Retired U.S. military leader says admitting Sweden, Finland into NATO offers few benefits, risks much more

Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (Ret.) is an odd duck.

On the one hand, he’s an accomplished combat veteran who’s made a name for himself pointing out the lies that successions of U.S. presidents have told the world about Afghanistan, Syria and much else the White House and Congress have fed the American people about our national defense.

On the other hand, he’s enough of a regular on Fox News that he has his own web page there.

But he also writes for The Guardian and other more progressive outlets.

So, I’ve decided that it’s likely that he’s a regular on Fox News because of that network’s hard-on for anything military, plus the fact that, right now anyway, Davis’ interests and opinions just happen to be allied against what Biden is doing in Ukraine.

Such as what he writes in this piece criticizing what looks like the eventual entrance of Sweden and Finland into NATO. Davis definitely thinks that Russia is going to eventually get most or all of what it wants in Ukraine despite members of NATO shoveling billions of dollars at the conflict.

There are a lot of competing multi-national interests right now over the Russia-Ukraine conflict and just as many competing “experts” making totally different predictions about the outcome of that war. And let’s not ever forget that in this war, just as with any other, among the most powerful interests are the corporations making billions of dollars off the the planes, bombs and other military hardware.

Anyway, Daniels writes in his piece from today for NBC News:

When NATO alliance members meet in Madrid this week, one of the featured agenda items is Finland and Sweden’s request to officially join the alliance. The NATO leadership has welcomed their ascension, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying the two countries’ “membership in NATO would increase our shared security.” Though member state Turkey originally signaled it objected to the idea, it lifted its opposition after a breakthrough on Tuesday that clears the way for the Nordic states.

While enlarging NATO might seem like a wise thing to do in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it doesn’t take much sober analysis to conclude that adding yet more NATO members is likely to have the opposite effect of what the secretary general hopes.

Instead of lowering the chances of war, the membership of Finland and Sweden would increase the risk of future conflict for the entire alliance; adding two more triggers for Article 5 — the provision in the NATO charter that stipulates that an attack on one is an attack on all — would add to the risk of war for the entire alliance. That would be an unwise course in any case, but it’s particularly ill-advised given that it would make Finland and Sweden more vulnerable, as well.

Though the U.S. has also recently shown itself eager to expand the alliance to these countries, the accession of Sweden and, especially, Finland could hardly be said to further the American national interest. Finland shares a roughly 800-mile border with Russia that NATO would be committed to defend, and this defense — or the stationing of NATO military infrastructure in Finland — would risk antagonizing Russia. 

You can read the rest of it here.

Many military and political strategists have criticized NATO’s relentless expansion into countries next to, or near, Russia’s borders, saying it needlessly antagonizes Putin. They also point out that if, say, Canada or Mexico ever made moves to enter Moscow’s orbit, the U.S. would never tolerate it, and to expect Putin and the Russians to do so ignores history and political reality.

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