Tuomioja’s alternative to appease Finns and Swedes’ artificially manufactured support of NATO membership through the regional alliance compromise that he proposed – including through the US’ potential role as a third party within it – could present a “face-saving” exit from this security dilemma if it comes to pass. It would fall just short of crossing Russia’s national security red lines but would also somewhat formalize the US’ already existing military influence over their countries.
Non-NATO countries Finland and Sweden are reportedly preparing to apply for membership in this anti-Russian military bloc by sometime this summer according to a scandalous report from The Times that was released over the weekend. Whether credible or not, such chatter isn’t surprising since there’s been a strong movement in that direction over the last decade, which the author most recently wrote about late last year in his piece about how “The Spectre Of ‘Shadow NATO’ Hangs Heavy Over ‘Greater Scandinavia’”. This US-led organization already de facto includes those two within its ranks, but their formal membership and subsequent inclusion under America’s nuclear umbrella risks crossing yet another one of Russia’s regional national security red lines, hence the concern over this scenario.
That being the case, Sputnik published an intriguing piece on Monday that deserves to be read by those who’ve been following this issue in recent months. Titled “Finnish Foreign Policy Heavyweight Touts Alliance With Sweden as Alternative to NATO Membership”, the outlet reported on former Foreign Minister and heavyweight Social Democrat Erkki Tuomioja’s recent interview with local media. This politician is also deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a member of the Defence Committee, and the leader of the Social Democrats’ working group on defence issues, hence their description of him as a “Finnish foreign policy heavyweight”. He proposed a Finnish-Swedish alliance as an alternative to NATO membership, even suggesting that the US play a third role in this new bloc.
Despite claiming that “We have had digital meetings with the Social Democrats in the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees in both countries. We have taken up the matter and there has been no negative reaction”, this was refuted by both countries’ Defense Ministers. Nevertheless, it remains an intriguing possibility to consider since it could at least theoretically resolve this artificially manufactured dilemma that American strategists have created in recent months as part of their Hybrid War on Russia. The commencement of Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine was exploited by the declining unipolar hegemon’s perception managers to concoct weaponized infowar narratives that served to increase local support for those countries’ potential NATO memberships.
Objectively speaking, there’s no reason why they need to join. Russia isn’t threatening them and they’re already informal members of that bloc anyhow though importantly without the US’ mutual security guarantees. Joining that anti-Russian alliance, however, could result in the placement of US “missile defense” infrastructure and strike missiles along that Eurasian Great Powers’ borders. That would in effect replicate the exact same national security scenario that it felt compelled to kinetically preempt through its special operation in Ukraine, among the other reasons that it decided to commence that campaign. America is keenly aware of this and thus hopes to provoke yet another regional security crisis, including for the purpose of possibly prompting yet another Russian operation to overextend its rival.
The only “winner” in such a scenario would be the US, which would succeed in further dividing-and-ruling Russia and Europe, the latter of which would suffer even more economic and humanitarian consequences if Moscow was compelled to militarily intervene in order to uphold the integrity of its national security red lines. Again, that’s just one scenario among many and shouldn’t be misunderstood by the reader as the author confidently predicting that such a sequence of events will certainly unfold. All that’s being suggested is that it could possibly happen considering the Ukrainian precedent. In any case, the Finns and Swedes would suffer the most, which appears to be the outcome that Tuomioja is expecting and thus possibly why he proposed his creative alternative to NATO membership.
Apart from obtaining formal security guarantees from the US and all that entails with respect to potentially crossing Russia’s national security red lines as was explained (which would truly be a game-changer and the consequences of which shouldn’t be downplayed), it’s pretty much a moot point whether or not Finland and Sweden join NATO since they’re already de facto members through the “Shadow NATO” concept. What this means is that Tuomioja’s alternative to appease Finns and Swedes’ artificially manufactured support of NATO membership through the regional alliance compromise that he proposed – including through the US’ potential role as a third party within it – could indeed present a “face-saving” exit from this security dilemma if it comes to pass.
It would fall just short of crossing Russia’s national security red lines but would also somewhat formalize the US’ already existing military influence over their countries. It would of course be better for the US not to have any official role over their security affairs but it already actually does in practice despite it not being formally recognized. Institutionalizing this reality through his alternative proposal to NATO membership might be enough to calm down those two people’s externally encouraged eagerness to join NATO while “saving face” in a way that doesn’t look like their leaders’ retreated in the face of Russia’s public opposition to them becoming part of that hostile bloc. It remains to be seen whether or not this scenario unfolds, but it’s still worthwhile monitoring considering the high security stakes involved.