Military strategic aspects of Nordic security environment changes –identifying common Nordic strategic challenges

FFI-Report 2021

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21/01665

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978-82-464-3372-1

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1.2 MB

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Tore Nyhamar
The study compares the strategic military challenges of the Nordic countries. The challenges identified by the Nordic states are remarkably similar – among the most similar of any given group in the world. First, the security situation has deteriorated. The possibility of a military attack has increased, and no country is longer willing to rule out that possibility. Second, the more challenging security environment includes a greater risk of military pressure to influence the policies of the Nordic countries. Third, all Nordic countries believe that the security environment has become more complex. In addition to conventional military threats, all believe that cyber-attacks against infrastructure and information operations against society now have become a part of the security environment. All identify Russia and Russian actions since 2014 as the driver of their more demanding security environment. All Nordic states currently aim to increase deterrence, and see more Nordic military cooperation as a useful, feasible way to do so. Nordic cooperation will increase deterrence by (1) increasing political fall-out for a potential aggressor; (2) forcing the aggressor to face larger numbers of weapons in the air, at sea or on land; (3) pose the additional challenge of different weapons systems and (4) differences within the same weapons systems. The report supports the explanation that Nordic cooperation has moved from being driven by economics to be driven by security. The shift from economics to security also implies a shift from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach between the armed forces of the respective states. NORDEFCO has benefitted. The report concludes that the bottom-up approach is successful because it is helpful in building security, and argues that NORDEFCO therefore should continue to assist all cooperative efforts. Finally, the report turns to potential weaknesses with the bottom-up approach. First, it does not address the need to develop large-scale capacity to receive allied military reinforcements for the Nordic region as a single strategic space. The Nordic countries all recognize the need to develop host nation capacity that match their strategic needs, but at the practical level relatively little happens. The report thus set forth a scenario – receiving an American Marine Expeditionary Force – to fill this lacuna. Note, however, that this scenario demands capabilities that generally deter and aid in warfighting outside the scenario as well. Developing these capabilities are useful for all common Nordic strategic challenges in the current security environment, and not limited to the specifics of the proposed scenario.

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1427

About publication

Report number

21/01665

ISBN

978-82-464-3372-1

Format

PDF-document

Size

1.2 MB

Download publication

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