Military history of Finland

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Military history of Finland

Post  kosovohp on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:36 am

The Finnish Defence Forces consists of a cadre of professional soldiers (mainly officers and technical personnel), currently serving conscripts and a large reserve. The standard readiness strength is 34,700 people in uniform, of which 25% are professional soldiers. A universal male conscription is in place, under which all male Finnish nationals above 18 years of age serve for 6 to 12 months of armed service or 12 months of civilian (non-armed) service.

Alternative non-military service and volunteer service by women (chosen by around 500 annually)[64] are possible. Finland is the only non-NATO EU country bordering Russia. Finland's official policy states that the 350,000 reservists, armed mostly with ground weaponry are a sufficient deterrent.[citation needed]

The Finnish Defense Forces favor partnerships with Western institutions such as NATO, WEU and the EU, but are careful to avoid politics.[65] Finland's defence budget equals about 2 billion or about 1.41.6% of the GDP. Finnish defense expenditure is around the sixth highest in the EU.[66] Voluntary overseas service is popular, and troops serve around the world in UN, NATO and EU peace-keeping missions. Residents claim around 80% homeland defense willingness, one of the highest rates in Europe.[67]

The Finnish Defence Forces are under the command of the Chief of Defence (currently General Ari Puheloinen), who is directly subordinate to the President of the Republic in matters related to military command. The branches of the military are the Finnish Army, Finnish Navy and Finnish Air Force. The Border Guard is under the Ministry of the Interior but can be incorporated into the Defence Forces when required for defence readiness.

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