Kimberly Marten (Professor of Political Science, Barnard) analyzes Finland’s likely bid for NATO membership and discusses a range of military and economic issues. Marten concludes that the benefits outweigh the risks (Foreign Affairs, May 4, 2022).
It is impossible to know for sure how Putin and his military forces will react to a Finnish bid to join NATO. As Russia’s initially bungled invasion of Ukraine and frequent targeting of civilians there has shown, the Kremlin’s own motives these days seem less strategic and more emotional, hobbled by miscalculations and Putin’s apparent isolation, and driven by the Russian leader’s sense of rage against the West. Given Finland’s long-standing membership in the EU community and defense ties with NATO, to join the alliance officially seems more like a logical next step than a sea change, but Putin’s reaction remains unpredictable. In the face of that unpredictability, it is probably safer for Finland to be inside the alliance than out.