Motion: THW change Finland’s defence doctrine in this century for the better
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: Mar 14th, 2014
When talking about the NATO, emotions run high if not wild. The acronym is such a potential well for argumentation that here I want to focus on it impassively and bring the discourse to a head analytically.
In Finnish thinking on defence, the going rationale has been to think of Russia as the grizzly bear it was/still is, and try to steer clear of its path. If you think in terms of a real bear, how do you avoid or prevent a bear attack? First, you can play dead whenever you are faced with a bear in close proximity. Another means is to roam the woods with a posse with guns and mow down the occasional wandering bear. In time, the bear population would become such that it was rarer and rarer to encounter one in the wild, due to the scarcity of the numbers and caution on both sides. The only trouble is that Russia is a gun-toting bear in herself – and a menace not only to us but a host of nations around her.
Finland has, so far, historically, opted for the play-dead tactics. Her defence is built on methods that worked during the Second World War but would be now out of time and barely up to scratch. It’s not plausible that soldiers of today would go to the Eastern Border/front armed with tents, knives, bayonets, rifles and pea soup. That, however, is still the foundation of Finnish armed forces. Furthermore, the heavier artillery equipment that we use can be traced back to imported Russian arms from the 1960’s.
We have to think about defence in another way. It should be a federal rather than a national thing. As defence federations entail fighting in OTHER PEOPLE’S wars and not just those of our own, the right solution would be the federation whose wars we’d be willing to back up.
We can start ruling unions in and out. First of all, a defence union among EU member states is out of the question. Militarily, the EU is weak and astray, and we would be obliged to fight other people’s wars at any border of our quite a wide continent if we chose to do so. Secondly, the NATO is not much better. Its membership is so scattered that we’d end up in strange places of our familiar globe if we chose it instead.
Therefore, the only option that I consider wise to join in is with our nearest national relatives and the only direction that we know an attack would not come from: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. To that I’d add the buying of military equipment from the US and NATO, as their value base is also something that any of these countries share and practise even today widely. If we already fly F-18 Hornets and use other state-of-the-art gear, why couldn’t we buy more arsenal from the same people? That would make us NATO-compatible and technologically but not technically NATO.
World War II was a chance for Finns to show that we have a sense of national unity that overrides differences in class, province and gender. We did not crumble in the face of hardship and too loose a national foundation, as some more bitterly humiliated nations and peoples on other continents have sometimes done. That was 70 years ago. A generation has been born, raised, and taken through life to retirement during that time. We couldn’t fight any new war with the same emotion, weaponry, politics and personnel. We need new a navigation and political moves that are the least redundant. In my view, this would be accomplished through a Scandinavian defence union shored up by American defence material.
Puheen kesto: 4 min 30 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puheessa käsitellään aktuellia asiaa, josta ei saa puhua silloin, kun asia on aktuelli, eikä siitä puhumiselle ”ole tarvetta”, kun asia ei ole aktuelli. Kyseessä on siis poliittinen tabu, jonka voi puhkaista tai jättää rauhaan. Puhe ottaa ärhäkästi kantaa, mutta siinä saattaa olla väärä mielipide. Nykytiedon valossa siinä ehdotettu ehdotus ei olisi sen parempi kuin vääriksi katsotut vaihtoehdotkaan.