Finland is at long last joining NATO, having applied together with Sweden last year in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Finland's accession represents a boon to NATO, a radical change in Finnish foreign and security policy, and another unplanned setback for Russia.
Finland and Sweden are poised to become full NATO members in the near future. The Nordic pair's entry into NATO means that alliance leaders and planners confront new challenges, and just as many opportunities.
After decades of military neutrality between NATO and Russia, recent events saw a potential sea-change in how Finland and Sweden consider their role with the NATO alliance. NATO leadership could start planning now so that if Sweden and Finland make the jump to joining the alliance, they can be welcomed in quickly.
Norway, Sweden, and Finland have dramatically shifted their plans and actions in response to Russian threats in the European Arctic. This change could provide an opportunity for the United States to further strengthen cooperation, enhancing security and better countering Russia in the region.
As Russia's relations with the U.S. and Europe have deteriorated following Moscow's aggression in Ukraine, fly-bys of European neighbors by Russian aircraft have taken on new urgency. How should the West think about these provocative flights in light of understanding Russia's nuclear threat?