The largest circulation daily Helsingin Sanomat meanwhile, collates a number of initiatives and programs by the Finnish Defence Forces in an attempt to test the temperature of current attitudes to national defence.
The paper interviewed analyst Mika Aaltola of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs FIIA, who concluded that there’s solidifying support for national defence, which he described as “unprecedented”. In particular, he highlighted the broad political backing for a restoration of defence spending levels, following budget cuts in recent years.
HS lists a number of items as the background for its analysis: first, last Thursday’s announcement by defence chiefs that they had set up rapid response units, which had already begun recruiting servicemen from the ranks of reservists.
Second, it outlined a letter sent to strategic private sector companies whose support is usually enlisted for wartime service; the letter promised further information on preparedness programs. And back in May, reservists received letters from defence headquarters informing them of potential wartime duties.
Aaltola said the readiness measures reflected a process that extended from the grassroots to the political level, and said that a milestone had also been reached in public discourse on defence.
“We have moved away from fair weather imagery and from a distant approach to national defence,” he noted.
He said he’d observed an increase in patriotism and nationalism following the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine and pointed to a “national reflex” in which Finns subjected recent regional events to cold, hard analysis.