have generally not attempted to hold ground against counterattacking Ukrainian forces over the past several days, with a few exceptions. Reports from Western officials and a video from an officer of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) indicate that Moscow is focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal and prioritizing getting Russians back home before allowing proxy forces to enter Russia rather than trying to hold its positions near the city.

    • #11
  12. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    If… IF… they sustain defense spending above 2%, that would put them far ahead of most of the NATO Alliance in terms of their contribution to European Defense.

    • #12
  13. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    In 1977 reporter David Satter, then writing from the USSR, quotes a Lithuanian on the subject of Russian imperialism: “‘The one thing you’ll never find,…or at least almost never find is a Russian who is willing to recognize a small people’s right to its own country. If you talk about Lithuania, they say that’s our Russian land, our country.’”  Plus ca change  From Never Speak to Strangers.  

    • #13
  14. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The Institute for the Study of War issues a daily assessment of the Russian Campaign in Ukraine. They have published assessments of the successes and failures of both Russian and Ukrainian forces. I tend to avoid bloggers from both sides as well as Russian and Ukrainian defense ministry statements.

    May 13, 2022 – Press ISW

    The Russian military has likely decided to withdraw fully from its positions around Kharkiv City in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives and the limited availability of reinforcements. Russian units have generally not attempted to hold ground against counterattacking Ukrainian forces over the past several days, with a few exceptions. Reports from Western officials and a video from an officer of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) indicate that Moscow is focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal and prioritizing getting Russians back home before allowing proxy forces to enter Russia rather than trying to hold its positions near the city.

    You’re kidding. Ukraine propaganda pushers. Here’s the board

    Our Board Members
    General Jack Keane (US Army, Retired), Chairman, Institute for the Study of War; President, GSI, LLC

    Dr. Kimberly Kagan, Founder & President, Institute for the Study of War

    The Honorable Kelly Craft, Former US Ambassador to UN and Canada

    Dr. William Kristol, Director, Defending Democracy Together

    The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman, Senior Council, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, LLP

    Kevin Mandia, Chief Executive Officer & Board Director, Mandiant

    Jack D. McCarthy, Jr., Senior Managing Director & Founder, A&M Capital

    Bruce Mosler, Chairman, Global Brokerage, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

    General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired), Member, KKR & Chairman, KKR Global Institute

    Dr. Warren Phillips, Lead Director, CACI International

    Colonel William Roberti (US Army, Retired), Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal

    • #14
  15. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    I have some serious reservations about admitting Sweden and Finland to NATO. Neutral sounds almost noble, but they  couldn’t discern who the bad guy is until now? It feels like somebody who wants to buy homeowners insurance after his house caught fire. 

    If we’re expected to be the World Police, the world can pay us to be the world police.

    • #15
  16. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The Institute for the Study of War issues a daily assessment of the Russian Campaign in Ukraine. They have published assessments of the successes and failures of both Russian and Ukrainian forces. I tend to avoid bloggers from both sides as well as Russian and Ukrainian defense ministry statements.

    May 13, 2022 – Press ISW

    The Russian military has likely decided to withdraw fully from its positions around Kharkiv City in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives and the limited availability of reinforcements. Russian units have generally not attempted to hold ground against counterattacking Ukrainian forces over the past several days, with a few exceptions. Reports from Western officials and a video from an officer of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) indicate that Moscow is focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal and prioritizing getting Russians back home before allowing proxy forces to enter Russia rather than trying to hold its positions near the city.

    You’re kidding. Ukraine propaganda pushers. Here’s the board

    Our Board Members
    General Jack Keane (US Army, Retired), Chairman, Institute for the Study of War; President, GSI, LLC

    Dr. Kimberly Kagan, Founder & President, Institute for the Study of War

    The Honorable Kelly Craft, Former US Ambassador to UN and Canada

    Dr. William Kristol, Director, Defending Democracy Together

    The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman, Senior Council, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, LLP

    Kevin Mandia, Chief Executive Officer & Board Director, Mandiant

    Jack D. McCarthy, Jr., Senior Managing Director & Founder, A&M Capital

    Bruce Mosler, Chairman, Global Brokerage, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

    General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired), Member, KKR & Chairman, KKR Global Institute

    Dr. Warren Phillips, Lead Director, CACI International

    Colonel William Roberti (US Army, Retired), Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal

    Actually, I’m not kidding. The website offers a strategic assessment, which is more political. They also offer the Russian Campaign Assessment that follows the day-to-day conflict. Bloggers and You Tubers have a blind spot, to include a pro-Putin blogger and You Tuber that masquerades as a former US Navy Seal. He served in the US Navy, but he was never a Navy Seal. I do my own limited background checks on these individuals.

    That being said I suggest that disinformation on both sides requires some skepticism, but I’m not going to be a research assistant for those that are too lazy to do their own research on what they wish to believe.   

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Joker (View Comment):

    I have some serious reservations about admitting Sweden and Finland to NATO. Neutral sounds almost noble, but they couldn’t discern who the bad guy is until now? It feels like somebody who wants to buy homeowners insurance after his house caught fire.

    If we’re expected to be the World Police, the world can pay us to be the world police.

     I don’t think they ever had any trouble discerning who the bad guy was. 

     

    • #17
  18. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    We should focus on countries that provide talent to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    So we should recruit Russia into NATO?

    • #18
  19. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Actually, I’m not kidding. The website offers a strategic assessment, which is more political. They also offer the Russian Campaign Assessment that follows the day-to-day conflict. Bloggers and You Tubers have a blind spot, to include a pro-Putin blogger and You Tuber that masquerades as a former US Navy Seal. He served in the US Navy, but he was never a Navy Seal. I do my own limited background checks on these individuals.

    That being said I suggest that disinformation on both sides requires some skepticism, but I’m not going to be a research assistant for those that are too lazy to do their own research on what they wish to believe.

    Far better than a bunch of neocons who have never been right about anything is Indian media, Middle Eastern media, and Defense Politics Asia for day-to-day.

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    A Turkish government official as of today has indicated that they might be more open to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

    Newsweek has contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry to request comment. Erdogan adviser and spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin appeared to soften the president’s line on Saturday, telling Reuters: “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”

    Turkey controls the Dardanelles, so it’s good to have that country on our side. It can be a difficult partner, though.

     Turkey wouldn’t let us fight back afterward been attacked on 911. Is blockers using them. Turkey is an enemy of the United States of America and the West they shouldn’t be in nato. Turkey should be cowed in submission like dangerous enemy that they are.

    • #20
  21. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    We should focus on countries that provide talent to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    So we should recruit Russia into NATO?

    Hell yea!  Won’t Putin be surprised!!

    • #21
  22. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    A Turkish government official as of today has indicated that they might be more open to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

    Newsweek has contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry to request comment. Erdogan adviser and spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin appeared to soften the president’s line on Saturday, telling Reuters: “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”

    Turkey controls the Dardanelles, so it’s good to have that country on our side. It can be a difficult partner, though.

    Turkey wouldn’t let us fight back afterward been attacked on 911. Is blockers using them. Turkey is an enemy of the United States of America and the West they shouldn’t be in nato. Turkey should be cowed in submission like dangerous enemy that they are.

    I have a better idea. The US should leave Nato.

    • #22
  23. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    We should focus on countries that provide talent to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    So we should recruit Russia into NATO?

    They asked to join back in 2000.  That would have been a good move, no?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/04/ex-nato-head-says-putin-wanted-to-join-alliance-early-on-in-his-rule

    • #23
  24. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Joker (View Comment):

    I have some serious reservations about admitting Sweden and Finland to NATO. Neutral sounds almost noble, but they couldn’t discern who the bad guy is until now? It feels like somebody who wants to buy homeowners insurance after his house caught fire.

    They have always known perfectly well who the bad guys are: Finland has not forgotten the bloody Winter War with the Soviet Union and the official neutrality that the Soviets imposed on them as a condition of peace. Sweden has a two-century-old policy of official neutrality. Both nations have been officially cooperating with NATO for several decades. Neither nation has historical reasons to like or trust Russia.

    • #24
  25. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    Well, that’s easily said.  But Turkey is an extremely important controller of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus.  We have no access to the Black Sea without them.  It’s fair to say that we don’t have access to the Black Sea with them lately either, I guess.  But I think if push comes to shove, they will be good to have on our side.

    • #25
  26. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Joker (View Comment):

    I have some serious reservations about admitting Sweden and Finland to NATO. Neutral sounds almost noble, but they couldn’t discern who the bad guy is until now? It feels like somebody who wants to buy homeowners insurance after his house caught fire.

    If we’re expected to be the World Police, the world can pay us to be the world police.

    Both Sweden and Finland have been very quiet but critical participants in the Cold War and supporting NATO.  It’s been in Finland’s interest especially to have deniability on their support.  They are very good and loyal friends.

    • #26
  27. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    Well, that’s easily said. But Turkey is an extremely important controller of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. We have no access to the Black Sea without them. It’s fair to say that we don’t have access to the Black Sea with them lately either, I guess. But I think if push comes to shove, they will be good to have on our side.

    Turkey closed the Bosporus to the Russian navy as well as to NATO naval vessels. This has kept the Russia navy from moving ships from their Pacific fleet to reinforce their Black Sea fleet in their so-called Special Operation in Ukraine. I don’t see this as a big problem for NATO forces but I’m sure the Russians are not very happy with this turn of events.

    • #27
  28. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Turkey can get out.

    A Turkish government official as of today has indicated that they might be more open to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

    Newsweek has contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry to request comment. Erdogan adviser and spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin appeared to soften the president’s line on Saturday, telling Reuters: “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”

    Turkey controls the Dardanelles, so it’s good to have that country on our side. It can be a difficult partner, though.

    Turkey wouldn’t let us fight back afterward been attacked on 911. Is blockers using them. Turkey is an enemy of the United States of America and the West they shouldn’t be in nato. Turkey should be cowed in submission like dangerous enemy that they are.

    Wow, that’s just odd.  Some things transcend politics or ideology.  The geography of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean control.  We need Turkey, no matter what else they do.

    • #28
  29. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Doug Watt: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey has said he is not in favor of Finland and Sweden joining NATO due to the fact that both countries have Kurdish refugees in both countries.

    Whether you agree with his reasoning, that’s a mischaracterization.

    Re. the Kurds, his issue is in not banning the PKK. And there are issues re Gulenists. And issues regarding arms embargos over Turkey’s Syrian involvement.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/finland-sweden-turkey-and-nato/

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/15/turkey-lays-out-demands-as-finland-sweden-seek-nato-membership

    https://nordicmonitor.com/2019/10/sweden-favors-arms-embargo-on-turkey/

     

    • #29
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Skyler (View Comment):
     It’s fair to say that we don’t have access to the Black Sea with them lately either, I guess.  

    Pretty much my point. 

    They are a non-Western, bigoted nation. They don’t deserve to be in NATO

    • #30
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