First a personal note: One of my profession’s has drawbacks are the hectic times of May and December, and thus I have been unable to blog for some time. Fortunately there came a bit of time that I could indulge myself in Security issues. things will ease up in a week or so… So to get it out of my system: “Conservatives have saved Finland, this time” On a whole finns are a bit distrusting folk: For example if a member of fairer sex approaches Yours Truly and starts to strike up a non professional conversation, aforementioned yours truly just wonders what the hell the woman wants. And hopes that non-combatant lowed one sees the exhange. This distrust has been present in all the former Warsaw Pact countries as well. Difference is that old WP countries did a the smart thing and Joined NATO as soon as they could, when Sweden and Finland, somewhat heady because of free breese after “good olde USSR” had collapsed, did not. They did join up in EU tough. After this Sweden and Finland have taken a bit different paths conserning the defence of the realm. Sweden decided to build up armed forces that will do wery well in all bushwars in Africa and succeed in anti-piracy missions in Indian Ocean, but Finns were still concerned about total war and defence of Finland. This is not to say, that Foreighn Politics weenies didn’t want to take FDF down that road as well. Fortunately train didn’t take off as fast as it did in Sweden. Thoug former XO of Armored Brigade Kantakoski saw that real capabilities of defence had been given up in order to get into chrisis management gigs abroad. This seems to be true, as assault rifles that go to Afganistan are picked up from conscript training in order to make contigent there to look more aggressive. It certainly seems that Finland indeed needs to see to the issue of new assault rifle soonest. Also at that time (late 90’ies- early 00’s) Social democrat Partys PM wanted to trash the Armored force and get Air Mobile batallion. This fortunately didn’t really materialize, as someone counted that transports needed Assault helos to support them, and “economics weren’t there”. But the brigades were dismanteled and now army has two “mechanized units” not really same thing at all. In 1990 Finland bought from Germany old East German NVA equipment. SP guns, T-72 tanks, MT-LBVs and so fort. At this time Finland had two armored brigades. T-72 tanks has beem since phased out as Finns managed to buy 124 Leopard II A4 in around 2005, and thus coould change over to western equipment. So one can safely say that Finland , maybe more than anyone else, profited from West European NATO coutries disarmament. Nederlands has indeed been a wery good place to stop by as they sold us MLRS system and another 120 LEO II A6 tanks. so there would be enought LEOs to arm two brigades. And Holland has started to regret their selling off their armored corps. But the Dutch need not worry! Tanks will be used against the same enemy anyhow!
Norway sold Bandwagns with nice price as well, so one cant complain too much about equipment side of things. BUT There has been VERY SERIOUS neglects in other areas: The foreigh Policy geegs managed to get finland into Ottawa treaty, you know the one that some former princess starred for to get nobel price or something else to that effect. So Finland has destroyed anti personnel mines, for some unmaterialized “foreighn policy good”. Everybody knew thre would not be enought money to purchase the systmes army would need to make good of the cababilites fall caused by this tresonous joining in a treaty that only serves the purpose of making invasions easier for the powers that are more than smart enought to join in such “feel good” treaties liberals and lefties so dearly love. The field army has been driven down fron 700 000 in 1990 to 350 000 in around 2005 to 237 000 today. Reason given was that Army could not equip people sufficently with monies given. Well not even this too small force isn’t getting the equipment they are needing to be efficent in wartime situations. Other neglected part of total defence is refresment trainings: even the 230 000+ guys arent being trained enough to be able fight efficently. Refresher days are at below rock bottom. They should be up begining from 2015, but I am not convinced this will happen. Situation is so bad that even conscript training cuts into wartime ammunition and equipment. One has to wonder how future will pan out as Navy needs to replace two ship classes, at about billion, or milliard Euros and new fighter planes for Air Force at abou 10 miliards. Sipilä government will start the AF new fighter program, but may even see first of the new Navy ships at sea. So defence spending will have to climb up from the abyss of 1,29% of GBD to at least 2% but should climb into 2,5-3% region to make up for old neclects. Lets hope Sipilä Government does the right thing.