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CIAO DATE: 11/00
BALTBAT: The Emergence of a Common Defence Dimension to Nordic Co-operation 1
The end of the Cold War has seen a much greater significance given to co-operative dimensions of the foreign policies of Western democratic states. In this process the post-communist states have been encouraged to comply with largely liberal norms of correct international conduct. As Goldman has recently observed, liberal internationalism has rapidly moved in from the margins of foreign policy debate to acquire a status of 'Western political folklore'. 2 Long prior to these developments, the Nordic states (along with the Netherlands) made themselves known for their shared commitment to internationalist values, expressed in remarkably high levels of overseas development assistance, UN activism, extensive participation in peacekeeping activities, the provision of good offices, conflict mediation and so on.
However, it could also be argued that the foreign policies of the Nordic states have lost some of their exceptional features in recent years. Allegedly, the demise of the Cold War and liberal globalisation have contributed to this development. Furthermore, the acquisition of EU membership by Sweden and Finland appear to confirm that a normalisation process is imminent. This has led Mouritzen to observe that the growing significance of Europeanisation in the Nordic space, particularly in Sweden, will lead to a decline in the exceptional Nordic model of foreign policy. He argues that:
The 'Nordic' model of society is primarily of Swedish origin... (t)he idea of Nordic 'progressivity'has been a useful instrument in individual Nordic foreign policies- primarily as a 'bastion' in official rhetoric... Whereas the Nordic bastion could still serve as a useful foreign policy instrument, it has actually been discreetly abandoned from 1991... The main reason for this abandonment lies in perceived Swedish national interests: how Sweden has chosen to adapt to the European Union...This abandonment has generally adverse implications for the foreign policies of the other Nordic countries, depending on which all-European scenario prevails. Prospects for a future survival of the Nordic bastion do not seem bright. 3
It is fair to say that the 'Nordic model of society' has been shaped by a long tradition of social democratic rule in the Nordic states. While social democratic ideology still provides an impetus to Nordic foreign policy-making, it is no longer the only determining force. Other examples of such prominent forces are European integration and globalisation. These forces have raised questions as the strength of the Nordic welfare model. As Stålvant and Joenniemi put it: '(t)he welfare state in its archetypal Nordic version is fighting an uphill battle against eroding tendencies. Internationalisation of production structures and the economy create a predicament for small states... 4 Furthermore, the neutrality polices of Finland and Sweden have been put into question and there may be a real possibility that they will apply for NATO membership. In sum it could be argued that the increased level of Europeanisation and other external influences on Nordic society have made it more difficult for the Nordic states to be upholders of a unique branch of internationalism, based, at least in part, on social democratic values such as solidarity, justice and redistribution of global and regional resources.
Arguably the portrait is more multifaceted than this. Many of the attributes of Nordic internationalism remain unbroken. While, levels of development assistance have been cut down somewhat, particularly in Sweden and Finland, the Nordic states still remain among the most generous donors of overseas assistance in the world, in both quantity and quality. 5 Furthermore, the devotion to UN activism and references to international solidarity, peace and justice continue to crop up in the speeches of the Nordic prime ministers and foreign ministers. Seemingly, the allegiance to such internationalist values remains sufficiently embedded among the Nordic political elite and publics to resist many dimensions of neoliberal external pressures. Whereas there are indications that some normalisation of Nordic foreign policy has taken place, no visible transformation seems to be underway at present. It is, however, difficult to determine to what extent Nordic foreign policy will retain its exceptional status.
One victim of the shift in Nordic foreign policy towards a dominant liberal brand of internationalism appears to be inter-Nordic co-operation. It is increasingly argued that a number of external processes - globalisation, the increased presence of the EU in the Nordic space, Baltic Sea regionalisation - have made the distinctive model of inter-Nordic co-operation redundant. However, prior to the Finnish and Swedish entry into the European Union hopes were raised as to the prospects of forming a Nordic group within the framework of the EU. This view was held by the former Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Sten Andersson who argued that: '(t)he Nordic tradition of co-operation which has been established... within the UN can... be further developed within the framework of the EU.' 6 However, the 1990s saw a Nordic tendency to conduct individual policies towards the European Union.
As a result the Nordic states have on occasions abandoned their Nordic reference group and sought co-operation partners outside their immediate region. Such variations in national preferences have evoked scepticism among Nordic political commentators. In particular, Nordic newspapers have been inclined to report on failures to form common Nordic positions on membership of the EMU and enlargement of the Union, with particular reference to the Baltic states. 7 These divergent views are often used as indicators of the weak state of Nordic co-operation. Thus, a standardisation of foreign policy is allegedly underway which undermines Nordic unity and leaves little room for ethical foreign policy considerations.
Key to this claim is the character of post-Cold War relations between the Nordic and the Baltic states. Although, the extension of Nordic co-operation to the Baltic states supposedly confirms the continuation of a long tradition of co-operatively oriented and 'solidaristic' Nordic foreign policy, there also seem to be a tendency among the Nordic states to compete with regard to the acquisition of leadership in the Baltic region. 8 This does not require the claim that Nordic unity in foreign policy is all but dead and buried. Rather, it principally entails the portrayal of Nordic foreign policy as differing little from the internationalist dimensions of almost any other Western state. Further, if orthodox neoliberalism is broadly correct, the extension of assistance to your neighbours, especially if they are post-communist states is a rational, and, ultimately, self-interested strategy. Hence, by contributing to the political, social and economic development of the Baltic states the Nordic states have considerably improved their own situation in the Baltic Sea region.
Such an assessment rejects the existence of idealism in foreign policy. If we were to borrow Waltz's famous account of international politics, we might say that the logic of the post-Cold War anarchy is to socialise states into co-operative behaviour. 9 Thus, co-operation comes into being out of necessity rather than a wish to assist and share with others. However, this paper takes issue with such an understanding of Nordic foreign policy and holds that it, in part at least, contains 'solidaristic' dimensions based on non-competitive forms of co-operation. While it accepts the contention that traditional forms of inter-Nordic co-operation are changing in character due to new external pressures, of which the Baltic states constitute an important part, it rejects the view that inter-Nordic co-operation is redundant. On the contrary, by progressively moving into new areas of co-operation, such as defence and security, which were largely reserved to other national or multilateral settings, the Nordic states have demonstrated that their unity remains intact. Involvement in Baltic defence and security provides convincing substance to this claim.
The main objective of this paper is to examine the Nordic-Baltic relationship in order to establish the wider implications for the future of Nordic co-operation and Nordic internationalism more generally. The range and dept of Nordic-Baltic relations has become very extensive and covers a great number of areas. Initially, this support took the shape of more traditional forms of development assistance as well as civic projects. However, this discussion will focus specifically on the Nordic contribution to the formation of a Baltic Peacekeeping battalion - Baltbat. Although this is only one element of a comprehensive package of multilateral Nordic assistance to the Baltic states, it is particularly pertinent to this discussion for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a component of Nordic defence assistance to the Baltic states and therefore sheds light upon a relatively novel and controversial dimension of Nordic foreign policy activism. Secondly, Baltbat is intended as a Baltic contribution to UN peacekeeping and, as such, has, on face value at least, an irreducible internationalist dimension. Thirdly, there are some differences between the Nordic states with regard to certain dimensions of the Baltbat project and also some differences in the provision of assistance, some of which can form the basis of more sceptical assessments.
The discussion starts with a brief overview of Nordic conceptions of security, past and present. It goes on to look at the Baltbat project itself and the substance of Nordic contributions to its realisation. In the latter part of the paper, the motivations behind Nordic contributions to Baltbat, and the Baltic states in general are examined with particular emphasis on the connections between these and Nordic internationalism more generally. To conclude an overall assessment is offered and a counter-argument to the sceptical view is posited. Although part of the sceptical view is conceded, Baltbat is depicted as an example of 'adjacent internationalism' which both actually and potentially contributes positively not only to further evolution of Nordic co-operation in a dynamic regional environment, but also the invigoration of Nordic internationalism.
The Nordic states- a security community or an asecurity community?
Karl Deutsch was the first analyst to define the Nordic states as constituting a pluralistic security community because disputes between them would not be resolved by war. Furthermore, Deutsch pointed out that pluralistic security communities are dependent on the existence of like-minded political values and the ability of states to uphold a dialogue with other governments as well as being able to anticipate other states’ future political, economic and social actions. 10 Arguably, Deutsch’s idea of pluralistic security communities still has a great deal to offer in terms of understanding the Nordic nexus. Yet, Deutsch’s observation is hardly momentous, since war has not been the likely outcome of an inter-Nordic conflict since 1907, when Norway gained independence from Sweden. Furthermore, it seems somewhat self-evident that a number of states, which do not solve their disputes by resorting to war, have greater prospects of developing peaceful and friendly relations. Thus, in order to reach further understanding of Nordic security it is necessary to detract from the traditional military route. This is not to say that the absence of military threats and the low level of tension in the area have not contributed to Nordic unity. Rather, it is to suggest that Nordic unity has its roots in a complex web of unifying factors, such as common historical experiences, language, Nordic identity, solidarity and the existence of common values and norms. In line with this argument, Joenniemi takes Deutsch's contention further, by arguing that the Nordic states do not constitute a security community, because security does not determine Nordic relations since they have been built upon, among other things, a common Nordic identity. He points out that:
Another way of putting this is to say that security has, in the first place, not been a joint Nordic concern. Norden has actually been “a community of asecurity”. The Nordic project has not emerged as a way of handling security; such an impact has emerged more or less inadvertently. Security, in the ordinary power political sense, has remained with each of the Nordic nation-states, and has stayed there...Nordicity has by and large resided in the sphere of culture...As the emergence of a joint Nordic identity across the borders of the nation-states has been there, there has not been any need, or possibility for that matter, to insert the issues of security in the traditional sense on the joint Nordic agenda. 11 Arguably, Joenniemi is right in pointing out that the inter-Nordic project has not primarily been concerned with security. 12 Hence, his concept of 'asecurity' provides interesting insight into the state of inter-Nordic relations, largely because it does not ignore dimensions such as culture and identity, which are important in fostering unity between states. Undeniably, Nordic co-operation was confined to the areas of social, labour and cultural affairs during the Cold War and the areas of security and defence were excepted, with the exception of involvement in joint international peacekeeping efforts. One explanation for this is that the national variations in Nordic defence and security policies were too divergent to enable the Nordic states to engage in further security and defence co-operation. Of all the Nordic states Finland was the country most restricted in its foreign and security policy. For instance, Soviet opposition to Finnish membership of the Nordic Council prevented it from joining when the organisation was initially launched in 1953. 13 In order to facilitate Finland's entry into the organisation in 1955 he other Nordic states agreed that foreign and security policy would be banned from the sessions of the Nordic Council. The concept of ‘Nordic Balance’ provides another example of the way in which the Nordic states accepted that their prospects of furthering inter-Nordic security co-operation were limited. The concept was frequently cited by the Nordic states during the Cold War. The idea reflected the bipolar power structure that was prevalent during that time. The notion was based on a Nordic perception of a Soviet military threat. By retaining their individual security policies the Nordic states believed that a balance of power could be upheld in their region and that the superpowers would be kept out of the northern space. Among other things, such a balance would protect Finland from USSR hostility. It could be argued that the Nordic states by proactively accepting non-co-operation in the security field ensured stability in the region.
Furthermore, the acceleration of nuclear weaponry in the Cold War era in the world gave rise to concerns in the Nordic states, which led to discussions of forming a Nuclear Free Zone in the north of Europe. 14 The wish to avoid an escalation of nuclear weaponry also informed the Palme Commission which in the early 1980s argued for common security , which would be achieved by co-operation between states, aiming at overcoming military threats such as nuclear weapons and war. Although discussions on security and defence were not banned from public discourse in the Nordic states during the Cold War, their opportunities to concretely co-operate were restrained by their divergent security arrangements.
However, the end of the Cold War saw an upsurge in both discussions on Nordic security as well as concrete examples of Nordic security co-operation. While the Nordic states' security arrangements remain on the whole the same, with Norway and Denmark in NATO and Finland and Sweden being non-aligned states, the Nordic states have largely followed the overall tendency in Europe to engage in various forms of security co-operation such as Nato's Partnership for Peace programme, international peacekeeping and conflict management. In line with this wider development, a number of concrete examples of Nordic security co-operation have been realised, of which the build-up of Baltic defence structures probably constitutes the most important example. The process was also reinforced by the 1995 reorganisation of the Nordic Council, which aimed at fulfilling the Nordic goal of adapting the organisation to the new situation in Europe as well as Sweden's and Finland's acquisition of EU membership. The most significant change was the decision to organise the Nordic Council into three new geographic committees; the 'Norden' Committee, the Europe Committee and the committee for Areas Adjacent to the Nordic region 15 As a consequence of the reorganisation of the Nordic Council the ban on security and defence policy from its sessions were also lifted. This paved the way for more profound discussions on foreign and security policy between Nordic parliamentarians and ministers. It also stimulated and intensified their dialogue with their counterparts in the Baltic states. Arguably, the Nordic Council’s decision to concern itself with states situated outside its immediate boundaries shows that the Nordic states are willing to bring their new partners in the Baltic Sea region into the Nordic sphere of debate and policy-making. 16
The increased presence of security, both in its soft and hard dimensions in Nordic relations, raises questions as to the appropriateness of excluding the concept of security from the conceptualisation of inter-Nordic relations in its entirety. Rather, as Archer points out that: '(b)etween each other, they feel trust and a communality that seems to do without the discourse of security. However, some reservations should be entered here. There might be an empirical point that the Nordic countries are still capable of some level of conflict... The more important point is that while the Nordic region is a ''zone of peace'', it is not easy to explain why... what can be made, can be unmade.' 17 Similarly, the position developed here is that the Nordic states still have a number of individual as well as common security concerns to deal with and have only in part reached a point of 'asecurity'- a form of 'inter-Nordic asecurity'. In other words, the concept of security becomes important when it transcends the borders of the Nordic space. As Joenniemi argues 'Nordicity' has primarily sprung out of culture, however by making common efforts to assist Baltic defence co-operation the Nordic states' inter-relationship has become at least partly 'securitised'. 18
Not only has the intensity of Nordic security co-operation increased but the general understanding of the security concept has widened. As Möttölä argues: '(t)he policy of common security has a broader and deeper meaning in the post-division Europe than in the détente periods of the bipolar era, when it was primarily driven by the common interests of survival against military threats.' 19 This new thinking can also be noted, for instance, in the school of critical security studies, which calls into question more traditional understandings of security. By treating security as a socially composed concept, critical security studies aim to show that security has the capacity to change and acquire more positive meanings. As Klein argues: 'security considerations are not objectively gleaned from a neutral road map of world politics; they are themselves socially constructed and discursively reproduced in ways that are contestable and subject to revision.' 20 Although, not belonging to the camp of critical security analysts, Weaver, Buzan and de Wilde also advocate for a wider security concept. They argue that: '(o)ur solution comes down on the side of the wideners in terms of keeping the security agenda open to many different types of threats. We argue against the view that the core of security studies is war and force and that other issues are relevant only if they relate to war and force...' 21 In the Nordic case this has led to greater focus on soft aspects of security such as economic security, environmental security and societal security. This does not imply that hard aspects of security have disappeared from the Nordic security agenda, but that the Nordic states have now adopted a widened security concept. As Lassinantti points out: '(m)ilitary (“hard”) security can no longer totally dominate the region’s security debate. The “soft” aspects of security must increasingly replace or supplement hard security.' 22 This is a development which can be observed in Nordic political circles as well. As the former Finnish Foreign Minister and current President argues: '(t)oday, however, most security risks are to be found in the areas of “soft” security. They include problems such as ethnic strife, social upheaval and lack of democracy.' 23 Similarly, the former Swedish Foreign Minster Hjelm-Wallén has stated that: '(f)or many years, security in this region had an almost purely military - or hard- focus: bloc confrontations, deterrence doctrines and intense armaments... Today, the situation is entirely different... Instead of focusing on the need to avoid the immediate threat of war between countries, we are able to focus on the possibilities of creating sustainable peace. The building blocks for this work are... “soft security”.' 24
By introducing soft dimensions to the concept of security the Nordic states have been able to create a more positive understanding of the concept, so that it entails more than security from a military threat. 25 Such a conceptualisation of security is more in tune with present developments in the Baltic Sea region and Europe as a whole, where common efforts have emerged which focus on coming to terms with soft security dimensions such as environmental safety, prevention of organised crime and illegal immigration. In line with this thought, Archer argues that there are positive dimensions of the security concept and observes that: '(o)n the one hand there is the positive aspect of security (the security of thriving) that looks towards building co-operation and trust; on the other hand is the negative aspect (the security of surviving)...' 26 While Nordic security debate has come to focus increasingly on soft and positive dimensions of the concept, the Baltic states have generally had a more traditional mindset, emphasising collective defence as a solution to their security deficit. As Archer points out: '...the leaders of the Baltic states in the early 1990s primarily saw their security problems in terms similar to those current in the cold war...' 27 Hence, through their involvement in Baltic security the Nordic states have actively attempted to change this frame of mind and contribute to a wider understanding of the security concept, which corresponds to the Nordic vision of the post-cold war security situation in the Baltic Sea region.
The last point to be made in this overview of Nordic security is that, although, the Nordic states have provided assistance to the build-up of Baltic defence structures and multilateral defence projects such as Baltbat as well as helped to find solutions to soft security threats in the Baltic Sea region, they have not, as yet, accepted a regional responsibility for Baltic security and defence. Consequently, Nordic policy-makers point out that they neither wish to provide security guarantees to the Baltic states nor do they support regionalisation of security in the Baltic Sea area. However, this should not be perceived as a renunciation of responsibility but rather an acknowledgement that the task is too great for the Nordic states to deal with alone. Consequently, they wish that other European states and the United States also made contributions to stability in the region. In a jointly authored article the former Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers therefore declare their support for indivisible security in Europe. Furthermore, they point out the significance of avoiding regionalisation of security in the Baltic Sea area. Finally, they argue for continued American presence in the region, as well as active EU involvement. 28 Similarly, the Danish defence minister argues that: '(i)t is sometimes said that the Nordic countries have a special role vis a vis the Baltic States and that the Nordic countries should take care of the Baltic States’ security. The Nordic countries clearly have a role to play, but they cannot do it alone. The security of the Baltic States has to be anchored in a comprehensive security structure and therefore it is important that other countries contribute co-operation in the region.' 29
From this can be understood that the Nordic states are more inclined to conceptualise security in a wider European context. Although, they have through their defence assistance contributed to Baltic security they do not envisage their task as a uniquely Nordic one. Such a vision of co-operative security correlates with the overall development in Europe, where initiatives such as Partnership for Peace (PfP) play an increasingly important part. Hence, it becomes less important whether the Nordic states constitute a security community or not because Nordic security is predominantly conceptualised within a wider European security framework. The philosophy behind foreign assistance of Baltbat is in line with this wider conceptualisation of security in Europe, since support is drawn from a wider group of European states and is not confined to the Nordic states.
The Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion
In June 1992, the Baltic states signed a ‘Protocol on Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Defence’ which laid down the foundation of future Baltic defence co-operation. In 1993, Lieutenant General Alexander Einseln, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces introduced the notion of a joint Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion at a meeting of Baltic military commanders. 30 This was the first effort to further Baltic defence co-operation after the demise of the USSR in 1991. While the Baltic states were all dedicated to such co-operation, their military and financial resources were limited and, therefore, they were dependent on the goodwill of other actors. Consequently, the Baltic states approached the Nordic states in order to enquire whether they would be interested in assisting the establishment of a Baltic peacekeeping battalion. The Nordic states responded positively to this request.
In 1994, the supporting states as well as the three Baltic states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia signed the ‘Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Co-operation on the Formation of a Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion’ (MOU), which laid down the fundamental cornerstones of the Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion (Baltbat). The United Kingdom was also one of the original supporting nations, and have been particularly active in the area of English language training. In 1996, the Netherlands endorsed the Memorandum. Since then France, the United States and Germany have also joined the group of supporting nations. Whereas, Nordic involvement in the build-up in Baltic defence can be explained, at least partly, by the conduct of an overall altruistic and active Baltic policy, accompanied by numerous civil engagements, there is little evidence to show that, for instance, the United Kingdom's involvement in the project stems form the same forms of altruism and adjacent internationalism . 31
In this context, it is worth noting that, although, Baltbat enjoys a great deal of financial and practical assistance from the supporting nations, the Baltic states are the main actors and thus carry the responsibly for the success of the project. As the Danish Ministry of Defence notes: '(a) further important project objective is for the battalion to be sustainable by the Baltic states themselves.' 32 This is also a view largely held by the Baltic states. The Estonian Ministry of Defence points out: '(t)he Baltic states have gradually started to take over the responsibility for the organisation and training of personnel willing to join Baltbat.' 33 Yet, there seems to be broad agreement among the Baltic states that a certain measure of international support is still vital in order to safeguard the future development of the project. In like fashion, a Danish defence official makes the observation that there is fear among the Baltic states that the project will fail if its international partners withdraw its support and expertise. 34 Consequently, the Baltic states wish that some aspects of Baltbat’s multinational character would be retained in the future. From this it should be understood that, the supporting nations are only participatory insofar as they provide advice, language training, financial and material assistance and peacekeeping training to the Battalion, whereas, the core task of the daily management of the Battalion is a Baltic responsibility. Still, Clemmesen questions the Baltic nature of the project in arguing that: 'Baltbat is being realised due to the foreign involvement and drive given to support the original Baltic idea. Only the volunteer forces' co-operation is a truly Baltic project and it did not come about as a result of political initiative but rather as result of the growing friendship and contacts between the organisations themselves.' 35 Arguably, Baltbat has better prospects of acquiring a more unique Baltic character as the project advances and becomes less dependent on its supporting nations.
The structure of Baltbat
The Baltic peacekeeping battalion (Baltbat) is composed of a combined trinational headquarters, logistics and headquarters as well as national infantry companies (Estcoy, Latcoy and Litcoy). Further, each Baltic state provides one-third of the total staff of Baltbat, which mounts to approximately 720 people. 36 The battalion recruits its personnel (military professionals) on a voluntary and contractual basis. The central headquarters of Baltbat are located in Adazi in Latvia, which is the hosting nation of the battalion. This is also where the Nordic/UK/Netherlands Baltbat training team headquarters is located. 37 The Lithuanian Infantry Company is situated in Rukla and the Estonian one in Paldiski. While, the command language is English, national languages are used within the national infantry companies. The Baltbat commander, deputy commander and chief-of &-;staff are appointed on a rotating basis.
A joint committee of the Defence Ministers, who constitute the supreme governing body of the project, governs the Baltic battalion. Furthermore, there is a steering committee drawing its members from the Baltic states as well as the supporting nations, including the Nordic states. However,prior to peacekeeping deployment each infantry company is commanded by its national government. Furthermore, each Baltic state has to ensure that it can provide a sufficient number of peacekeepers to the joint battalion. Yet, a decision to send Baltic peacekeepers on missions must be proceeded by a joint Baltic decisions, taken on the basis of consensus. 38
Baltbat- objectives and training
The objectives of Baltbat are to provide a mechanism for the development of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian defence forces, to enhance the capacity of Baltic international peacekeeping, to assist Baltic security and military co-operation, to prepare the Baltic states for PfP activities and to promote sovereignty and security in the region. 39 In order to meet these goals the project of Baltbat has been established in four different phases. First, Baltic officers participate in Nordic UN training courses. Furthermore, they are also given basic military training, language training and specialist UN training. Second, Baltic officers are trained in their national infantry companies. Baltic Baltbat officers participate in conversion training as well as mission training in one of the Nordic countries. In the third phase they are deployed to a Nordic peacekeeping mission. For instance, Estcoy was deployed in Lebanon alongside the Norwegian peacekeeping mission stationed there, while Sweden was responsible for the training and deployment of Latcoy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Similarly, Denmark was responsible for the training and deployment of Litcoy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Moreover, in the last phase, Baltbat officers from all the Baltic states are trained as a single unit. To facilitate the task of finalising the training of Baltbat officers the four Nordic states have agreed on a division of labour. Consequently, the Danish area of responsibility has been to promote training of the reconnaissance and signal platoons. Norway has trained the headquarters platoon and the medical one and Sweden has provided training of the maintenance, supply and engineer platoons. Finally, Finland has trained the catering and the transportation platoons. 40 The initial Baltbat training programme ended in December 1997 when the battalion was declared ready for participation in international peacekeeping. 41 In connection with this event it was decided that the Battalion would be transformed into an infantry Battalion. As has been noted above, all three Baltic infantry companies have now taken part in practise and peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the UN and NATO. Such practical experience has promoted the Baltic goal of deployment. Arguably, the Nordic states have contributed to this progress by allowing opportunity for Baltic officers to participate in their peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Nordic involvement in the project of Baltbat.
By signing the MOU in 1994, the Nordic states Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland committed themselves to assist the build-up of Baltbat. As will be argued below Nordic involvement in Baltbat could be conceptualised as a natural outflow of their wide-ranging and activist foreign policies towards the Baltic states. Moreover, there is reason to believe that the decision to support Baltbat was induced by the Nordic states’ own wide-ranging dedication to international peacekeeping in particular and the United Nations in general. Seen from this perspective it is hardly surprising that the Nordic states decided to contribute to the establishment of an independent Baltic peacekeeping capacity, because such a commitment is in line with their own vision of how states have obligations to contribute to stability, peace and order in the world. As the Danish Ministry of Defence rightly points out: '(t)he UN has constantly a need of well-trained peacekeeping soldiers- a need, which Denmark generally attempts to assist. By contributing to training of ...Baltic peacekeeping forces it has been possible to assist the UN and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania simultaneously'. 42
While all the Nordic states are eager supporters of Baltbat, it is possible to detect national variations in their policies in terms of levels of engagement and assistance provided. Since 1994, Denmark has acted as the co-ordinator of international assistance to the project, and has therefore been depicted as the most active supporting nation. In line with this claim the Latvian Ambassador to Denmark argues that it is the most important and active Nordic supporter of Baltic defence and security. He explains this by noting that Denmark has developed a deeper understanding of the Baltic situation, due to its own experience of German wartime occupation, an experience that Sweden is largely lacking. 43
Denmark is also the most ardent supporter of Baltic Nato membership. Denmark’s active role in Baltbat may be, at least partly; explained by its firm conviction that Baltic security can be best served within he framework of Nato. By making contributions to the project of Baltbat Denmark have been able to indirectly promote its foreign policy priority of Baltic NATO membership. Furthermore, Denmark’s active role in Baltbat may be explained by its decision to pursue a foreign policy based on what has been defined as ‘active internationalism’. Holm’s view is that Danish foreign policy has changed in nature and acquired a more ‘proactive’ status rather than being ‘reactive’. Furthermore, he argues that Denmark has increasingly become concerned with principle of common security rather than that of national security. 44 Such activism has largely coincided with the intensification of Danish as well as Nordic assistance of Baltic defence co-operation.
Apart from having accepted the role as the ‘leading supporting nation’ Denmark has contributed to Baltbat through the provision of: ‘...detachment and deployment of instructors, preparations for and accomplishment of service school training modules in the Baltic countries, as well as running courses and training in Denmark. 45 As has been noted above, Lithuanian peacekeepers have had the opportunity to take part in Danish peacekeeping missions throughout former Yugoslavia, in order to acquire skills and international experience. Moreover, Denmark has made considerable material contributions to the project of Baltbat. Examples of such military donations are light mortars, sub-machine guns, new man trucks, generators, depot stores shelf systems, military police platoon equipment, weapon armoury security alarms. 46 Throughout the period 1994-1997 Denmark set aside 204 million Danish kroner to various dimensions of Baltic defence, and the main part of this assistance targeted training of Baltbat troops. From this can be understood that Denmark regards the project of Baltbat to be of immense significance in the development of Baltic defence, in both its national and international dimensions. 47
Denmark has indeed donated more material than the other Nordic states and accepted a special responsibility of co-ordinating assistance from the supporting nations. However, this not to say that the Sweden, Norway and Finland have pursued a passive ‘Baltbat policy’. The Swedish armed forces have since 1993 assisted the build-up of Baltic defence. From the onset Swedish defence assistance was limited to small number of projects. However, it has gradually acquired a more comprehensive status involving a large number of government agencies as well as actors. 48 Not only does Sweden support Baltbat, but like the other Nordic states it assists all the other Baltic common defence project too. However, Gyldén appears to hold the view that Baltbat still constitutes one of the most important examples of Swedish defence assistance. 49 As has been pointed out above, Sweden has trained and deployed Baltic peacekeeping officers in Sweden and in Bosnia. Yet, its donations of material have been more modest than those provided by Denmark, which may be explained by its present policy of non-alignment, which raises limits to its freedom of action in the fields of defence and security. Nevertheless, Sweden has donated 56 recoilless guns to the battalion. 50
Norway was until recently accused of showing little interest in the faith of the Baltic states. 51 While it may have been slow to act in certain areas of Baltic development it was among the first nations to show an interest in the development of Baltbat. The country has both provided training and deployment to Baltbat officers in Norway and Lebanon. Furthermore, it has donated 394 anti-tank rockets, 10 x 81-mm mortars as well as medical material to Baltbat. Despite strong commitments to the Barents Sea region and the North West of Russia Norway has declared that it intends to further develop its assistance to Baltbat, Baltron and the Baltic Defence College. 52 There appears to be a general feeling among Norwegian policy-makers that the country has an obligation to contribute to stability and security in the Baltic Sea region and that: '...this can be achieved... by integrating the Baltic states into bilateral and multilateral co-operation... in the areas of security and defence.'
Finland has kept a lower profile in Baltbat than Denmark and Sweden and its assistance has largely targeted Estonian defence structures. Whereas Finland has made wide-ranging contributions to the build-up of Estonian defence it has not shown the same political will to assist Latvia and Lithuania. 53 It has generally defended its position by arguing that its resources are limited and that its assistance policy can be made more effective if it assists only one Baltic state, rather than spreading its assistance evenly between them. The other Baltic states have sometimes perceived this in a negative way. For instance a Latvian diplomat encourages Finland to play a more active role in Baltic Sea security. 54 Although, such criticism is fair Finland has been all the more active in the build-up of Estonian defence. Examples of Finnish defence assistance to Estonia includes training of Estonian defence personnel, provision of expert assistance, opportunities for Estonian cadets to study at the Finnish Military Academy. In addition 23 Finnish officers have acted as military advisers to the Estonian Defence forces. Each year Finnish defence officials and officers undertake a large number of study visits to Estonia in order to stimulate new contacts and exchange of information between the two countries. In 1998, 600 such visits were made. Finland has also donated field artillery battalion equipment to Estonia. 55 In its capacity as a supporting nation of Baltbat, Finland is responsible for the training of the battalion’s catering and the transportation platoons.
Unity and national variations in Nordic visions of Baltbat.
Nordic attitudes towards Baltbat have generally been positive, and there has been a great deal of agreement on the overall objectives, training and structure of the project. This claim is confirmed by the Norwegian member of parliament and defence spokesman Hernæs who argues that: 'I have not experienced any differences among the Nordic countries, at least if we speak of the Nordic governments/parliaments or among the political elite. Among ordinary people the knowledge of Baltbat is probably limited.' 56 Defence politicians and officials in Sweden, Norway and Denmark largely support this viewpoint. For instance, as a Swedish member of parliament, argues there are no variations in Nordic parliamentarians’ attitudes towards the project of Baltbat. Interestingly enough, he argues that: ‘(t)he differences are greater between politicians from different political party groups...’ than between the four Nordic states. 57
As has been noted above, all the four Nordic states have taken part in various dimensions of Baltbat and thereby been able to offer advice and affect the development of the project. Yet, the level of their involvement varies from one country to another, which can be partly explained by variations in their national foreign policy priorities. For instance, Norway has occasionally been accused of showing little interest in the Baltic states while paying a great deal of attention to the Barents Region and North West Russia. In this context, a Swedish defence official points out that: '(t)he level of economic engagement varies and may reflect the importance the Nordic states attach to the project, but one should also bear in mind that economic realities limit each country’s contributions to the project.' 58 This helps to explain why Finland has decided to focus its defence assistance programme on Estonia.
Despite a great deal of unity with regard to Nordic involvement in Baltbat, the Nordic states nevertheless hold differing views on some dimensions of the project. To begin with, it emerged during the period 1998-1999 that Nordic views on the deployment of Baltbat officers to peacekeeping missions differed somewhat. Denmark has generally favoured an early deployment of Baltbat, while the other Nordic states have followed a more cautious policy. In this context, a Finnish defence official makes the critical observation that Denmark has favoured early deployment of Baltbat, because it has been able to make use of Baltic officers on its peacekeeping missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and would widely benefit from such co-operation in the future. 59 However, such criticism largely ignores the fact that Norway and Sweden have also employed Baltic peacekeepers on their missions in Bosnia and Lebanon. Therefore, it seems more accurate to assume that Denmark favours early deployment of troops because it improves the readiness of Baltic peacekeepers in terms of expanding their international experience, skills and confidence. In line with this argument Nielsen holds the view that deployment of forces is an essential element of the development of Baltbat, because without it Baltic peacekeepers cannot gain sufficient experience. Furthermore, he argues that the sustenance of Baltbat, as an independent Baltic project, depends on acquisition of peacekeeping skills, which can only be obtained if the battalion is deployed. 60
The costly nature of Baltbat has also given rise to some discussion. Related to this point is the view that the project is too remotely placed from the national defence structures of the Baltic states, and, therefore does not benefit them fully. Thus, the argument has been made that by spending too much money on Baltbat other vital parts of the armed forces can come to suffer from shortages of financial sources. This dilemma has induced some concern among the Nordic states. Norway, Sweden and Finland have generally argued that it would be advantageous to tie Baltbat more closely to Baltic national defence structures. In like fashion, Denmark concedes that Baltbat is an expensive project, but it has kept a lower profile in this question. 61 Korhonen points out that: 'Finland emphasises that Baltbat should be more tied to the build-up of the Baltic states national defence. We also think that Baltbat is too costly with regard to the Baltic states’ general resources. Occasionally the other Nordic states may have held other opinions, but I believe that we now agree on the priorities'. 62 In like fashion, the official Swedish view is that it is vital that Baltbat enhances the national defence capacities of the Baltic states. 63 Hence, it is possible to observe that the Swedish and Finnish standpoints largely coincide. Their similar positions have most plausibly been informed by both countries' policies of non-alignment, which put great emphasis on national defence, based on the concept of 'total defence'. In this context, it is interesting to note that from 1999 Finland started reducing its support of Baltbat, although it still participates in the Baltbat working and steering groups Subsequently, Finland has decided to increase its contribution to the newly established Baltic Defence College, which it argues contributes more substantially to Baltic national defence structures. 64
Another example of Nordic national variations refers to the recruitment procedures of the Baltic Battalion. Sweden Norway and Finland have generally favoured conscription as the best recruitment method for the Battalion, which can be explained by the usage of the conscription principle in those countries. In contrast, Denmark has held the view that Baltbat should continue to recruit its officers on a professional basis. 65 Nielsen argues that Denmark’s standpoint on conscription as the best Baltbat practise, stems from the fact that Danish defence is based on combination of professional contracts and conscription, which makes it more inclined to make a case for recruitment on a professional basis. 66 In this context it is worth noting that the general publics in the Baltic states have shown some reluctance with regard to conscription. The Danish official (Clemmesen) who was for a number of years responsible for the implementation of Danish defence assistance to the Baltic states points out that: ‘...there is a widespread and strong negative attitude to personal contributions to the common good, including conscription for the national armed forces. However, small front-line states with low population density can only hope to build a conventional deterrent force through the ‘Nordic type’ conscription-mobilisation system. ‘ 67 From this it can be understood that, although, Denmark largely favours recruitment on a professional basis within the framework of Baltbat, it does not advocate it as a solution to national defence in the Baltic states at large. Hence, it seems that the variations between Denmark and the other Nordic states are only minor and should not have any major implications for the general success of Nordic engagement in Baltbat.
It seems reasonable to assume that the variations in the Nordic positions on Baltbat have been informed by their individual visions of national defence. Arguably, all the Nordic states have, to a lesser or greater extent, pursued an internationalisation of their defence forces through increased participation in conflict and crisis management, Partnership for Peace as well as engagement in soft security co-operation. However, there are still national variations in their security policies, and the most striking difference is of course that Denmark and Norway are members of NATO, while Sweden and Finland are non-aligned states. However, it is hard to establish to what extent their national preferences with regard to NATO membership have affected their standpoints on Baltbat. The general view among Nordic defence policy-makers appears to be that national differences have not significantly impacted upon Nordic involvement in the project of Baltbat. As Hernæs puts forward that: '(i)t is not possible to observe that NATO membership or not has impacted upon the Nordic states’ assessment of Baltbat.' 68
To sum up this section it can be noted that both Nordic and Baltic politicians and officials generally agree that Baltbat is a success story It has both achieved the overall objective of creating a well- functioning Baltic peacekeeping capacity as well as set a pattern for future security co-operation between the Baltic states and their supporting nations. Asthe Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs argues: '(t)his battalion... will do more than assist in global peace-keeping activities, for the battalion is also an excellent example of regional and international co-operation...' 69 Arguably, its greatest success lies in its ability to inspire other common Baltic projects such as a Baltic Defence College (Baltdefcol), Baltic Naval Squadron (Baltron), Baltic Security Assistance (Baltsea) and Baltic Air Surveillance Network (Baltnet). This view is supported by the Danish Ministry of Defence which argues that: '(o)ne measure of Baltbat’s success - and the model of co-operation that is has spawned - has been the blossoming of other multilateral projects in the region...' 70 Not only has the battalion led to other Baltic multinational defence projects but it has also inspired other groups of states. For instance: '(i)n Europe Baltbat has inspired the co-operation between Romanian and Hungarian as well as Polish and Lithuanian peacekeeping battalions.' 71
Moreover, Baltbat officers have acquired knowledge of English, international experience and opportunities to take part in peacekeeping exercises alongside Nordic and other European soldiers. Acquisition of such experience facilitates the adaptation of Baltic defence to growing international demands and may enhance the Baltic states’ prospects of joining NATO. In this context, it is important to note that while there is no obvious link between the project of Baltbat and NATO membership, there is reason to believe that the acquisition of international experience and skills have an indirect positive impact upon the Baltic goal of joining NATO. In line with this argument the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence points out that: ‘Baltbat’s objectives cover more than just peacekeeping operations. Plans approved by the Baltbat Steering Group provides for the following tasks: to develop a force which is compatible and interoperable with NATO and to spread the Baltbat experience into the rest of the national armed forces of the Baltic States...to increase the self-defence capability of the Baltic states...’ 72 In like fashion, the Estonian Foreign Ministry points out that Baltbat has led to: ...the transfer of skills and knowledge and nurturing the reform and development of the three countries’ defence forces. The exposure to Nato's high level of procedural discipline and standards will assist in ensuring that reforms in the defence forces will endure, and benefit the societies as a whole. 73 From these two statements it can be deducted that the Baltic states do not only envisage the project of Baltbat in terms of peacekeeping, but also in terms of its ability to contribute to military interoperability and proximity to the defence structures of NATO. In line with this argument the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten writes that: '...the battalion almost functions as a preparatory school for Nato-membership... 74 In this context, it is important to emphasise that the link between the Baltbat project and prospects of joining NATO should not overshadow the ethical underpinnings of international peacekeeping activities, since this would question the credibility of the Baltic states as providers of peacekeeping. Yet, there seems to be agreement among the Baltic states that: ‘Baltbat provides the Baltic states with the opportunity to effectively support and contribute to international peace and security...' 75 Thus, enhanced prospects of joining Nato should not be regarded as the primary motivation behind Baltic involvement in international peacekeeping but as an added-value.
The position developed in this paper takes issue with neorealism in offering an ‘inside-out’ account of Nordic international relations. It is argued that in order to fully comprehend a state’s foreign policy actions, it is necessary to go beyond the ‘logic of anarchy’ and the analysis of interest and power and investigate the impact of domestic norms and values upon a country’s external relations This entails more than noting that the motives of a particular state’s foreign policy include a number of altruistic and moral considerations. It is to suggest that norms and values concretely influence and frame state behaviour. 76 The Nordic welfare states provide particularly appropriate local settings for the generation of values such as solidarity, equality and justice, the influence of which, moreover, has not been confined to the domestic policy arena. In other words, they suggest the thesis that a state that promotes universal welfare at the national level is more inclined to practise solidarity outside its borders. The Nordic countries have frequently shown that they are willing to act 'solidaristically' beyond their national borders or beyond those of the Nordic region. 77 Archer's contention that: '...the views of domestic social movements - about social solidarity, compromise and respect for law and conflict resolution - have been increasingly externalised into foreign and security policy and, with the help of increasingly open political structures...' seems to fit this argument 78
Thus, at the heart of Nordic foreign policy lies the value of international solidarity which is expressed in such things as high levels of participation in UN peacekeeping and administration, budget commitments to high levels of overseas development assistance (ODA), as well as mediation and bridge-building in conflict. 79 In this context it is interesting to consider Pratt’s point that there are some states which tend to pursue what he defines as ‘humane internationalism’, and these include Norway, Denmark and Sweden. 80 He argues that ‘(t)he most compelling evidence of the strength of the humanitarian component of their internationalism is provided by the substantial development assistance programmes of these countries’ 81 This view is supported by Hook who points out that Sweden’s: ‘...aggressive approach to ODA, which was shared by other Scandinavian states, served as a projection of Swedish domestic values and as a vehicle for its global designs...In this respect, the Nordic model of foreign assistance...provides an illuminating contrast to other donors’ pursuit of national interest through foreign aid.’ 82 Arguably, there is reason to believe that Nordic involvement in the Baltic states generally and the project of Baltbat specifically has been influenced by a general Nordic tendency to pursue internationalist foreign policies, informed by norms and values such as international solidarity and justice. This is not to discount entirely the idea of a national interest in the orthodox sense. Rather, it is to postulate that in many instances of Nordic foreign policy interest and solidarity are bound up in one another. Keohane rightly identifies the linkage:
To relax the assumption of egoism by drawing a sharp distinction between egoism and altruism, however, would confuse the issue”. Egoism can be farsighted as well as myopic. Altruism is difficult to identify clearly, since apparently altruistic behaviour can always be reinterpreted as egoistic: the “altruist” may be seen as preferring to sacrifice herself rather than to violate a principle or see someone else suffer”. Thus it is often impossible to determine whether to classify a given action as one of farsighted egoism or altruism”. 83
Long tradition of peacekeeping
Arguably, the Nordic states’ involvement in Baltbat has also been influenced by their generally favourable visions of international peacekeeping and the United Nations. A Danish foreign policy official points out that: (h)istorically, Denmark has promoted the role of the UN as the anchor of the international system with its special status and legitimacy... Danish support for the world organisation forms the background for general and basic Danish support for multilateralism.' 84 This observation is largely applicable to the other Nordic states as well. The Nordics are undoubtedly among the world's most devout supporters of international peacekeeping. For instance, during 1945-1990 the four Nordic states belonged to the group of the seven most active participants in international peacekeeping in the world. 85 The fundamental goal of peacekeeping is of course to secure and scrutinise cease-fires in war-torn areas. However, there may be other motives too. Ratner differentiates between new and old forms peacekeeping and ‘...views peacekeeping as an instrument of international organisation and law-a way of and process for securing important, shared values. While the earlier missions primarily sought to minimise external conflict by monitoring cease-fires, the latest efforts strive to advance more fundamental goals: civil order and domestic tranquillity; human rights...economic and social development.’ 86
Like Ratner this working paper holds that ‘monitoring cease-fires’ is only one side of peacekeeping and that there are wider objectives attached to it, including furthering international norms. Moreover, it can provide a channel of influence by which participatory states are able to promote their national norms and values outside their borders. 87 To find such channels of norm influence is particularly important for states which pursue ‘humane internationalism’. Thus, by taking part in international peacekeeping the Nordic states have found a channel through which their perceptions of international norms and values can be furthered. Arguably, attempts to enact such influence have emerged out of a Nordic conviction that international peace, order, stability and justice are values, which should benefit others than the Nordic states. Through involvement in the project of Baltbat the Nordic states have been able to advance their commitment to international peace and norms with the view that the Baltic states will become their partners in the Nordic internationalist project. 88
The Baltic states- an example adjacent internationalism
As has been pointed out above, this paper holds that the Nordic tradition of pursuing ‘humane internationalist’ foreign policies has also informed relations with the Baltic states. Arguably, the liberation of the Baltic states made the Nordic countries re-evaluate the boundaries of their solidarity sphere. From having pursued an activist third world policy Nordic international relations came to embrace the Baltic states. Consequently, a new form of Nordic internationalism came into being- adjacent internationalism . Similarly Archer concedes that Nordic involvement in Baltic security stems from '...ethical and ideological factors that, in a way, externalised what the Nordic states saw themselves as representing.' 89 Given this it is not surprising that a number of assistance projects have been launched, which aim at contributing to the social, economic and political development (soft security) of the Baltic states. In addition various forms of multilateral and national defence assistance have been realised.
Yet, the most striking example of Nordic engagement in the Baltic states has arisen in civil society, where a number of 'people-to-people' projects have developed. This civic process has brought far-reaching credibility to the notion of Nordic-Baltic solidarity and affected the foreign policy process positively. Thus, not only have the Nordic governments committed themselves to the development of the Baltic states, but the Nordic publics have also showed willingness to engage in a number of civic projects. We can describe this process as one of civic regionalisation , working in parallel with adjacent internationalism (national government projects). Archer also draws attention to the significance of Nordic civic assistance of the Baltic states. He points out that: '(t)he Baltic states were small countries aspiring to democracy and market economies, and they struck a chord with their Nordic neighbours, especially among a public that was remarkably supportive of its governments' activist Baltic policies.' 90 Consequently, it seems fair to say that Nordic engagement in the Baltic states in general and security in particular has been informed by both political and popular devotion to the overall economic, political and social developments of the Baltic states complemented by high levels of commitment to international peacekeeping.
It is also worth noting that Nordic engagement in the project of Baltbat and other Baltic common defence initiatives have largely coincided with the general direction of Nordic foreign and security policies in the 1990s. During that decade the Nordic states demonstrated growing willingness to further both inter-Nordic co-operation as well as co-operation with other states in the areas of crisis management, conflict management, Nato’s partnership for peace programme as well as peacekeeping activities. By participating in such projects the Nordic states have acted as promoters of common security in Europe and made Baltic security a vital part of the wider European security structure.
Moreover, by assisting the project of Baltbat the Nordic states have been able to support the Baltic states’ wish to contribute to international peacekeeping and influence the future direction of Baltic defence. Neorealists would argue that this involvement in Baltbat has been informed by a Nordic wish to maximise their own security and regional influence. As the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten writes: '(l)ittle charity and a lot of politics lie behind the project, whose core function is to give the Baltics a military tie to NATO, without promising them too much- and without provoking the Russian Bear. And so far the Russians have not expressed any negative comments about Baltbat... Furthermore, the newspaper points out that the project of Baltbat has made vital contributions to Baltic defence. 91 Arguably, Aftenposten is correct in pointing out that there are political motives behind Nordic involvement in Baltbat, particularly since it has fostered new co-operative security structures and stability in the North of Europe which are beneficial to the Nordic states. However, this claim is simplistic. Questioning the excesses of Nordic involvement in Baltbat and identifying the mixed motives underpinning it is one thing; to discard solidaristic motives in their entirety is another matter. In contrast, the view promoted here is that the project of Baltbat provides a platform for the unification of Nordic commitments to international, European and regional expressions of solidarity, international peacekeeping as well as a general commitment to the Baltic states. Thus, within the framework of Baltbat the most important Nordic foreign policy priorities have been embraced, and seen from this perspective, it is not difficult to understand why Nordic engagement in the project of Baltbat has been so intense. Furthermore, it is questionable whether Baltbat should be considered primarily as a generator of national security in the Baltic states. While acknowledging that Baltbat has been beneficial to national defence in the Baltic states, by lending them international experience, it should also be noted that its primary objective has been to be a provider of international peacekeeping As has been noted above, it can be a risky business to link Baltbat too closely to national defence and NATO since this discredits the good will of the Baltic states. It seems fairer to assume that the Baltic states have the same level of commitment to international peacekeeping as other nations. There is at least no evidence to show that this is not the case.
The position developed here is that the growing importance of inter-Nordic and Nordic Baltic co-operation in the field of security and defence has had a strengthening effect on Nordic unity and solidarity. 92 As Neumann argues: 'Nordic security co-operation has two things to offer. First, it may put an end to the present sclerosis of Nordic co-operation by signalling a new deal. Secondly, it may lend legitimacy to an internationalisation of the Nordic security policies.' 93 In like fashion, Archer argues that: '(t)he needs of the Baltic states have provided the Nordic countries with a Nordic project of some importance...it is clear that there is a Nordic effort being undertaken.' 94 Certainly, Nordic involvement in Baltbat is an example of a ‘Nordic project of some importance’ in that it constitutes the first Nordic attempt to assist a multilateral Baltic defence project. As such it has inspired other Baltic projects as well as led to an intensified level of Nordic security contacts. The Danish Minister of Defence Hækkerup points out that the success of Baltbat: 'does not consist of the fact that the plan works, or that another peacekeeping battalion is at the UN’s disposal. It consists, to a great extent, of the fact that it actually succeeded in bringing so many countries to work together and reach concrete results. Baltbat is furthermore a good example of common Nordic co-operation.' 95 This view is supported by the Swedish security analyst and official Engberg who argues that despite the existence of some different attitudes towards defence assistance Nordic co-operation and co-ordination function in a satisfactory manner. While she argues that there is a measure of competition between the Nordic states, with regard to leadership in the Baltic states, she also recognises that neither have the Nordic countries ever been closer nor has Nordic defence co-operation ever been deeper 96
However, there are also those who question the calibre of Nordic unity and co-operation. In 1982 Sundelius argued that: '(h)istory seems to indicate that the Nordic countries have failed dramatically when they have tried to undertake some major, conspicuous co-operation projects. 97 Such allegations are often based on Nordic failures to create a Nordic Defence Alliance in 1949 and a Nordic Economic Union in 1970. 98 A more current claim is that European integration and Baltic Sea regionalisation have gained ground at the expense of Nordic co-operation. In essence, the Nordic states have been accused of dedicating to little energy and time to traditional forms of Nordic co-operation. In line with this argument Weaver points out that ‘...the future is with the Baltic project, not the Nordic project.’ He goes on to say that: ‘the old Nordic co-operation can and will continue for what it is worth. But ... the local dynamism of the area will be the Baltic project... Norden can be rearticulated as a Baltic project.’ 99 While this paper concedes Weaver's point that Nordic co-operation has acquired a Baltic dimension, it is less inclined to assume that Norden can become 'a Baltic project'. Rather, it is held that Nordic involvement in the Baltic states has brought a new dimension to Nordic co-operation, which has both strengthened Nordic-Baltic relations as well as brought new energy to traditional forms of inter-Nordic co-operation, and thereby saved it from becoming superfluous as new integrating forces in Europe develop.
Moreover, the Nordic states have been charged with accusations of failing to reach unity with regard to certain dimensions of the European integration project. The most frequently cited Nordic disagreement is Finland’s unilateral decision to support the Commission’s recommendation with regard to the enlargement of the EU, which proposed that only the most advanced candidate countries (including Estonia) should be included in the first round of membership negotiations. Sweden, Norway and Denmark, on the other hand, favoured a broad solution, which would include all candidate countries. 100
Finally, critics have pointed out that Nordic unity is threatened by attempts to acquire leadership in the North of Europe. 101 Such competition reinforces the orthodox view that Nordic foreign policy towards the Baltic states is characterised by the primacy of national interest. Particularly, Sweden and Denmark have been accused of such aspirations. In line with this argument Mouritzen has recently observed that early Nordic involvement in the Baltic states was affected by ' a good deal of prestige' and 'rivalry' and that this competition: '...has supposedly been repeated in later, less visible matters.’ 102 This view has also gained support in some segments of the Nordic press. For instance, a Swedish newspaper questions the strength of Nordic EU co-operation by writing that: ‘the thought of a united Nordic front seems at present relatively remote ... the Nordic countries have taken up completely different positions on the important questions of enlargement and monetary union’ 103 In this context, it should be noted that such allegations have also entered the area of Nordic defence and security assistance. For instance, Fagelund-Knudsen criticises Nordic involvement in Baltic security for having been poorly co-ordinated, and holds the view that the Nordic states have been too competitive with regard to acquisition of leadership in the Baltic states. 104 Similarly, Joenniemi points out that competition between the Nordic states has arisen with regard to support of Baltic security and defence, particularly between Sweden and Denmark. Furthermore he argues that the existence of Nordic competition has occasionally made the co-ordination of defence assistance more difficult. According to Joenniemi such rivalry has emerged from a Nordic will to influence the formation and implementation of policy rather than from a wish to abandon Nordic unity. 105 It is interesting to observe that while Joenniemi acknowledges that there is Nordic competition with regard to Baltic security, he nevertheless does not discard the Nordic co-operation project in its entirety. Rather, he brings new light to the fact that there are some area where the Nordic states have to work harder to achieve success. This seems to be a more constructive way of conceptualising Nordic co-operation. 106
Thus, the underlying argument of this working paper is that the creation of a Nordic defence dimension, induced by involvement in Baltbat and other projects, can contribute to the alteration of negative notions of the future of Nordic unity and solidarity. More importantly, Nordic involvement in Baltbat supports the claim that Nordic internationalism is still alive and well and has been able to retain, at least partly, its exceptionalism. The paper therefore casts doubt on Mouritzen's observation that the 'prospects for a future survival of the Nordic bastion do not seem bright.' 107 Admittedly, the external and internal conditions of Nordic foreign policy have changed after the demise of the Cold War, however there is no evidence to suggest that the Nordic branch of internationalism has become redundant. Rather, a new form of 'adjacent internationalism' as well as a stronger presence of the European Union in the region have as the Baltbat project shows, complimented it. As noted above Baltbat provides a platform of unification where Nordic commitments to values such as solidarity, equality, international peace and so on come together.
Yet, the present analysis of Baltbat has revealed that there are national variations with regard to Nordic attitudes towards the project As has been shown above these differences can, at least in part, be explained by the Nordic states' national defence preferences and traditions rather than a wish to 'abandon Nordic unity' or pursue self-interested competition. However, as Archer points out: '...with Finnish and Swedish membership of the EU, their close involvement in PfP and extended Nordic defence co-operation, this difference has become less vital.' 108 Furthermore, it is doubtful whether disagreements between a number of states, which normally enjoy friendly relations, should be interpreted as a failure to co-operate. Conceivably, such differences of opinion matter if, and only if, they tell us something of consequence about relations between participating states. The idea that states, which in other respects enjoy close and co-operative relations, hold individual views on certain concrete issues is hardly earth shattering. It may simply be a product of design flaws around the issue itself. This does not preclude overall success if the alternative would be non-co-operation. The key issue is what they are disputing and why.
It is therefore the conclusion of this working paper that the emergence of a common Nordic defence dimension, in spite of its flaws and competitive dimensions, reveals the irreducible presence of Nordic unity, solidarity and a will to advance co-operative, comprehensive and indivisible aspects of security outside their own borders. Even if the increased level of Nordic involvement in the Baltic states has caused some tension between them, Nordic solidarity is strong enough, arguably, to survive occasional disputes. In essence, the Nordic countries have competed about being conceived as the most dedicated advocates of the Baltic project. It is, however, doubtful whether this form of ‘competitive solidarity’ is likely to harm Nordic unity in the long run. Rather, it shows that international solidarity is still a valid concept in Nordic foreign policy. In this context it is instructive to observe that Mouritzen, who normally holds a more realist view of Nordic involvement in the Baltic states, also concedes that: '...the competition at stake in the parallel action sphere urges each country not to fall behind the others and preferably even do a little bit more.' 109 Given the character of much of international relations historically, there is something disingenuous about criticising the competitive pursuit of co-operative and integrative outcomes. Such competition is, at worst, of a benign nature. Nielsen promotes the more constructive view that variations in the way the Nordic states envisage the Baltbat project:
(a)rise because all the Nordic countries are so interested in co-operating. This is what should be emphasised, not that there are some differences of opinion occasionally. Differences of opinion have sometimes led to heated discussions. However, all the Nordic countries feel a great responsibility for the Baltic states, which can give rise to strong feelings in discussions. 110
Note 1: Thanks are due to COPRI and particularly to Dr. Pertti Joenniemi, COPRI, who gave me the opportunity to do an internship at COPRI during the spring of 1999. I would also like to thank those Nordic and Baltic officials as well as politicians who provided valuable information. Finally, I would like to thank Peter Lawler, University of Manchester for comments on an earlier draft and Professor Clive Archer, Manchester Metropolitan University, for advice and insight. Back.
Note 5: By 1998 Swedish Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) had fallen from a high of 1.0 percent to 0.7 per cent GDP. However, the Swedish Government is committed to increasing the level of ODA to 0.73 per cent GDP by 2003. See: Sveriges internationella utvecklingssamarbete – Årsbok 199 8, Stockholm, Utrikesdepartementet, 1998, p.4. Back.
Note 7: See Sundsvalls Tidning , 'Oenighet i Norden', 12 November 1997. Kristianstadsbladet, 'Splittring så in i Norden', 11 November 1997. Mariestads Tidning, 'Norden och Baltikum', 13 November 1997, Norrländska Socialdemokraten, 'Stor risk Nordiska rådet blir remissorgan till AEU', 11 November 1997. Back.
Note 8: Fagelund-Knudsen, O. 'Norden og Baltikum', Foredrag i Oslo Militære Samfund , Oslo, DNAK 206, 1997 and Mouritzen, H. 'Denmark in the post-cold war era: the salient action spheres' Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook ,Copenhagen, DUPI. 1997, p. 46. Back.
Note 12: The same claim could also be made about the EU. A military conflict between France and Britain or France and Germany seems almost as unlikely nowadays. Thus, Joenniemi is right in questioning the concept of security community. However, as much as it has become superfluous in the debate on Nordic security it has become affluent in other parts of Europe. Back.
Note 15: The Swedish delegation to the Nordic Council. Redogörelse till Riksdagen 1995/96:NR1 Nordiska Rådets svenska delegations berättelse angående verksamheten efter rådets 44:e session, Stockholm,1996. Back.
Note 16: While the Nordic Council has developed a working programme for the Areas Adjacent to the Nordic Region, it has not as yet granted membership of the Nordic Council to the Baltic states with the motivation that this would alter the unique Nordic nature of the organisation. Back.
Note 19: Möttölä, K. 'Security around the Baltic Rim: Concepts, Actors and Processes', in Hedegaard and Lindtröm (Eds), The NEBI Yearbook North European and Baltic Sea Integration, NewYork: Springer, 1998, p.199. Back.
Note 20: Klein, B. 'Conclusion: Every Month is "Security Awareness Month"', in Krause, K. and Williams, M . Critical Security Studies Concepts and Cases , London, UCL Press. See also: Buzan, Weaver and de Wilde, Security: A new Framework for Analysis , Lynne Reinner, London, 1998. Back.
Note 22: Lassinatti, 'Hard and Soft Security in the Baltic Sea Region - a Development Task' in E. Janson (Ed), Hard and Soft Security in the Baltic Sea Region , The Olof Palme International Center, Stockholm, 1997, p.9. Back.
Note 25: Weaver argues that the optimal goal for actors should be to achieve desecuritisation, by which 'the shifting of issues out of the emergency mode' takes place. Nevertheless, there are instances where security does not give rise to negative connotations but invokes a positive understanding. In this sense, security acquires a meaning closer to that of safety. Arguably, such a usage is more in line with soft dimensions of security. See the discussion in Buzan, B., Weaver, O. and de Wilde, J. Security, p.4. Back.
Note 30: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'The Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion. Regional and International Co-operation in Action' Estonia Today http://www.vm.ee/eng/estoday/1995/9509bat.html , 1998. Back.
Note 31: For further discussion on contemporary British foreign policy see Wheeler, N. and Dunne, T. 'Good international citizenship: a third way for British foreign policy' International Affairs. 74(4) October 1998, pp. 847-870. Back.
Note 40: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'The Baltic Peace-keeping Battalion. Regional and International Co-operation in Action.' Estonia Today , http://www.vm.ee/eng/estoday/1995/9509bat.html 1998. See also Danish Army Operational Command, ACODEN news , Denmark, December 1997. Back.
Note 41: In 1996 the three Baltic states decided to give the Battalion a permanent status. This was laid down in the Declaration of Intent on the future of development of Baltbat , which was signed by the Baltic Ministers of Defence the same year. Back.
Note 51: Although, there is some truth in such an allegation Norway has recently declared that it wishes to pursue a more active policy towards the Baltic states. (Interview with Iver Neuman, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, April 1998) Back.
Note 73: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 'The Baltic Peace-keeping Battalion. Regional and International Co-operation in Action', Estonia Today , http://www.vm.ee/eng/estoday/1995/9509bat.html, 1995-1998. Back.
Note 76: Such an account of Nordic foreign policy has a great deal in common with the constructivist approach to international relations. See for instance, Adler, E. 'Seizing the Middle Ground: Constructivism in World Politics' European Journal International Relations . London, Sage Publications, vol 3, 3. 1997 pp. 319-363. Back.
Note 77: Recent events in Kosovo have shown that even Finland, which has generally followed a cautious foreign policy, has become more internationalist in its approach to foreign policy. The Finnish President Arthsari was chosen to act as the EU representative in the recent peace negotiations with regard to the Kosovo war. This may be seen as a natural step in Finland’s rapid Europeanisation process after the break-up of the USSR. Back.
Note 79: See the discussion of the ‘Good State’ Copri Working Paper 10, Copenhagen: COPRI, 1993, and ‘Scandinavian Exceptionalism’ in Lawler, P. Journal of Common Market Studies Vol. 35 No 4 1997 pp 565-594. Back.
Note 87: Whether it is possible to make a strict distinction between domestic and international norms can be questioned. For instance, Finnemore and Sikkink identify the linkage between domestic and international norms and that the former frequently gives rise to latter. See Finnemore and Sikkink, 'Norm Dynamic and Political Change' International Organisation 52. 4, 1998, pp. 887-917. Back.
Note 88: However, the creation of such partnership should not be conceived as a dominant effort on part of the Nordic states to impose their views on their Baltic colleagues. For a critical examination of Swedish Social Democratic foreign policy-making see the discussion in Nilsson, A.S. Den solidariska Stormakten: En studie av socialdemokratins internationella aktivism. Sweden, Timbro, 1991. Back.
Note 92: There is a great deal of evidence that Nordic and Baltic officials meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common interest. Furthermore, the Nordic defence ministers meet twice a year in order to inform and consult one another. They also meet their Baltic counterparts once a year to discuss matters of common interest. In addition, Nordic and Baltic troops have made contacts while being on peacekeeping missions. Back.
Note 95: Hækkerup, H. 'Østersøn i det nye Europa: Danmarks militære østsamarbejde' , ( Det sikkerhetspolitiske bibliotek 8/1997). Oslo, Den Norske Atlanterhavs Komite, 1997, p 11. My translation. Back.
Note 98: David Arter, for instance, argues that these failures indicate that the Nordic states have not been able to actualise any 'macro-integrationist projects', however, in terms of realising 'micro-integration based on intergovernmental co-operation' they have been more successful. Arter, D. 'Security and co-operation in Scandinavia' in Arter (ed) Scandinavian politics today. Manchester, Manchester University Press. 1999 pp. 279-311. Back.
Note 103: 'Splittring så in i Norden' Kristianstadsbladet, 11 November 1997, my translation. For more positive accounts of Nordic co-operation see for instance 'Avmagret, men vitalt nordiskt Råd', Aftenposten, 14 November 1997. 'Lyttepost i Norden' Stavanger Aftenblad 10 November 1997, 'Nord i Tåkeheimen' Osloposten 14 November 1997. Back.
Note 105: Joenniemi, P. 'Nordisk försvarspolitik under 1990-talet.', in Arteus, G. And Zetterberg K. (eds), Försvarspolitik i Norden eller nordisk försvarspolitik?- Föredrag från en konferens på Försvarshögskolan i Stockholm den 23-24 oktober 1997 , Försvarshögskolan Acta B8, Stockholm, 1998 p. 19. Back.
Note 106: For further reading on Joenniemi's conceptualisation of Nordic unity and the EU see , P Joenniemi. 'Norden - en europeisk megaregion?' Norden är död-Länge Leve Norden . Stockholm, The Nordic Council, 1994, pp. 21-47. Back.
Note 109: Mouritzen, H. 'Denmark in the post-cold war era: the salient action spheres' Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 1997 , Copenhagen, DUPI, 1997, p. 46. The parallel action sphere refers to Denmark's neighbours in the Nordic region. Furthermore, Mouritzen points out that Nordic competition in the Baltic states has in the past few years declined, interview with Mouritzen, April 1999, Copenhagen. Back.