In a video published on Nov. 23, the Finnish Defense Forces Combat Camera team turned out a masterfully-done — and well-timed — video.
The video, which has nearly 100,000 views on YouTube, shows portions of Army Shooting Exercise North 17, according to the YouTube channel’s description of the video. The exercise involved not only thousands of Finnish military personnel, but also soldiers from Sweden and Norway.
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark are all part of an organization known as NORDEFCO, or Nordic Defense Cooperation. It’s a pact between the nations that is meant “to strengthen the participating nations’ national defense, explore common synergies and facilitate efficient common solutions,” according to NORDEFFCO’s website.
It’s a mutual defense pact, and you can guess what that pact’s greatest threat is: Russia.
Finland and Russia have a history of conflict. In relatively recent memory, Russia staged an invasion of Finland from late 1939 until early 1940, and then the two fought again from 1941-1944, with conflicts raging well before that. Finland also shares the largest border with Russia out of the countries in the defense pact.
If Russia chose to attempt territorial expansion, it would not be too surprising if Finland made its way onto a list of potential targets, despite the country’s close ties with the now-dead Soviet Union and the perhaps stronger appeal of nations like Ukraine or Georgia.
Keeping up? Good. Because here’s where things get sticky.
If you’ll recall, Norway is a part of NORDEFCO. Norway’s also a part of another organization you might be more familiar with: NATO. Denmark is as well.
What that means is if Finland came under attack, Norway would be brought into that conflict. Everyone obligated to help via NATO, at least theoretically, would be put in a position to support Norway.
Should every nation’s resolve match their international bonds, it would be a world war scenario, which is why I’m really glad the the Finnish Defense Forces Combat Camera team just posted the video they did, among others.
As Russia’s ambitions and attempts to grow its power become more and more apparent, the video sends a vivid message to Finland’s neighbor to the east: “Sisu!”
Take a look at the video below:
What is “Sisu?” As Finlandia University explains: “To the Finnish people, sisu has a mystical, almost magical meaning. Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.
“Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated. It defines the Finnish people and their character. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of cost.
“Sisu is an inherent characteristic of the Finnish people. You might call it backbone, spunk, stamina, guts, or drive and perseverance. It is a measure of integrity that surpasses the hardship and sees through to the end.”
The video above shows just how formidable the nation’s small military is, and how prepared it is to deal with threats on its border.
When you have a giant neighbor to the east and an active military of a little under 30,000, as Global Firepower reports, you need to maintain that spirit for as long as you can.
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