The Starting Point for New Defense Thinking   (Published: 28.04.2019)

Finland, like other nations, needs its own living space, the right to decide its own affairs. Defending this right is the starting point for civil and military defense.

Preserving Finnishness

The first task of the national defense is to defend people, their own way of life, language and culture. There is also a culture of habit, historical experiences, forest and lakes and cultural monuments. Finnishness has evolved over millennia. The geographical boundaries have been altered by wars and population transfers.

Changes in Enlightenment Time

In community thinking, the role of the state has changed. Renaissance, great discoveries, and inventions were the first steps to change the enlightenment. The state of the ecclesiastical state was replaced by the present state, which replaced the world order of God. But God did not die. Faith and science differed.

Vienna Conference 1814 - 1815

The worldview created by the philosophers of enlightenment was contradictory. In the streets and among the population, a new society was sought. At the top of the hierarchy was the use of military forces. Some statesmen explained their power coming from God. There was a need for a new kind of world order that was attempted at the Vienna World Conference.

Strengthened Power Policy

After Vienna's decisions, the world was made up of European states, the United States created by European dissidents and Russia with no dissidents. There was no tradition in Russia where the opinions of individuals would play a role in decision-making. At the Vienna conference, Russia was given the task of sending troops to Paris to calm the chaos of Napoleon wars. The issues of the colonies were not on the agenda of the world community.

Rights as the Starting Point

At the time of the Vienna Conference, there was no known "rights-based world order". There was even less recognition of the existence and influence of individual citizens and non-state organizations. The so-called the constitutional states (republics and constitutional kingdom) recognized the separation of individuals and state organs. This separation was not antagonistic, but consensual and synergistic. Awareness of the separation of state and individuals was a great step towards the human rights that are now understood.

Increasing the Importance of Knowledge

The world image changed during the two centuries that followed the Vienna Conference. The most important factors of change were industrialization, the emergence and spread of social theories, the general rise of communal awareness through the education of the people and the institution of higher education. These factors gave rise to industrial production and trade in services, which in turn increased welfare and wealth. The growing economy had to be protected, which created a huge development of weapon technology.

Development of Weapon Technology

Two levels can be distinguished in the development of military expertise. On the other hand, one-level of individual combat skills, as well as governmental and community-level military skills. In the ethics of force use, the defense of the individual is at the highest level, while the communal war of aggression is the use of force, which is challenged by international law as an acceptable activity. The difference between these two levels is that in individual level coaching, attention is focused on the results of the action, while in force-based destruction, destruction is often self-serving when not always mediated by the consequences of action.

Territorial integrity

When an individual country prepares for threat images, these must be credibly identified on the screen. Threats can come from within the community or from outside. To control them, there must be a "war plan" that is transparent up to a certain limit. At the same time, transparency is a sign of the readiness of the object to handle unwanted singles from the surrounding world. Regional integrity refers to purely defensive warfare. It is the right and duty of every independent state.

Internal Renewal

Realizing justice within the country is often a greater threat than external threats. It is important to have justice in the judiciary, which must be transparent. The judiciary must not be an inquisition institution that erodes the moral foundation of the nation. The greater the need for national or supranational appeal bodies, the greater the risk to the country's future. The interests of the individual and society must be shared, so that the interests of both are considered equally.

Global Development Goals

The evolution of global thinking that began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 is also a turning point in defense thinking. This new philosophy is built-in and promoted in the Agenda 2030 for SDGs approved by the state leaders in 2015.  For the first time, it includes goals for individuals and for the entire world community. Based on traditional scarce resource management and utilization, it has been able to provide space for a new kind of enemy recognition that unites people and communities. As such, climate change and the ecological future of the earth appear. However, the current 2030 target program is too broad and difficult to implement. Objectives should be re-grouped and prioritized into synergistic entities to achieve more coherence at different directions and levels.

Self Defense

Small countries such as Finland must make choices in defense procurement and maintaining self-sufficiency. Each country has its own starting points based on geography and history. After World War II, some people in Finland were fascinated by Soviet military technology, which was acquired in connection with the exchange of goods trade agreement. The Soviet Union was an important trading partner for the Finnish economy. Russia’s position has now deteriorated because of a new kind of thinking spread in Finland after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The loudest ones have been the admirers of Hornet fighters. Should we find out if we could find better and more effective solutions and policies for the growth of individuals and the economy?

© 28.04.2019 / Heikki K. Auvinen - Osmo I. Lampinen, Doctor of Political Science (VTT) editing a linguistic presentation


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