Military Review

Finnish defense: all for national security


Finnish fighters during a joint exercise with the USCM

Finland pays great attention to national security issues. Despite the limited size and capabilities of the armed forces, notable measures are being taken to ensure defense capability and maintain peace. To this end, an original and interesting policy is being pursued, which provides for the upholding of one’s interests by various methods, both independently and within the framework of international cooperation.

Defense doctrine

Due to limited resources, Finland relies not only on the Defense Forces in case of war. Security is based on the concept of so-called total defense. This means that all ministries and departments have plans for emergencies or armed conflicts. Each organization receives certain powers for peacetime and for war. Emergency measures are enforced by a special law - if necessary, it is introduced by the president and approved by parliament.

The key provisions of the defense doctrine are the fundamental refusal to participate in any military or political alliances, the organization of their own defense, as well as providing a flexible response to a wide range of threats. The main threats to security are various pressures from third countries, including blackmail by military force, open attack and regional conflicts that potentially affect Finland.

Ground Defense Forces in exercises

In peacetime, the Defense Forces call in new recruits and train them, as well as conduct defense construction. In the event of a conflict, they must collect reservists and deploy territorial defense. The main task of the army is to keep the enemy near the borders and protect key areas of the country. For this, it is proposed to use tactics and strategies that are optimized for the characteristic geographical and natural conditions.

The defense forces include ground forces, air forces and naval forces, various special forces and also border guards. During the conflict, they must act together to counter the adversary in their environments. Civilian structures and departments must ensure the work of the army by all available means.

International cooperation

Refusal to participate in military alliances does not exclude cooperation with other countries. Moreover, in some areas such cooperation is acquiring very remarkable proportions. Such interaction takes place in peacekeeping operations and in joint security programs.

Reservists and tankers

The defense forces regularly participate in international peacekeeping operations, starting in 1956. Together with the armies of European and American states, they worked in almost all local conflicts of the last decades. The largest operations, such as Afghanistan or Iraq, involved dozens of Finnish troops. In other cases, Finland could send no more than 6-10 observers to the scene.

Defense forces represented by various branches of the armed forces or separate formations regularly participate in international exercises. For obvious reasons, most often in such events, joint work with the armies of NATO countries is practiced. Maneuvers take place at Finnish and foreign land and sea ranges.

Outside of NATO

Finland has a very interesting relationship with the North Atlantic Alliance. The country's top military and political leadership for decades adheres to a policy of neutrality and denies the possibility of joining NATO. At the same time, some political forces, including former state leaders have expressed the view that it is necessary to join the Alliance.

Finnish defense: all for national security

Fighters of the Porian brigade at the parade

Arguments are being made in favor of joining NATO to simplify cooperation with other countries and increase the overall level of security. These advantages are opposed to the principled position of military-political independence. In addition, joining the Alliance could embroil Helsinki with Moscow, and the Finnish leadership is in no hurry to spoil relations with its closest neighbor.

However, refusal of accession does not exclude other options for interaction with NATO and its individual countries. So, the Defense Forces are built, armed and equipped according to the standards of the North Atlantic Alliance. There is extensive experience interacting with NATO armies - according to their methods and strategies.

Joint Expeditionary Force

Of particular interest in this context is the participation of the Defense Forces in the so-called The Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), formed at the initiative of NATO since 2014. In the event of a crisis or an open conflict, nine JEF member countries, led by the United Kingdom, can create a single army group and solve the problems of restoring peace.

Ragnar - four-legged soldier of the Kainuu brigade

JEF began work just a few years ago, and so far they are limited only to organizational issues and joint exercises. Finnish units, along with units of other countries, are practicing combat on land and at sea. There have also been exercises with other NATO countries that are not members of the JEF.

It is noteworthy that two essentially neutral states, Finland and Sweden, joined the United Expeditionary Force at once. For many decades they have been trying to invite them to NATO; the need to join the organization is defended by some domestic political forces. However, the authorities of the two countries refuse to join NATO - although they have joined the "out-of-NATO" JEF.

Neighborhood and Alliance

In the context of the future Finnish defense doctrine, issues of the notorious Russian aggression and potential entry into NATO are emerging. At the same time, both questions do not have simple and understandable answers, and Helsinki takes a detached-neutral position and tries to seek its own benefits.

Finnish Air Force F / A-18 fighters

Due to its geographic location, Finland is of great interest to NATO. Full access to its territory and bases will give the alliance significant advantages within the framework of relevant strategies to combat Russia. While Finland remains an ally, but not a member of the organization, such benefits cannot be obtained. As a result, external and internal attempts to draw Finland into NATO, so far unsuccessful, have been going on for several years.

Formal neutrality and cooperation with the military bloc lead to certain risks. Being not a member of NATO, Finland cannot count on guaranteed assistance in the event of a conflict with a third party. The "friendly" countries will decide for themselves whether they will defend Finland. These circumstances are simultaneously used as an argument in favor of joining the Alliance and as an argument against it, in view of the specific position of the “allies”.

Participation in JEF can be seen as an attempt to get rid of such problems. A combined expeditionary force is only a temporary alliance, working out of necessity. There are no political or military obligations similar to those in NATO. Accordingly, participation in JEF allows Finland to count on the help of friendly states - at least in deterring potential opponents.

Finnish fleet in exercises

Against the background of the situation around Finland and NATO, the position of the main "aggressor" of the region, Russia, looks interesting. Moscow has repeatedly stated its respect for Finland’s position, regardless of its participation in military blocs. However, it was noted that the entry of a neighboring country into NATO would force Russia to take the necessary measures to ensure its own security.

Own course

As we see, Finland has its own defense doctrine, aimed exclusively at ensuring national security, but not excluding military and political cooperation. The geographical position leads to special risks associated with both a possible attack and the special policies of the allies. At the same time, limited capabilities and armed forces do not even allow for regional leadership.

Finland seeks to maintain equal relations with all countries of its region and therefore is in no hurry to respond to NATO invitations, although it has acceded to the new JEF treaty. With all this, the construction of defense is carried out independently, but with the use of foreign developments and products.

It should be expected that in the foreseeable future, Finland will not change its position and remain a neutral country that does not participate in full-fledged alliances or blocs. However, she will have to deal with vigorous attempts to pull her into such an alliance. However, in Helsinki they have long been accustomed to such actions of "friendly" countries and focus on their own security, and not on the interests of other states and unions.
Photos used:
Ministry of Defense of Finland, Wikimedia Commons
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  1. Cowbra
    Cowbra 18 June 2020 18: 10 New
    NATO will not help the Baltic states, why will it help the Finns? So the strategy is logical
    1. Keyser soze
      Keyser soze 18 June 2020 19: 04 New
      NATO will not help the Baltic states, why will it help the Finns?

      I rarely agree with your opinion, but this also happens in nature laughing
      The Balts are far from me as Martians and are equally interested in fighting for them. But I guess that 10-20 volunteers will be recruited to protect them ...
      1. Basil50
        Basil50 18 June 2020 20: 07 New
        Nevertheless, it is worth remembering HOW exactly the Finns sought a * mono-ethnic * population.
        It is worth remembering that the Finns in the last century FOUR times declared war on the SOVIET UNION. Moreover, they were in a military alliance with * neutral Sweden *, Germany and France-England.
        It is worth remembering that with the beginning of WWII, the Finns managed to stay in * warm * relations with the French-British and Nazis, while being officially a country with Nazi ideology.
        1. Train
          Train 20 June 2020 11: 15 New
          It is strange that you are being neglected. It is written correctly and correctly. Only the Finns fought with us in Karelia 5 times
      2. Ryaruav
        Ryaruav 18 June 2020 21: 00 New
        in your country in Blgria where you want the good ones - poverty, without the USSR - poverty
      3. iouris
        iouris 18 June 2020 22: 39 New
        Quote: Keyser Soze
        10-20 volunteers will be recruited to protect them ...

        In the Russian Federation, it would have accumulated more. Just protect them is not required.
        Quote: Keyser Soze
        I am far from the Balts like Martians

        Nobody flies to Mars.
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    3. Megatron
      Megatron 30 August 2020 16: 11 New
      Lakhtari - still those fascists, they are the current pretend that they are peaceful.
      And in the meantime they themselves are sharpening their teeth on Karelia, the Kola Peninsula and on St. Petersburg, at the same time.
  2. Trevis
    Trevis 18 June 2020 18: 20 New
    Better let the songs sing)
  3. rocket757
    rocket757 18 June 2020 19: 16 New
    This quietly sit at home and ... enjoy a calm, well-fed life.
  4. The comment was deleted.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  5. knn54
    knn54 18 June 2020 20: 56 New
    Finland is in 49th place in terms of the number of soldiers per 1000 inhabitants, overtaking the United States, France and Germany in this indicator.
    1. FIR FIR
      FIR FIR 18 June 2020 22: 37 New
      And what's the use?
      Even earlier, quantity mattered. And now - this is the defining advantage of victory.
      3-4 divisions and 3-4 hundreds of cruise missiles take most of the small and medium countries of the world to the Middle Ages.
      Giants rule both before and now - the USA, China, Russia.
  6. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav 18 June 2020 21: 14 New
    thanks to shipbuilding (very large) orders of the ussr finland could become what it is now värtsilä diesel is one of the best in the world (money of the ussr) the first atomic icebreakers (hulls) finnish pilot pool (money of the ussr) and now russia got high technology in ship manufacturing ice class and of course the best icebreakers in the world (what a good Murmansk shipping was)
  7. Ros 56
    Ros 56 19 June 2020 07: 13 New
    Finns calm down, Russia does not plan events such as 1940, fish, pick berries and drive striped, from them all the troubles on earth.
  8. Sahalinets
    Sahalinets 19 June 2020 07: 16 New
    Ukrainians would behave in the same way, and would live in peace now.
  9. And Makarov
    And Makarov 19 June 2020 16: 53 New
    Finns have chosen the only right strategy - neutrality
    1. iouris
      iouris 19 June 2020 23: 02 New
      Neutral states do not exist, and no one asks the people. It will be necessary - NATO will pass through Finland and through Sweden. If anything, everything is ready.
    2. Train
      Train 20 June 2020 11: 17 New
      Inkh and in 40 had neutrality. And even in 41 in December
      1. Cypa
        Cypa 22 June 2020 09: 12 New
        what other neutrality in December 41?
        1. Train
          Train 25 June 2020 22: 47 New
          Yes, the usual is the most neutral of all neutralities
  10. Sarkazm
    Sarkazm 21 June 2020 01: 35 New
    The Finns will not join NATO, as well as the Swedes and the Swiss. The policies of such countries are built on continuity and consistency. They will not allow them to become not only an ally, but also a weak-willed accomplice, that is, a springboard for the deployment of NATO forces, since this means becoming the target of retaliatory strikes, so proper attention has always and traditionally been paid to defense issues there.

    "Flirting" with NATO has purely pragmatic goals. This is the development and functioning of our own military-industrial complex, access to joint developments and programs of NATO countries, cooperation and marketing of products of our own military-industrial complex, access to their experience through joint participation in peacekeeping operations, etc.

    Unlike us lop-eared idiots, when we sang about world peace, then we began a reform and literally fell in love with the so-called. a professional army, an army that in the final will turn into an instrument of the oligarchy, in turn subordinate in the end to the West, well, a kind of PMC Wagner, just a sign of another "RF Armed Forces". Neither the Finns, nor the Swedes, nor the Swiss, while many European NATO countries cut costs and the number of their armed forces, did not cut costs and continued their military programs, did not change politics and traditions.
    A universal military duty forms a prepared reserve in case of war, no apparent warming has led to the refusal or reduction of these countries' training and retraining programs for their reserve, according to our reserve. While in our country all the partisan gatherings turned into booze, and then were completely reduced to rare show events for show, in these countries this system worked and continues to work.
    Coronovirus events have shown that countries like Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, the only ones to maintain the practice of a state reserve system and mobilization in case of war or emergency, are intact.

    Before speaking down and mentally about these countries, it is necessary that our Karelia, Leningrad, Arkhangelsk, Kirov, Vologda, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Tver regions have conditions and quality of life, infrastructure and communications, an economy of the same level as Finland.
    The Finns took a lot from the experience of the USSR in the system of reserves and mobilization.
  11. tech3030
    tech3030 12 August 2020 16: 48 New
    It would not be, but they are not formally in NATO, then the blind sees. In general, I wonder who lives in Finland, how are the nationalist sentiments there, in the spirit of wringing out the territories or "Great Finland", is there such a thing?
  12. zenion
    zenion 5 September 2020 16: 47 New
    How many centuries Russia has existed, so many centuries have been trying to destroy it. The West is really like a wolf and a lamb, only Russia is not a lamb.
  13. Pamir
    Pamir 6 September 2020 21: 58 New
    It was not enough for us and the Finns to create another hotbed of tension. Not only for them, but also for us, it is not at all profitable, and it is not necessary. What happened in the past, it was not necessary to rub the mazol. We have a simplified way of crossing the border, let it be so in the future. Often residents (fishermen, mushroom pickers, lovers of collars visiting neighbors) and residents of border areas enter each other's territory, in non-border crossing zones. And nothing, without hysteria and fines of all they return to a friend, without unnecessary conflicts, or even without the accompaniment of border guards, residents return to their homes. In general, the border between us is similar to a purely administrative one, as during the USSR between the republics. And this can only be for those who do not This fact is enough for the Finns to stay away from NATO, although of course they are trying to bring them into their circle. They have NATO supporters, but they are few. NATO is a bondage, because it will have to provide its contingent to participate in conflicts and more often in adventures as part of NATO, in different parts of the planet. The Finns are aware of this, and they have no desire to establish NATO orders, and they have no desire to be part of them somewhere in Asia or Africa. Besides, they are not fond of anti-Russian schizophrenia. The Finns are well aware of the capabilities of the RF Armed Forces, and they also live with us in the neighborhood, and not overseas, so it is better to live peacefully than very badly, with closed borders. They are not blind either, they see that we are NOT a border zone with Finland we militarize, then what's the point of waking them up? And it is more profitable for the Finns to maintain their economy in cooperation with us, but with NATO weapons, it is not very promising.
  14. Siberian54
    Siberian54 16 September 2020 15: 54 New
    As long as the Finns have their INDEPENDENT ARMY, any (except for nuclear as a member of NATO) configuration they are in complete military security, since the Russian Federation, as a nuclear power, will by all diplomatic and other means support the country in laying security in the northern direction, as soon as a NATO member IS FORMED IN THIS DIRECTION SO GELSINFORS ARE TARGETING GELSINFORS