Breaking the Nordic Defense Deadlock

Breaking the Nordic Defense Deadlock
Breaking the Nordic Defense Deadlock
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Russian actions in Ukraine in 2014 have prompted an urgent reassessment of the defense posture of many European nations. The Nordic states (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland) in particular are grappling with a 2-decade legacy of defense drawdowns and repositioning for expeditionary warfare. The challenge for these nations is how to resurrect a credible military deterrent in the face of continuing Russian assertiveness. One attractive option is closer defense cooperation between the Nordic states, but moves in this direction are slow and faltering. Political complications include the deeply ambivalent attitude of Sweden and Finland to the prospect of NATO membership. In this monograph, two leading Nordic defense experts assess the progress of cooperation to date, both within the region and externally with the United States, and offer specific recommendations for urgently enhancing both.

STEFAN FORSS is a senior scientist and highly experienced defense researcher. Professor Forss joined the Finnish Technical Research Centre (VTT), where he eventually became Chief  scientist. In 2005, he moved to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Policy and Research Unit, attached to the National Defence University, where he advised on arms control and the security policy implications of new weapons and weapon systems. After retirement from government  service in 2012, he has continued to publish on defense and security topics, including a series of high-profile reports on the implications for the Nordic States of a newly resurgent Russia. His title of Professor was awarded by the President of Finland in May 2014 in recognition of a distinguished career spanning 4 decades. Professor Forss holds a Ph.D. in physics from  Helsinki University.

PEKKA HOLOPAINEN served with the Uusimaa Jaeger (Light Mechanised Infantry) Battalion. In 1997, he took command of the Infantry Battalion in the Karelia Brigade, and 1 year later was appointed Chief of Staff of the brigade. He returned to Helsinki in 2001 and became Director of the Department of Education in the National Defence College. After a series of staff posts, he was nominated Director of the Department  of Strategic and Defence Studies, Finnish National Defence University. Colonel (Ret.) Holopainen’s   overseas assignments included Chief J9 at the HQ Kosovo Force, Chief of the Force Capability Unit, European Union Military Staff, and Deputy Chief Military Observer and the Deputy Head of Mission in the United Nation’s Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.  Colonel Holopainen graduated from the Military Academy (The Finnish Cadet School), completed the General Staff Officer Course at the U.S. Army War College, National Defense Course, and the Senior Command Course, National Defense College. He holds an MA in defence and security analysis from Lancaster University, UK, and an M.Sc. in social science (recent political history) from Helsinki University. His awards include Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland, Freedom Cross 2nd Class, and the Medal of Military Merit as well as Commander of the Order of the Eagle of Estonia.

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World War II and Cold War enthusiasts, military historians,  political scientists, American diplomats, and policy makers can benefit from the history and recommendations by the authors to improve diplomatic relations with these Nordic countries as a way to build a coalition to underwrite regional security and to better understand Russia’s intentions and capabilities. Masters program students may be interested in this text for continued research on the roles of NATO and its members, as well as greater understanding of building allies across the globe to strengthen America’s strategic security missions worldwide.

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Defense Dept., Army, Strategic Studies Institute; and Army War College
  • Forss, Stefan
Back cover has a barcode and 3 QR codes.
Key Phrases:
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Scandinavia
  • Security, Internationa, Scandinavia
  • National security, International cooperation
  • Scandinavia, Defenses
  • Sweden, Defense
  • Findland, Defense
  • Norway, Defense
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