The US-Nordic Summit: NATO Expansion, Confusion and Repetition


Jan Oberg, Ph.D. | The Transnational – TRANSCEND Media Service

By Liu Rui – Global Times

13 Jul 2023 – After the NATO Summit in Vilnius, a US-Nordic Summit took place in Helsinki today. Here is, first, what I would suggest the US, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland take up:

  • How to back out of NATO’s conflict with Russia, stop the war in Russia and move – with the use of UN peace-keeping and -mediation – towards a viable, sustainable solution to Ukraine’s security problem that all parties can live with – although perhaps not be happy with.
  • How to re-create the Arctic as a de-militarised, low-tension region and cooperate to the benefit of all parties and the fragile environment.
  • How to secure that none of the Nordic countries shall have any US bases (except the one in Thule, Greenland, which by the way was not invited) – so to not provoke Russia unnecessarily.
    Given the Nordic countries’ historically comparatively peaceful policies, how can the Nordic region within NATO help to avoid heightened tensions and warfare with Russia – how can it be signalled most effectively that they do not seek confrontation and war?
  • Also given that background, how could these countries initiate an all-European dialogue, based on a series of diverse expert analyses, about a new peace and security (in that order) European system?
  • How can they help move the world in the direction of a politically and normatively strong UN, general and complete disarmament and nuclear abolition also to support the world’s most important organisation and its Charter: The United Nations?

You get the gist.

I list it merely because it is extremely important these days to think of alternatives to the ongoing rampant NATO militarism, re-think the triumphalistic, provocative NATO expansion and refer to words and concepts that were important some years ago and are now totally cancelled – like peace, cooperation, common security, reconciliation and media diversity – from the Western discourse.

Prior to the US/Nordic Summit, very little was stated anywhere about its purpose and content. They met the day after they also met at Vilnius, where their blind-to-consequences support to the war in Ukraine against Russia was repeated while they de facto decided in reality that it shall never join NATO – that’s what it means to talk about unspecified ‘conditions’ that Ukraine must meet after it has won the war.

So it must be assumed that when President Biden went to Finland, it was a signalling and photo opportunity operation mixed with some substantial Nordic issues.

Undoubtedly, the Nordic countries’ forward role in militarising the Arctic further has been on the agenda.

He has likely thanked Finland for already negotiating US bases near the Finnish-Russian border, Denmark for negotiating US bases, and Norway for having them already. The US that declines on civilian indicators but re-arms militarily will always push for more military tools anywhere – some 600 bases in 130 countries is never enough, like the next beer is never the last for the alcoholic.

Biden must also have asked the Nordic leaders to secure that the Nordic countries and their media never mention Nord Stream again, the pipeline he himself stated that the US would destroy. He is likely to have mentioned that the US would appreciate if the Nordic press is muted on this issue; had it been Russia, they would have had full blast concerning this the largest infrastructure destruction in peacetime (and it would have been highlighted in Vilnius).

And he has surely expressed his pleasure that the leading mainstream media in the Nordic countries are all solidly pro-NATO and anti-Russia.

[Here I wrote mistakenly three days ago: “A major concern at this Summit will, of course, be Sweden’s NATO membership hanging in the air – for what I believe will be a long time. Türkiye hosted and supported terrorists operating in Syria and stole everything of value in Aleppo; now President Erdogan piously speaks about how unacceptable it is that Sweden hosts terrorists. And Sweden continues to accept Quran burnings in the name of freedom of expression. Sweden’s ill-considered, panicking membership application to NATO with only 47% of the people in favour, has already brought it more potential insecurity than at any time since 1945. But the Swedes, I happen to know, won’t protest. (The French are better at such things!)”]
Well, President Erdogan changed his mind three times within the 24 hours of the 11-12th of July and finally accepted Sweden in NATO, so…

Biden must surely also have wanted to hear from his European whether they fear major social upheaval. The longer the war in Ukraine lasts, the more the Europeans will feel the price hikes, the reduction in benefit and life quality. When will they begin to link that to the EU/NATO response to the Russian invasion?

Whatever the judgements he received, he will likely continue to put pressure on all to weaken Russia and then direct the wartime EU economies that will be created towards China.

Predictably, Russia’s invasion – while understandable from a historical perspective but still ill-considered and international law-breaking – has functioned as a huge gift to NATO. If Putin fell into NATO’s expansion provocation trap, Finland and Sweden fell into the NATO hysteria/fear-mongering trap; they moved, in the heat of a moment and without in-depth analysis, into something they will not get out of before the US Empire – and with it NATO – declines further and dissolves like its Eastern brother did a good thirty years ago.

A bit of cool, prudent statesmanship, more knowledge and experience could have avoided it all.

Russia never was and still is not a threat to the Nordic countries, no matter what calm hysterics may say about the formidable threat of Russia (soon down to 4-5% of NATO’s military expenditures) and Ukraine as a first of many dominos to fall.

It’s all beyond rationality and common sense. None o

f it bears on a balanced assessment of Nordic, European and global realities, but it does serve US/NATO psycho-political projection and manipulation by ’fearology’, i.e. selling politics by making the masses fear – and pay.

The Nordic security elites will not confront the US; they’ll be more loyal to Washington than to their own peoples’ traditional preference for civilian conflict-resolution and disarmament.

In sum, the US/Nordic Summit will come, and it will go. Nothing new will happen. These ’groupthink’ elites inside militarism’s box will neither see the short- nor long-term writing on the wall. So don’t expect changes in their cul-de-sac policies.


Original article, Global Times, 13 Jul 2023

Prof. Jan Oberg, Ph.D. is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. CV:



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