[…] While enlarging NATO might seem like a wise thing to do in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it doesn’t take much sober analysis to conclude that adding yet more NATO members is likely to have the opposite effect of what the secretary general hopes.
Instead of lowering the chances of war, the membership of Finland and Sweden would increase the risk of future conflict for the entire alliance; adding two more triggers for Article 5 — the provision in the NATO charter that stipulates that an attack on one is an attack on all — would add to the risk of war for the entire alliance. That would be an unwise course in any case, but it’s particularly ill-advised given that it would make Finland and Sweden more vulnerable, as well.
Russia poses no realistic threat to Sweden or Finland. Since World War II, Russia hasn’t exhibited the slightest interest in territorial acquisition in either country, and in fact, Finland and Russia were on friendly terms during the Cold War. In contrast, Russia was consistently and emphatically clear for 15 years that it regarded any NATO expansion along its border in either Ukraine or Georgia as an existential threat that it would use force to prevent — and in fact has done so twice (Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014). Thus Georgia and Ukraine had reason to fear a Russian attack. Finland and Sweden don’t. […]
If the two became NATO members and the alliance went to war with Russia in the future, both countries would be thrust almost immediately into an armed conflict whether they wanted to be or not — and even if their national interests weren’t otherwise threatened. Given their status as NATO members, the Kremlin would almost certainly attack airfields and ports in both countries to prevent other allies from using their facilities to stage attacks against Russia. Läs artikel