Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Greenland are central to the defense of NATO member states.
Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is visiting Helsinki, and it is expected that he will have “big news” at his press conference in Finland, NATO’s newest member state. It is likely that he will somehow twist Turkey’s arm so that Sweden can become the newest NATO member country, writes Desiree Ohrbeck. Archive photo : Lehtikuva
“If the Russians invade, you must come over here as soon as possible.” This is what my grandmother wrote home to her mother in Copenhagen in the early 1950s. My maternal grandmother, Else Marie, married a US Air Force Sergeant, Forest Edgar Rhodes, after World War II and traveled with him to Texas, where he was from.
I have transcribed the letters she sent to her mother from 1948-1956. It is a time capsule that sets the mood for the Cold War rhetoric that characterized the time. And that’s the rhetoric I thought of when I read the article ” Arctic Risks Loom Large as Blinken Tours Nato’s North ” in The New York Times yesterday.
Russia is not only at war with Ukraine; the country is at war with most of Europe and with the United States, who sends military equipment to Ukraine. Further, Russia is not only a huge power in Eastern Europe, the country is a power factor in the Nordic region as well as in the Arctic region. They have indicated that it wants to make the Arctic region its “fifth military district”. In other words, a tiny country like Denmark, largely because Greenland is a Danish territory, is an important strategic and geographical player on a stage that may look dystopian in the coming years.
Global warming is melting the icecaps and opening new routes for trade – and for the territorial expansion ambitions of military superpowers. Russia has intentions of dominating the Nordic region, and China aspires to gain resources and create a new Arctic silk route by trying to buy ports in Finland and mines in Greenland. It was, among other things, in response to this, Trump wanted to buy Greenland.
We will not see the Chinese arriving to Europe in small dingy boats in Southern Europe, but with huge icebreakers via the Arctic.
All this leads to the conclusion, that it is not solely because of the war in Ukraine that Finland and Sweden will be important NATO state members.
Today, Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is in Norway meeting with other NATO members. He is also visiting Helsinki, Finland, NATO´s newest member state member. It is expected that he will have “big news” at his press conference in the country on Friday. I wonder if he has come up with a way to twist Turkey’s arm so that Sweden can become the newest NATO member country?
I remember the fear of the Cold War era as a child in the 1980s. Russia could at any point “press the button”. So could the United States. I remember the knot in my stomach when my mother took me and my younger siblings to protest in a small suburb of Aarhus.
Cold War rhetoric is back. As the ice melts, the icy winds of a new Cold War blow. Military planning and access to resources is the focal point.
Russia has nuclear-armed submarines, an air force, its Nordic fleet, and nuclear missiles close to the Finnish border. In response to Russia’s aggression, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have decided to share air forces. That means that they now have an air fleet larger than both England’s and France’s.
Perhaps it is the military threat from Russia that will finally make decision makers take global warming seriously and understand that it is a matter of life or death – whether it be from a military threat or from melting poles?
Russerne kommer – klimapolitik er storpolitisk forsvarspolitik
Danmark, Norge, Sverige, Finland – og Grønland er centrale i forsvaret af Nato-medlemslande.