Remember that crushing victory by the Finns over Russia? Yeah, neither do I. Wikipedia offers this pithy summary:
Finland fought two wars against the Soviet Union during World War II: the Winter War and the Continuation War. The Finns suffered 89,108 dead or missing military personnel during these wars but inflicted severe casualties on the Soviet Union: 126,875–167,976 dead or missing during the Winter War and 250,000–305,000 dead or missing during the Continuation War. Finland ceded 11% of its territory – including the major city Vyborg – to the Soviet Union, but prevented the Soviets from annexing Finland into the USSR. Of all the continental European nations combating, as part of World War II, Helsinki and Moscow were the only capitals not occupied.
Prior to Finland’s decision to court or be courted by NATO, Finland was not a threat to Russia and Russia did not treat it as a threat. Finland is a tiny (population wise), grey country. It is economically unimportant. Here are its top ten exports (and the bulk of these went to Europe):
- Machinery including computers: US$9.7 billion (14.7% of total exports)
- Paper, paper items: $7.3 billion (11.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $5.6 billion (8.5%)
- Vehicles: $5 billion (7.5%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $4.9 billion (7.5%)
- Iron, steel: $4.1 billion (6.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $3.3 billion (4.9%)
- Wood: $2.9 billion (4.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.3 billion (3.5%)
- Woodpulp: $2.2 billion (3.3%)
Come to think of it, with Europe’s decision to cut itself off from Russian oil and gas, that wood from Finland may come in handy for building fires to heat bath water.
In 2020, Finland’s exports were valued at 66 billion dollars. You understand what a relatively paltry figure that is when you consider that the United States is proposing 40 billion dollars to try to prop up the failing Ukrainian military.
Finland’s military–25,000 personnel–is the equivalent of two U.S. military divisions. Just enough soldiers to justify future NATO training exercises and command positions for western officers looking to punch a ticket to get promoted.
From NATO’s perspective, Finland is just another sucker to be enlisted as a buyer of Western military gear. Finland’s role in NATO, if it comes to pass, is simple and stark–create a trip wire on Russia’s border for starting a nuclear world war. If you are comfortable with that I think you are a moron. But on the bright side, your status as a moron qualifies you to serve in NATO’s leadership.