‘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. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    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

    IT’s a pretty short-sighted view, in my opinion.  I don’t like the Turks.  I was mystified that Claire thought it worth going there.  All my life they have been considered corrupt and backwards, and they still are.  The people are even more repressed than normal now, but I don’t much care.  As long as they are on our side and won’t make us fight them to get access to the Black Sea when needed, then I’m all for them.  They aren’t allowing access now because it’s convenient for us.  It’s like the kid at school letting a friend hold him back from getting in a fight.  

    • #31
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Skyler (View Comment):

    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.

    I would add that cowing a nation such as Turkey into submission might be beyond our capabilities, and that the lack of that ability is probably a good thing.  

    • #32
  3. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    • #33
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    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

    IT’s a pretty short-sighted view, in my opinion. I don’t like the Turks. I was mystified that Claire thought it worth going there. All my life they have been considered corrupt and backwards, and they still are. The people are even more repressed than normal now, but I don’t much care. As long as they are on our side and won’t make us fight them to get access to the Black Sea when needed, then I’m all for them. They aren’t allowing access now because it’s convenient for us. It’s like the kid at school letting a friend hold him back from getting in a fight.

    I saw this morning (on Defense One) that Turkey is now saying they won’t delay Sweden and Finland’s requests to join NATO.  I suppose it’s just a coincidence that Biden has asked Congress to approve a sale of F-16 upgrades for Turkey (who has said that they want to buy more of the aircraft).

    Who knows how Erdogan’s mind works?  I don’t believe anyone in Washington has a clue.

    • #34
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Hang On (View Comment):

    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

    The inclusion of Warmonger Kristol should send up red flags.

    • #35
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    And given the state of our economy, we probably shouldn’t be increasing costs anywhere.

    • #36
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    And given the state of our economy, we probably shouldn’t be increased costs anywhere.

    Either that, or it will spread out the costs more evenly with more of the countries paying their fair share. 

    • #37
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    Somehow I don’t see the Swedes or Finns skimping on defense spending. Not in the near term.

    • #38
  9. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    Somehow I don’t see the Swedes or Finns skimping on defense spending. Not in the near term.

    I do. Like all other members of NATO, they know we’ll pick up the slack.

    • #39
  10. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    Somehow I don’t see the Swedes or Finns skimping on defense spending. Not in the near term.

    I do. Like all other members of NATO, they know we’ll pick up the slack.

    As Ben Jonson observed, the prospect of being hanged in two weeks has a powerful effect of clarifying one’s thinking. With Russia on their doorstep, both, but especially Finland has that prospect. They have to stop Russia as near to the border as possible. They cannot wait until the US Cavalry arrives.

    • #40
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    I assume adding another nation or two would simply increase the price-tag for the U.S., since we’re the chief financier of NATO.

    Somehow I don’t see the Swedes or Finns skimping on defense spending. Not in the near term.

    I do. Like all other members of NATO, they know we’ll pick up the slack.

    I wish you wouldn’t make it easy for them to renege.  

    • #41
  12. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Sweden plans to ramp-up their defense spending to the 2% level. They are not as geographically close to Russia as Finland is. They started raising their level of defense spending after the Russian annexation of Crimea. Denmark is working on raising their defense spending. Germany is increasing their defense spending and has admitted they have not been spending what they should and needed to do.

    Russia in the recent past has been testing Swedish airspace as well sending submarines to penetrate Swedish waters. If Putin wants good neighbors, then he should be a good neighbor.

    • #42
  13. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    This is what Finland brings to NATO:

    “On the ground, Finland has one of the strongest artillery forces in Europe with around 1500 different artillery systems. It also maintains relatively large and effective conscript and reserve forces. In December 2021 poll, 90% of male Finnish participants and 84% of women said they would be ready to defend their country to the best of their abilities, some of the highest figures in Europe.”

    “And, “when it comes to fighting in the Arctic and fighting in the snow, nobody beats the Finns,” Townsend said, commenting on the capable nature of Finland’s modern land forces, as well as the country’s historic combat prowess in winter warfighting.”

    For instance, Finland has one of the more powerful air forces in Europe, Townsend told Insider.

    “They’ve been flying the F/A-18 with the latest US munitions hung on them, and they’re going to buy the F-35,” he said, referring to the US-made fifth-generation stealth fighter the country intends to acquire in a multi-billion deal.”

    “He added that both Sweden and Finland have “very professional and modern” navies, explaining that “they carry, in terms of sensors and shooters, quite an interoperable and capable mix of firepower.” Swedish subs, for example, have demonstrated their effectiveness in naval war games.”

    “In a 2005 exercise, Sweden’s HSMS Gotland, a small diesel-powered submarine with a quiet, Stirling engine, was able to get close to and take out the USS Ronald Reagan, a $6.2 billion US Navy aircraft carrier, without detection. Over the next few years during war games, the Gotland was continuously successful, able to stealthily overcome destroyers and nuclear attack submarines.”

    “And Sweden has in its arsenal of combat aircraft the Gripen fighters, a jet that the country previously claimed would excel at taking out Sukhoi aircraft. The Sukhoi aircraft flown by the Russians are notorious for their ability to maneuver in dogfights, but Sweden has said its jets have the edge.

    “Gripen, especially the E-model, is designed to kill Sukhois. There we have a black belt,” Maj. Gen. Mats Helgesson, then the commander of Sweden’s air force, told Yle at a presentation in 2019. In particular, these planes are said to shine in electronic warfare.”

    Quotes from Business Insider

    • #43
  14. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    This is what Finland brings to NATO:

    “On the ground, Finland has one of the strongest artillery forces in Europe with around 1500 different artillery systems. It also maintains relatively large and effective conscript and reserve forces. In December 2021 poll, 90% of male Finnish participants and 84% of women said they would be ready to defend their country to the best of their abilities, some of the highest figures in Europe.”

    “And, “when it comes to fighting in the Arctic and fighting in the snow, nobody beats the Finns,” Townsend said, commenting on the capable nature of Finland’s modern land forces, as well as the country’s historic combat prowess in winter warfighting.”

    For instance, Finland has one of the more powerful air forces in Europe, Townsend told Insider.

    “They’ve been flying the F/A-18 with the latest US munitions hung on them, and they’re going to buy the F-35,” he said, referring to the US-made fifth-generation stealth fighter the country intends to acquire in a multi-billion deal.”

    “He added that both Sweden and Finland have “very professional and modern” navies, explaining that “they carry, in terms of sensors and shooters, quite an interoperable and capable mix of firepower.” Swedish subs, for example, have demonstrated their effectiveness in naval war games.”

    “In a 2005 exercise, Sweden’s HSMS Gotland, a small diesel-powered submarine with a quiet, Stirling engine, was able to get close to and take out the USS Ronald Reagan, a $6.2 billion US Navy aircraft carrier, without detection. Over the next few years during war games, the Gotland was continuously successful, able to stealthily overcome destroyers and nuclear attack submarines.”

    “And Sweden has in its arsenal of combat aircraft the Gripen fighters, a jet that the country previously claimed would excel at taking out Sukhoi aircraft. The Sukhoi aircraft flown by the Russians are notorious for their ability to maneuver in dogfights, but Sweden has said its jets have the edge.

    “Gripen, especially the E-model, is designed to kill Sukhois. There we have a black belt,” Maj. Gen. Mats Helgesson, then the commander of Sweden’s air force, told Yle at a presentation in 2019. In particular, these planes are said to shine in electronic warfare.”

    Quotes from Business Insider

    Good. So let’s leave Nato since they are going to be so well defended. 

    • #44
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Good. So let’s leave Nato since they are going to be so well defended. 

    Let’s not, for the same reason. 

    • #45
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