Commentary: Finland and Sweden joining NATO is a greater security dilemma than solution,

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, professor of war studies and Azal Ashraf, lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Loughborough University.

The Kremlin has issued an ominous warning to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) about the consequences for the Baltic if it allows Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, as has been widely reported.

Dmitry Medvedev, a former president and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: ”There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic – the balance must be restored. Until today, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to”. […]

But the move to join NATO carries risks for both states, which have maintained a delicate balance of sitting with the West while not antagonising their powerful neighbour. Indeed, the two Scandinavian countries joining NATO provides more of a security dilemma than it does a security solution.

The idea of a “security dilemma” was identified by American Cold War scholar John Herz in 1951. When weaker states seek to increase their power to balance a stronger state, as the Scandinavians are planning to by joining NATO, the stronger state (Russia in this case) will likely consider this a threat and then respond accordingly. […]

Non-alignment has historically meant the ability to stand aside from any such confrontation and protect specific national interests away from a broader global game. That status has permitted Sweden and Finland, as well as countries such as Austria, to remain staunchly independent.

To relinquish that status will transform Scandinavia and take NATO even closer to confrontation with Russia. Läs artikel