There was a bit of a news yesterday in Finnish press about aforementioned report or more of a list of recommended steps to be taken to safeguard Baltic NATO members. In Republic the news mostly concentrated on Russia’s military drills of snatching Åland, Gotland and Bornholm islands in Baltic sea to make NATO support operations in Baltic states impossible or at least extremely costly. You can find the report HERE
Mr Edward Lucas makes quite a good read, and I heartily recommend everyone to take the 30 mins off their days and read thorough it. NBP9 was a term I ran into the first time, and as mr Lucas points out, there are so many division lines between these 9 nations, that I feel the term maybe tries to simplify diverse situation, but hardly clarifies it. But this is just my humble opinion.
CEPA report also brings into fore “reservist letters” that have been send in May 2015 and sees that there is a connection between Russian posturing and and these letters. It seems that initial decision was made already in 2010, And as a recipient of one of those letters, it was indeed nice to know that my placing had not changed after last I was refreshed. But generally all resently refreshed placed reservist knew this, so it is not really to let them know about wartime duties as such, but more of a way of letting people know what has happened to them in Reductions of force since 1990’ies. RIFs have taken down the force from about 700 000 to meagre 230 000 of today. BUT Finland is in good situation, as the buildup can be achived simply by getting more equipment: All the personnel have been trained in any case. All the companies situated in Finland are now getting same type of “reservist letter”, to let them know what would their fate would be in crisis situation.
Another point one thought would have raised voices in Republic was the notion, that FIN and SWE should take hand in defense of Baltic States even if not belonging to NATO. And to stockpile arms and ammo “in situ” to facilitate rapid movement of troops to help. BUT with Swedens 50 000 soldiers and 230 000 “taistelija”s from FDF one would think that there is not much to spare from action taking place in respective countries. But as pointed out: Finns have the beef, just equipment is really needed, all new can be trained in few short weeks.
One would still have to take into account that unlike SWE, who is fully NATO compatiable, Finland is on the whole not. For example FDF small arms use 7,62×39 and 7,62x54R arms, so Finalnd would have to change the small arm family. This is a bit overdue anyway, so I would see this as a good step forward. Not that I think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the current small arms family.
Situation of Lihuania, Latvia and Estonia is indeed precarious, and with their largish Russian minorities they are almost instantly “hybridwarred”. There are no such minorities in Finland, but lax Finnish land purchase laws have created loophole which SVR has been able to use and buy land new Army and Air force bases and depots. Airiston Helmi-company that has had no revenues, at least above board, has bee an example of this preparation on future war in Finland. This company has bought ex Finnish navy ships, that retain navy painting scheme, and land close by Finland’s most vital sea lane to Oil harbor in Naantali. A tourist company, without for example an internet presence? Give me a break!
On the other hand, Russia has made small noice about “Finnish backed separatists” in Karelia. for example here and here (in Finnish) This has maybe escaped mr Lucas, but there has been at least two peaces about it in last winter. Nothing for at least two months, but that might only be that they have been buried in other news coming From RU. But I see this as a building of narrative for future: If something happens say 2017, you can point out that there has been talking of it at least 2014. So all in all Lucase’s co-operation between clandestine services would be smart move as well.
So all in all. CEPA report was a good read. and If we in NBP9 let Putin stay on his game, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will become mutilated nations hampered by foreighn power, Finland will go back to Finnlandisierung and Sweden cannot cope with her internal and external problems, but will haveto succumb to Russian influence as well to some extent. Poland MIGHT retain something.
So my brothers in NBP9, When do we train together?