Finland and Sweden are considering joining NATO, at the same time that the Nordic countries, among them NATO members Norway and Denmark, are seeking greater defense cooperation among themselves. In an email interview, Magnus Nordenman, deputy director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, explained what’s driving the calls for deeper Nordic defense cooperation.
WPR: What is driving the calls for deeper defense cooperation among the Nordic countries?
Magnus Nordenman: There are several reasons. One is that modern military forces with expeditionary capabilities are very expensive to field and maintain. While the Nordic countries are some of the wealthiest in the world, they are all relatively small. Defense cooperation is one way to get more bang for your defense investment. Another reason is that the Nordic countries are facing the same operational challenges. They have all contributed forces to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, for example, and cooperation can help them sift through lessons learned and enhance interoperability. A third reason is that the Nordics have collaborated in many fields since the end of World War II. Thus, defense cooperation also enhances the political ties between these nations.