Small Wars Journal

Forget Russia: Is Finland the Hybrid Warfare Champion?

Forget Russia: Is Finland the Hybrid Warfare Champion? By Michael Peck – The National Interest

Russia is supposed to be the master of hybrid warfare, that shapeshifting amalgamation of regular and irregular war.

But has Russia met its match in little Finland?

… “The lessons from Crimea were by no means lost on the Finnish defense establishment,” note Swedish researchers Michael Jonsson and Johan Engvall. Since 2014, improving the readiness of the Finnish Army has been a major priority. A government Defense White Paper of February 2017 outlines a system of rapid reaction forces and swift-mobilization units among all services and troop types.

Unlike its European neighbors, who have moved toward standing professional armies, Finland’s 280,000-strong military is based on a small standing army backed by conscripted reserves. But reserves need time to be mobilized, which is fine for a conventional war but not hybrid warfare : for example, Russia used special forces and paramilitary fighters to seize Crimea in a few days. That’s especially worrisome to Finland, which shares an eight-hundred-mile border with Russia…

Read on.