Finland’s accession to NATO should mark a turning point for European defense –

Finland officially joined the NATO alliance last week with great fanfare after a year-long accession process marked by a distinct lack of debate. The Nordic country, nestled between Sweden and Russia, has long advocated a neutral foreign policy, but when Russian forces crossed Ukraine’s eastern border in February 2022, public opinion in Finland shifted dramatically towards support for membership in NATO. While Finns may believe that this decision bolsters their national security, Americans should ask themselves how defending another European ally, particularly one that shares an 830-mile border with Russia, is in the United States’ interest.

One would think that the consequent decision to send US troops to fight and die for another country would merit a rigorous debate in Congress. Yet that debate was virtually nonexistent last summer when the proposal was brought to the floor of the Senate, with only one senator, Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), voting against further NATO expansion. With Finland now firmly under NATO’s Article 5 guarantee that an attack on one member is an attack on all members, the best strategic outcome for the United States is to use this moment as a turning point to transform a transatlantic relationship. unilateral. to be more equitable.

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