By Daniel Larison

Finland and Sweden have broken with their longstanding traditions of neutrality to seek NATO membership, and the U.S. and most other allies are eager to accept them. Like previous rounds of NATO expansion, this one is proceeding without any serious consideration of the possible costs that come from adding new allies.

The last thing that the US needs more than thirty years after the end of the Cold War is to be devoting more attention and resources to European security when European countries are more than capable of providing for their own defense. Adding two more security commitments in Europe makes no sense for US interests.

Doing this will also discourage European allies from taking greater responsibility for themselves. There ought to be no further NATO expansion in any direction, and the US should be shifting the burden for European security to the wealthy allies that can easily afford it.

The odd thing about the sudden clamor for admitting Finland and Sweden is that they are far more secure today than they were at any point during the Cold War. Whatever threat they might have faced from Russia is much smaller than they previously thought. If Russian forces have had this much difficulty in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden are in no immediate danger and don’t need alliance protection.

Given Russia’s evident weakness, further NATO expansion isn’t addressing a real security problem in Europe. NATO doesn’t need any new members, and Finland and Sweden don’t need to be part of NATO, but that hasn’t stopped a surge in support for this completely unnecessary change.

NATO has already become what Michael Kimmage has referred to as a “loose and baggy monster” with 30 members. The alliance has expanded in fits and starts over the last twenty-five years to give the organization something to do when it wasn’t bombing countries that posed no threat to it, and it is on the cusp of doing it again.

Each time that the alliance seems to have reached its limit, it keeps looking for excuses to expand. Each new round gives encouragement to other aspirants that they will one day be allowed to join. Bringing in Finland and Sweden will likely lead to more irresponsible talk about adding Georgia to the alliance as well.

European autonomy in providing for their own security is something that the US has consistently opposed, but it would be in the best interests of all concerned if European states no longer depended on US guarantees. Expanding NATO again undermines the cause of European autonomy just as some major European governments seemed ready to pursue it. The loss of Swedish and Finnish neutrality is also unfortunate for those countries, since membership in NATO will one day drag them into the alliance’s “out of area” interventions that their governments will feel obliged to support.

The Turkish government has stated its opposition to membership for Sweden and Finland, but this is probably only temporary. Turkey objects to Swedish and Finnish membership because of their obsessive hatred of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), some of whose members have found refuge in Sweden and Finland.

Since Ankara considers the group to be a terrorist organization, they say that they won’t let the new applicants join the alliance until they extradite PKK members and lift arms export bans against Turkey. Assuming that Sweden and Finland are willing to make these concessions, we won’t be able to count on Turkey to derail the expansion.

The US has never considered defending Sweden and Finland to be among its vital interests, and it strains credulity to claim that it is now imperative that the US should be willing to go to war for these countries. There is no compelling reason to make these commitments now, and it is doubtful that there ever will be. While it is unlikely that these countries will be threatened in the near term, we know that the US almost never ends alliance commitments once they have been made.

If the US agrees to Finnish and Swedish membership, it will be on the hook for guaranteeing their security for decades to come. Once these commitments have been made, there will eventually be demands in Washington and in allied capitals that the US deploy more forces to Europe to back up its increased commitments. None of this will make the US more secure, and it will be another unnecessary drain on our resources.

No one expects a serious debate about any of this in the Senate, which has always served as a rubber stamp for adding new members to the alliance. Our government has made a habit of making major commitments that bind the US to go to war for other countries without carefully weighing the costs and benefits of these pledges. One day, the US will be called on to honor commitments that were carelessly made, and we will all come to regret that no one bothered to consider the costs.

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor and weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

SOURCEAnti War

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The burden of having to pay for the european security is the one that any colonial power have to deal with taking in account the resources that a colonial power takes from it´s colonies! Who will receive the excedents of american reindustrializition? That´s why Germany is destroying it´s industry! How would Tesla survive against the chinese industyrial auto complex with Audi, Mercedes, BMW. Volkswagen in the market? Why are we delivering most of our weapons to ukro.nazis? So the U.S can sell us more and recover it´s economy! We are vassal´s but you have to do your part to even ifit drags you to the bottom with us!

  2. No More Nato Expansions?
    Are you sure that in the USA and Usrael there are no crazy people for nuclear war? Or that to a much lesser extent there are none in Russia? Remember these scenarios.
    In the finale of dr. Strangelove, heil Hitler, he proposes before the atomic destruction fascinating things, even for the Russian representative, and let alone if not also to US general. Kubrik must have definitely seen “Planet of Apes” with C. Heston (the gunsmith of America), where the last rebounds, on which is, surely, modeled dr. Strangelove, they literally worshipped, and like a god, the last atomic bomb left.
    It is no coincidence that the ending of the two films is identical: the end of the world.
    Do and not chat or P…….. A! Hard rain gonna fall sang B. Dylan and Strangelove was stopped.
    “Apes” is anyone who opposes supremacism USA.

  3. If the extreme Ukrainian nationalists are going to be called “Nazis,” then we should at least refrain from calling the German National Socialists “Nazis.” It is a great insult to the latter to associate them with the ideological and physical descendants of their enemies. We’ve been brainwashed so thoroughly to believe that the Allies were the good guys in WWII and that the Axis Powers, esp. National Socialist Germany, Japan, and Italy were the bad guys. Like almost everything else we’re told in the “official narrative” by the victors, the Masters of the Universe and Masters of Discourse, the exact opposite is very close to the truth.

    In Feb. 1981, then-CIA Director William Casey during the first meeting of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, told those present, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    • The Ukrainian devils in human form are antithetical to the National Socialist Germans from 1933-45. The latter have been demonized by the “usual suspects” and their Masonic assets, when they were actually merely defending themselves against unjust aggressors. See “The Bad War” at The Real History Channel and the free e-books of the premier WWII historian David Irving, greatly persecuted by the Luciferian, Talmudic “Chosenites” for whom lying comes second nature, and murder, and every evil one can imagine.

      Our Lady of Fatima foretold the “errors of Russia” just months before the Bolshevik Revolution. She could very well have said the US and Britain also, making up a true “Axis of Evil.” And now Ukraine is a puppet state of that Axis of Evil. Fatima Documentary: youtube. com/watch?v=RxZBxEJz1v8&t=2s

    • If there is a WWIII, I believe it was Our Lady of Akita Japan who stated that many nations would be destroyed. I hope the people of Japan take this message to heart.

  4. Do these countries somehow not know what’s going to happen to them ? Have they not noticed how US Government, at the direction of it’s Globalist masters has done to it’s NATO allies, since 2014 ? With allies like US, noc

    • I said…
      With allies like US, no country need’s enemy’s. The example of Nordstream 2 should be off putting enough to never want anything to do with NATO. What our beloved Government is doing to “We the people,” and as many country’s civilian population’s as US can possibly handle.
      US Government has nothing positive to offer, ….
      Well except sanctions, threat’s, insults.
      I can find no fault with Russia, and it’s going to still be there in 5 year’s.

  5. Good analysis Jonas, except for that “Given Russia’s obvious weakness…”
    Do you really think that? “Russian weakness”?
    Russia could have burned every last town in the Ukraine to ashes, and killed millions in less than a week, BUT IT WAS CONTAINED – and it is, thank God. (It is not the USA, which does it before invading third world countries). Just ten “Kinzal” detonated in kyiv ends the whole problem. Analyze this part better.

  6. I don’t think the “weakness of Russia” is evident what is evident is their resolve to use their military to “demilitarize and de nazify” a neighboring country.
    Ukraine unique as the entire military age population has become a gigantic very well paid military force, and besides the forced conscription of every male 18 to 60 to join army the monthly wage of Ukrainian soldier is ten times the average wage of a common worker in Ukraine. (Look it up if you don’t believe me)
    This sort of thing is not going to happen in Sweden or Finland but what will happen is ithe installing of nuclear tipped missle systems in those countries that can reach St Petersburg in a couple minutes flight time. And very possible Russia will attack these missle systems before operational.
    They invaded Ukraine territory, destroyed their air force and navy in a couple days why would they not attack missles systems in Sweden and Finland.
    Playing with nuclear fire.
    A really fucked up world where only thing preventing the trigger of a WW3 or 4 is the fear of destruction of entire planet.