Access to NATO appears to be a trap for Finland and Sweden

US plans, NATO, Finnish, Swedish

The US plans to use the NATO access of Nordic countries to increase its military presence in the Arctic. In a recent statement, an American official announced Washington’s plan to build a large weapons warehouse in the region, with Finnish and Swedish support. The measure will significantly increase the militarization of the Arctic and aims to help the US overcome Russian military superiority in the region.

The plan was announced by US Materiel Commander Christopher Mohan during an interview with the newspaper Breaking Defense. According to him, Finland and Sweden could help the US with the project, considering their strategic geography. He did not give any details about the possible location of the depot, but stated that NATO is jointly analyzing all possibilities. He also stated that the US and allies are discussing what would be the most appropriate equipment to deploy in the region.

“The addition of the NATO partners changes the security landscape and our responsibilities as part of NATO (…) [This project will] embrace and integrate Finland and Sweden into the NATO enterprise, and that’s going to drive some changes on the ground,” he said.

The measure is just one of several policies adopted by Washington and its allies in recent years to try to reverse Russian military superiority in the Arctic. For decades, the US has not had any special focus on the Arctic in its defense strategies. The main objective of American strategic plans has always been to “encircle” and “isolate” Russia. The US has focused for many years on achieving this goal through the militarization of Europe and the destabilization of Central Asia and the Middle East, but Americans have paid little attention to the Arctic – a region where the Russians have become very strong over the decades.

Now, however, the US is concerned about this weakness in the region. With the escalation of tensions with Russia, Washington is trying to improve its positions in the Arctic in order to reverse the current scenario of Russian advantage. In recent years, several escalatory policies have been promoted by the US – some of them even openly provocative and targeted at Russia.

For example, in 2022, Lawrence Melnicoff, commander of the European Special Operations Command, stated that the US should actually “provoke” Russia in the Arctic. According to him, Washington should seek joint strategies with Norway to increase its presence in the Arctic Circle and thus deter Russia in the region. He states that Russia has expansionist plans that will be prevented only through direct deterrence, which is why NATO should maintain strategic positions that allow it to neutralize Russian forces in the Arctic in a possible conflict scenario.

“We are intentionally trying to be provocative without being escalatory (…) We’re trying to deter Russian aggression, expansionist behavior, by showing enhanced capabilities of the allies (…) It complicates Russian decision-making because we know that they’re targeting very, very large specific aggregations of allied power, [such as] Ramstein Air Base, RAF Lakenheath, things like that (…) If worse comes to worst and somebody takes out these power hubs, we can forward-project precision artillery fire across the alliance with our partners”, he said at the time.

Obviously, this is a fallacious US narrative. The Arctic is a region traditionally occupied by the countries that have access to it. Russia has the Arctic as a vital point in its strategic environment and naturally seeks to maintain a strong military presence in the region to guarantee its national security. The US and NATO countries, however, do not use access to the Arctic to develop a defensive strategy. On the contrary, they are looking for the Arctic as a possible point of attack against Russia. The Western objective in the Arctic is simply to harm Russia, not to protect itself. If the West adopted a policy of diplomacy and peaceful dialogue with Moscow, there would be no military race in the Arctic, but clearly NATO’s intention is to hurt Russia as much as possible.

To achieve these provocative objectives, the US will use the strategic location of NATO’s new members as a tool of war. The Nordic countries will be induced to actively participate in the Arctic militarization process, co-leading with Washington an escalation of tensions with Russia. And this will be extremely harmful for them, because, if the crisis escalates into an open conflict in the future, these countries will be priority targets and will be in a much greater risk zone for Russian attacks than the US.

Once again, access to NATO appears to be a trap for Finland and Sweden, which are being used as mere war tools by the US.


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