Suomen Nato-jäsenyys: hyöty-kustannusnäkökulma

  • Vesa Kanniainen


The defence strategy of Finland has been based on creating a credible deterrence for the pressure of its big neighbor. The means have included an appropriate foreign policy stance, maintenance of a draft army, acquiring modern defence materiel, participation in the peace partnership and in a host country agreement with Nato, involvement in an international defence cooperation with the major Western countries and most recently active cooperation with Sweden in defence matters. This article introduces a benefit-cost analysis of the potential membership of Finland in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Nato. The article claims that the option of joining Nato exists for Finland although


such an option is not formally introduced in terms of any contract. Access to such an option is supported by statements expressed by several Nato officers welcoming Finland as a new member. Such an invitation is rationalized here in terms of the value of Finland (and Sweden) in helping to secure the defence of the Baltic states. Nato, however, faces a number of structural weaknesses, including the requirement of unanimity in its decision-making. As a defence organization, Nato has to rely on the capacity of its member states. In addition, the risk classes of its member states differ in regards to their security. Fatally and therefore, the membership in an alliance gives rise to a free-riding incentive. Finally, the outspoken policy of the current US administration is to question the commitment of the United States in their support of Europe. This article claims that the membership option should be evaluated in terms of a benefit- cost analysis. Membership gives rise to security benefits but these come at a price. Making the Baltic Sea an inner sea of the Nato sea would result in a significant disturbance in the status quo in the area. The anticipated Russian response would involve building additional military capacity in the area. The commitment to defending the Baltic states is a costly one for a member. Moreover, Russia could take actions to limit the economic cooperation. Finally, Russia could take revenge by opening its borders allowing its foreign population to migrate over into Finland. This would result in a potentially dramatic impact on Finnish society. In conclusion, it seems optimal for Finland to recognize the existence of the membership option but to leave it unexercised as long as Russia itself does not itself disturb the status quo.

Kanniainen, V. (2020). Suomen Nato-jäsenyys: hyöty-kustannusnäkökulma. Tiede Ja Ase, 2020(78). Noudettu osoitteesta