Finland & Sweden Join NATO

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Why NATO Countries Say Russia Is Weaponizing Migrants | WSJ​

Mar 4, 2024
Finland closed its border checkpoints with Russia in late 2023 over an influx of migrants. It’s something European leaders have described as an act of “hybrid warfare.”

WSJ’s Ann Simmons explains why Helsinki says Moscow is behind the surge and why European leaders say Russia is weaponizing migration.


An army marches on its stomach: military rations across the Alliance​

How do NATO Allies feed their militaries during operations and exercises that often take them through extreme climates, from snowy mountains to scorching deserts? The right military rations ensure that troops have enough strength and endurance to fulfil all the challenging tasks required – and the best rations remind them of their homelands, serving up some of their favourite meals while they are deployed thousands of miles away from home. Read on to discover the diverse culinary world of NATO military rations!



What Sweden brings to NATO​

The traditionally neutral country has built a formidable military-industrial complex — something that will bolster the alliance as it faces Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sweden is joining NATO, and it's not coming empty-handed.

Sweden's membership is a huge geopolitical boost for NATO. Alliance members now encircle the Baltic Sea (with the exception of the narrow entry to St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad). As well as making life difficult for Russia's Baltic Sea Fleet, it also gives the alliance the ability to monitor critical pipelines and cables beneath the surface.

Sweden is also a pocket military power. Despite a population of only 10 million, and last year spending only 1.54 percent of its GDP on defense, the country's centuries of neutrality have forced it to develop a world-class military-industrial complex.

It makes everything from Saab JAS 39 Gripen single-engine supersonic fighters to Carl Gustav recoilless rifles, AT4 shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons, Gotland-class submarines, and RBS15 anti-ship missiles. It also cooperates with other military producers, with one example being the Stridsvagn 122, the Swedish version of the German Leopard 2 tank.

Sweden first applied for NATO membership in May 2022, along with Finland, just three months after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While Finland successfully joined the alliance in just under a year, Sweden's road to membership was elongated and faced significant opposition from Turkey and Hungary.


Sweden is where all the crazies go for a sex change op.
Some NATO News:



“It’s time for action!” “There could be war in Sweden.” “Who are you if war comes?”

These were the messages and no longer rhetorical questions that Sweden’s top political and military leadership shared at Sweden’s annual security conference in early January 2024. Since 2017, officials have not ruled out the possibility of an armed attack. But restating these challenging questions in such stark terms caused a ripple effect across society, with a slew of headlines such as: “Did the Supreme Commander and government go too far with their warnings?” and “Many children are now afraid of war coming to Sweden”. Supreme Commander Micael Bydén later went onto children’s television programming to reiterate that he was not worried about war coming to Sweden right now, but about the country’s and citizens’ preparedness to respond to crisis or war in the future. Indeed, Sweden is facing the “gravest security crisis since World War II.” As a result, it is not only attempting to rapidly rebuild its military capabilities but its civil defense as well.

Sweden’s civil defense is the counterpart to military defense. Together, they constitute the country’s “total defense,” which draws upon the collective strength of the armed forces, public and private sector, and civil society to withstand crisis or an armed attack. After decades of cuts in defense expenditures in the post-Cold War era, infamously referred as a “strategic time out,” Swedish civil defense is starting from historically low levels. In the face of Russian aggression, Sweden is rediscovering its own total defense culture. Now in NATO, Sweden’s civil defense planning and capabilities can serve as a model for strengthening national and collective resilience across the alliance.


NATO should form a trading bloc and use a common gold backed currency, but keep the politics out.

Pentagon’s Upcoming New Arctic Strategy: "We Talk To Norway, Finland, and Sweden a Lot"​

Washington D.C. (High North News): The US DoD's new Arctic strategy is right around the corner. It has been designed in close dialogue with allies – not least the Northern Nordics, says Deputy Assistant Secretary Iris Ferguson. She expresses admiration for Norway's 'double strategy' on balancing deterrence and reassurance in the North.

Norwegian version.

An important release in the field of Arctic defense is in the works.

“We have been working on the Arctic strategy for almost a year and are now very close to the finish line. We have a springtime frame," says Iris Ferguson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the US Department of Defense (DoD), to High North News.

She heads the DoD's Arctic Strategy and Global Resilience Office, which was established in the fall of 2022. An update of the department's current Arctic strategy from 2019 was announced last spring.

“The process has taken so long partially because we have taken a really concerted approach. We have worked with our allies and partners from the very beginning as we have drafted the strategy," says Ferguson and elaborates:

“After launching the office, we quickly set out to visit all the like-minded Arctic nations to hear from the capitals themselves about what they are thinking around priorities for the Arctic region and the various security interests that they have.”

“So, we have been doing a lot of signals checking with our allies and partners. They are a very significant focus in the strategy; our approach is to act in alignment, together and through them.”



Norway to hike defense spendings in mid-year revised budget​

The Government on Thursday added 7 billion kroner (€590 million) to Norway’s defense budget for 2024.

“This is for expenditures that can’t wait,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press-briefing in Oslo.

“Buildings, facilities, maintenance, air defense and ammunitions,” Støre elaborated. Money will be made available for more training, exercises and operations for the second half of 2024.



Defending NATO borders in Eastern Europe | DW Documentary​

55 minutes ago #documentary #dwdocumentary

Keeping the war in eastern Europe away from NATO borders is one of the German Bundeswehr’s jobs. An armored battalion from Thuringia is one of the spearheads of NATO’s rapid reaction force responsible for defending member nation Lithuania, in the event of an emergency.

"The squad can fight any opponent. But I hope it’ll never have to do that.” This is how the commander of the 10th Armored Division of the Bundeswehr, Major General Ruprecht von Butler, assessed the performance of the Thuringian armored unit after inspecting their exercises on Lüneburg Heath.
The armored battalion 393 from Bad Frankenhausen carried out a combat shooting exercise over several days, here. They used 30 modern Leopard 2 main battle tanks, supported by 14 Puma infantry fighting vehicles from a Bavarian battalion. The General’s praise was aimed at the core fighting force of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). This must be ready for fast deployment: They have two to seven days to be ready to counter a potential aggressor anywhere in the Alliance’s territory. The task force numbers some 10,000 soldiers from eight NATO states - among them many from Thuringia and Saxony.
The film observes the task force during their training exercises in Germany. The film also records a NATO maneuver in May 2023, on the Italian island of Sardinia. But attention is being drawn to eastern Europe . That region is the focus for NATO strategists. This is due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, a conflict that’s now been going on for more than two years. Here on the eastern flank - NATO’s official name for the region - armored infantry from Bad Salzungen in Thuringia have been deployed since mid-2023. They’re part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence or EFP battlegroup responsible for defending the Baltic country of Lithuania.


Sweden’s NATO Membership Unlocks the Baltic Sea for Alliance, Ends 200 Years of Neutrality​

STOCKHOLM – Two months into its membership in NATO, Sweden is retooling its defense after 200 years of military neutrality.

Not since Napoleon’s 1812 campaign in Russia has Sweden formally allied militarily with another country, Minister of Defense Pål Jonson told reporters earlier this month. Since the eve of World War II, Stockholm used a porcupine strategy of “armed neutrality” relying on the country’s indigenous defense, aerospace and shipbuilding industries to ward off Russian aggression. That changed after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“Going into an alliance is of course a big change. Policy-wise it’s a big change, mentally it’s a big change,” Jonson told reporters at defense firm Saab’s headquarters. “And [we have] to remember that we’re not necessarily going to be defending Sweden from inside Sweden, but from a distance, and we’re going to be doing it as a solidaric ally.”

Now NATO planners can use what was “white space” on their maps to craft a unified defense of the Nordic region, Sweden’s deputy chief of defense staff Rear Adm. Jens Nykvist told reporters. Sweden also brings more than a hundred years of experience operating submarines in the Baltic Sea – the doorway to Russia’s largest port of Saint Petersburg, Nykvist said.


Quick, easy opinion piece read. Contains interesting links.

In explaining NATO to the American people in a March 1949 radio address, Secretary of State Dean Acheson asked “will the treaty accomplish its purpose?” “No one can say with certainty,” he answered, “We can only act on our convictions.” And Acheson was convinced that NATO was essential for the “restoration of the economic and political health of the world.”

From the outset of the Cold War, this link between economic stability and security was not only pivotal in the formation of NATO but also in Washington’s broader strategy for deterring the Soviet Union. Acheson and his colleagues believed that true international peace and security require not only the absence of military threats but also freedom from economic coercion, political intimidation, and interference in domestic affairs.

WOTR podcast, nothing to see, can listen in one tab, play around the forum in a different tab.


JUNE 7, 2024

Ahead of the NATO Summit in Washington in July, Rick sits down with Katherine Elgin and Alexander Lanoszka to discuss what alliance membership means for Sweden and Finland.



NATO-Jordan statement on the decision to open a NATO Liaison Office in Amman​

Emphasizing the evolving regional and global security landscape, Allies at the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington D.C. adopted an action plan for a stronger, more strategic and result-oriented approach towards its southern neighbourhood. The plan clearly demonstrates NATO’s commitment to reinforcing engagement and cooperation with its partners in the Middle East and North Africa, including through the establishment of its first-ever liaison office in the region, in Amman, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.


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