Why Would US Give a War Guarantee -- to Finland?
Seeing Russia invade Ukraine, historically neutral Finland has undergone a late conversion and decided to join NATO immediately.
Why? Because NATO membership means the world's strongest power, the United States, under Article 5 of NATO, would go to war against Russia, should it cross Finland's border.
Nervous about Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions, Finland wants America legally and morally bound to fight Russia on its behalf, should Putin invade Finland as he invaded Ukraine.
From the Finnish point of view, this is perfectly understandable.
But why would the United States consent to go to war with Russia, the largest nuclear power on earth, for violating Finland's frontiers?
Finland is not Alaska; it is not Canada; it is 5,000 miles away. And no one ever asserted during the Cold War, or for the decades since, that Finland was a U.S. vital interest.
Why, then, would we consent, in advance, to go to war with Russia over Finland?
President Joe Biden said last week that NATO has an "open door" policy and Finland and Sweden are welcome, and he looks forward to their joining.
Consider what Biden is actually saying and doing here.
He is ceding to Finland, a country of 5.5 million people with an 830-mile border with Putin's Russia, the right to obligate the United States of America to go to war with Russia, if Russia attacks Finland.