Breaking the Nordic Defense Deadlock
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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The Nordic states, just as other regions of Europe which neighbor Russia, are engaged in an urgent reexamination of their security and defense posture. Events in Ukraine in early-2014 threw into sharp focus a local lack of capability following decades of drawdowns and focus on crisis management operations instead of territorial defense. After an unpleasant awakening, countries in the region have turned their attention to the heightened security risks they face and their lack of preparedness for them. In an era of continuing austerity, the challenge for these states is how to design a working security and defense solution in the short and medium term which is both robust enough to survive in isolation, but also capable of being merged into a bigger framework such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO when the time is ripe. This would serve not just local, but also U.S. interests in safeguarding local allies and partners while limiting the need for permanent presence in the region. Deeper defense cooperation between the Nordic countries is an essential part of this solution. This monograph, by two highly experienced Finnish defense researchers with unparalleled expertise in assessing the problems posed by Russia as a neighbor, evaluates the options open to the Nordic region. It reviews both the opportunities available for regional cooperation as well as ones from the past which have been missed, and the scope for enhanced engagement with the United States both within the framework of NATO and beyond.
- Government and Political Science