There is a sad and rather pathetic irony about the expected application of Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a military superpower, it occupied most of central Europe, its troops were stationed in the heart of Germany, and Soviet Communism— for a while at least — seemed to be a genuine threat to Western capitalist democracy. Throughout those decades however, Finland and Sweden remained officially neutral. […]
Since the end of the Cold War, Russia retreated a thousand miles to the east while NATO and the EU expanded hugely. Today, Russia’s ground forces are in the process of demonstrating in Ukraine that they are incapable of posing any serious threat to NATO or Scandinavia. Nor did they really do so previously. To get at Sweden, Russia would have to cross either Finland or the Baltic Sea. And both during and after the Cold War, Moscow never threatened Finland. The Soviet Union strictly respected the terms of its treaty with Finland. It even withdrew from a military base there that by treaty it could have held for another forty years. […]
On the other hand, the complete expulsion of Russia from European structures — so long the open aim of America and NATO — may in the longer term make Russia completely strategically dependent on China and bring the Chinese superpower to the very eastern borders of Europe. That would be an ironic but not undeserved reward for European strategic fatuity. One might even find it amusing — if one were not a European. Läs artikel