Monday, October 03, 2005

"Nato membership would remove shadow of Finlandisation"

I'm not sure NATO plays any significant role today, but maybe it should be kept for psychological reasons? Many countries are still weary of Russia's intentions. Finland was a part of the kingdom of Sweden for 7 centuries (just as Norway was a part of the kingdom of Denmark for 450 years), and still has a Swedish speaking minority and two official languages. It was conquered by Russia in Napoleonic times, and seized the opportunity during the revolution in 1917 to declare its independence. Although officially neutral, it spent much of the Cold War trying to avoid being swallowed up by the Soviet Union, hence the term "Finlandisation":

Nato membership would remove shadow of Finlandisation -Lax

The presidential candidate of the Swedish People's Party, which represents Finland's Swedish-speaking minority, writes in his election manifesto, made public Monday, that possible Nato membership would be a psychologically important way for Finns to rid themselves of the shadow of Finlandisation. The term was first coined by Richard Löwenthal in 1966 to describe a specific type of domination of a small state by a larger one, the latter being the Soviet Union. Mr Lax adds that shaking off the remnants of Finlandisation will not be possible without Finland's full participation in cooperation between western democracies, including that within the military alliance. "Membership in Nato would put a stop to all conjecture about Finland's security policy and would afford us the possibility to take part in important decision making about our future," Mr Lax said in Helsinki. Further, Mr Lax would like to see stronger links with the rest of the Nordic countries. He feels that it is important that today's young people get acquainted with Finland's 650-year history as part of Sweden.


At October 04, 2005 12:10 AM, Blogger heather said...

I think NATO is as needed today as ever, only the focus has changed from the Soviet Union and Europe, to terror threats across the world. Here is a good description by Steven Hadley, assistant to President Bush for National Security Affairs.

"First, what is NATO for? NATO's core mission is the same today as it was at its founding. Collective defence and consultation about threats to peace and security. NATO put this mission into new practice following the 11 September terrorist attacks. No one would have predicted that NATO's first invocation of Article 5 would have come in response to an attack hatched in Afghanistan, planned in places like Germany, Spain and Malaysia, and executed in Washington and New York. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty became real that day in a new one, and one that should surely give pause to those who question NATO's purposes. NATO's core mission has not changed. What has changed is the source of the threats to our countries. These threats are likely to come less from massing great armies than from small shadowy bands of terrorists. Less from strong states than from weak or failed states, including those led by aggressive dictators. A historical line has been crossed. NATO will go to the Article 5 threats wherever they are. This does not mean that NATO will be profligate or go searching for adventures. It does mean that defence in the future will be very different than defence we knew in the past. NATO must change if it is to play a critical role in defending our societies against the real threats of our time."

At October 04, 2005 12:34 AM, Blogger heather said...


Article 5
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

At October 04, 2005 2:04 AM, Blogger Dan Kauffman said...

Aceept that NATO is moribund and form a New International Alliance
Coallition of the Willing

Don't bother trying to "change" NATO.

At October 04, 2005 2:43 AM, Blogger heather said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 04, 2005 2:53 AM, Blogger heather said...

If any organization is moribund, it would be the UN. The NATO allies have been reorganizing in light of changing realities. You cannot say the same for the UN--which has gradually become so corrupt that it is no longer a viable organization.

At October 04, 2005 7:03 AM, Blogger ik said...


You are right - NATO is reorganizing

At October 04, 2005 9:33 AM, Blogger heather said...

Here is an article that you might like:

US foreign policy sucks--as it has for decades.


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