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NATO may turn into a trap to Sweden and Finland

NATO, Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, Yugoslavia, Baltics

Opinion

NATO may turn into a trap to Sweden and Finland

NATO invasions across the Middle East, always euphemistically dubbed “humanitarian interventions”, stand as a grisly testament. Writes Drago Bosnic

NATO expansion has been the main culprit behind all instability in Europe for the last 30+ years. Of course, NATO’s aggression against many countries, either as an organization, or separately, by each of its member states resulted in the deaths of millions, with orders of magnitude more of those whose lives may not have been physically lost, but they certainly have been ruined by the Alliance’s actions. The absolute havoc and the trail of death and destruction left in the wake of NATO invasions across the Middle East, always euphemistically dubbed “humanitarian interventions“, stand as a grisly testament to that.

The expansion of this supposedly “defensive alliance” which has not conducted a single truly defensive operation in well over 70 years of its existence, has first destroyed the relatively prosperous Yugoslavia, which was subjected to nearly a decade-long siege throughout the 1990s. During the 2000s, Russia’s attempts to create an atmosphere of trust and cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance have been futile. No matter what Russia did, the alliance kept creeping closer to its borders. By the early 2010s, it was clear that NATO had no intention of stopping. The conflict in Ukraine is NATO’s latest brainchild, although there has hardly been any actual thinking behind it. It has been more like bulldozing its way towards Russia.

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The last 8 years have shown where all this leads to, with the last nearly 2 months reaching a boiling point between the Russian Federation and the ever increasingly belligerent alliance. A recent announcement by both Sweden and Finland that they feel supposedly “threatened” and that they are very likely to enter NATO seems rather strange, especially given that they did not officially join NATO during the Cold War, when the USSR had undisputed control over the Baltic region.

An obvious question arises, why would Sweden and Finland feel threatened now, when the strategic situation has all but reversed, with Russia’s presence in the Baltics limited to relatively tiny areas around Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad? It’s quite obvious that this can only be seen as another encroachment on Russia’s borders, another part of NATO’s larger geopolitical offensive. Still, although it may seem that NATO’s further expansion into Scandinavia is going to jeopardize Russia’s northwestern areas, Russia doesn’t seem particularly fazed by this prospect. While certainly not happy with this turn of events, Russia’s decision makers and strategic planners aren’t exactly pulling their hair out and running in circles over this.

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First, it should be understood that both Sweden and Finland are neutral countries in name only. During the Cold War, both Scandinavian countries served as a hotbed of NATO intelligence activities, with the CIA and MI6 operating extensively in both countries. Soviet and later Russian intelligence were well aware of this.

During the 1990s, this became even more prominent, when both countries entered the EU, but also increased their official cooperation and interoperability with NATO. Naturally, over the years, this cooperation grew to unprecedented levels and the Russian military acted accordingly. The strategic military command structures in the Kremlin have treated both countries as de facto NATO member states for decades.

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This is especially true for Finland, particularly after it announced it will be acquiring at least 65 F-35A fighter jets from the US military industrial giant Lockheed Martin. This jet, despite hundreds if not thousands of critical flaws and other shortcomings, is a serious ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) asset. The jet is bristling with sensors, all of which are connected to a massive network-centric warfare system, the center of which is located in the Pentagon. By operating this jet, Finland is effectively giving up on the sovereignty over its own air force and ceding it to the United States.

The Russian military is perfectly aware of this and has already made plans to react accordingly. Earlier, Finland’s official neutrality from a military standpoint complicated this. But now, rather ironically, the Scandinavian country might even make things easier for Russia’s strategic military planning by joining the ever expanding “defensive” alliance.

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However, does this change anything for Finland and Sweden? Will NATO really make both countries safer? The short answer is simply no. By joining the North Atlantic Alliance, countries effectively cede much of their sovereignty to the US. Given the US’ strategic obsession with encircling Russia, the Kremlin feels strongly about this matter and it simply doesn’t take any chances.

Thus, the only “benefit” Sweden and Finland get is becoming meat shields for the US in the case of a nuclear exchange, because Russia is simply going to dedicate a portion of its thermonuclear arsenal to these countries. And if Russia doesn’t have a shortage of something, it’s nuclear weapons. Given the US’ and NATO’s track record, who is to blame then?

Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst.

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Blitz’s Editorial Board is not responsible for the stories published under this byline. This includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on BLiTZ

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