New Member Finland To Host Powerful NATO Battlegroup

The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Liberty News
- July 15, 2024
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, a progressive host and former press secretary for President Joe Biden, voiced deep concerns this weekend about the climate of fear and violence, supposedly towards journalists, following the near assassination of former President .

During an appearance on ' “” with , Psaki addressed the tension and the possibility of violence in the wake of the assassination attempt. She emphasized that attributing the attack to Democrats and the media only heightens fears and escalates the risk.

ANALYSIS – While Sweden is the latest country to join this March, (after decades of military non-alignment) joined a year ago.

This increased the alliance's border with by more than 800 miles in the European far north, making it the longest NATO border with Russia.

And now, this Nordic powerhouse is on track to become the ninth country since 2017 to host a NATO brigade-sized multinational battlegroup. 

NATO's other eight multinational battlegroups are forward deployed just south in Eastern European countries defending NATO's eastern flank.

These provide a string of multinational NATO defense forces stretching from Estonia in the north down to Bulgaria in the south and include Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. (RELATED: GOP Senator Claims Putin Doesn't Want Ukraine – ‘He's Got Enough Land'

The latest battlegroup could be located just north of Estonia and southern Finland.

But what are these NATO formations and how did they come about?

The battlegroups operate in concert with national home defense forces and are present at all times in the host countries. The existing eight battlegroups are fully combat-capable formations.

The battegroups are not identical; their sizes and compositions are tailored to specific geographic factors and threats.

As one NATO website further explains:

At the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, in response to the increased instability and insecurity along NATO's periphery, Allied Heads of State and Government agreed to establish NATO's forward presence in the northeast and southeast of the Alliance.

This forward presence was first deployed in 2017, with the creation of four multinational battalion-size battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively. In the southeast, a tailored presence on land, at sea and in the air contributed to increased Allied activity in the region, enhancing situational awareness, interoperability and responsiveness.

Following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Allies reinforced the existing battlegroups and agreed to establish four more multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. This has brought the total number of multinational battlegroups to eight, effectively doubled the number of troops on the ground and extended NATO's forward presence along the Alliance's eastern flank – from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south.

At the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, Allies agreed to scale up the multinational battlegroups from battalions to brigade size, where and when required. Allies are now exercising the ability to deploy rapidly available reinforcements in order to expand the battlegroups to brigade-size formations.

Some experts believed Finland would not host a battlegroup since it already has one of the most capable armies in Europe, having never dismantled its defenses unlike most of its European peers.

Among other things, Finland still has military conscription. Some 870,000 Finns aged between 17 and 60 are liable for service in case of need. It also boasts the ‘strongest artillery' capability in Western Europe. (RELATED: Trump Advisors: To Face China, Send Entire Marine Corps, Bring Back The Draft)

The country is ranked 50 of 145 out of the countries rated in the annual Global Firepower review. The nation holds a Power Index score of 0.7967 with a score of 0.0000 being considered exceptional in the GFP assessment.

Recall that the former Soviet Union tried to invade Finland during World War Two, and the USSR paid a very heavy price. Finland's ground, naval and air forces are all trained and equipped with one primary aim – to repel any Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, the decision to add a battlegroup in Finland includes setting up a command unit for land forces.

BNN Bloomberg reported: “NATO's multi corps land component command and the presence of land troops in Finland scaled to fit the security situation create a very strong deterrence and defense in Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea and the whole of NATO,” Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen said.

Hakkanen added that the Finnish NATO command will have as a task to direct land warfare operations in northern Europe and in Scandinavia.

He declined to reveal the exact location of the command or how many NATO troops would be placed in Finland, saying detailed planning was still ongoing.

As part of NATO's new command structure all Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) would fall under the U.S. based Joint Force Command Norfolk, which is oriented to the North Atlantic defense.

This, instead of new members Finland and Sweden remaining under NATO's east-oriented Brunssum command in the Netherlands, Hakkanen noted.

The move is intended to forge closer defense ties directly with the United States as well as NATO.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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