US Reaction if Russia Attacks Finland
Last updated: May 7, 2023
Finland has been preparing to defend itself from Russia ever since it gained independence from the Russian Empire in 1917.
Compared to Russia’s military, Finland is not as strong in terms of numbers. However, Finland has powerful allies, including the United States, and the two countries have a close relationship.
If Russia were to attack Finland, the US would respond, and the extent of the response would depend on the type of attack Russia initiates.
Finland has been preparing to defend itself from Russia for a long time.
Finland has strong military capabilities, although it is outmanned and outgunned compared to Russia.
Finland has a good relationship with the US and has several trade agreements.
If Russia attacked, it would elicit a response from the US, but the extent of the response would depend on the type of attack.
The US and Finland have cooperated in several peace-support missions.
The US has signed a strategic agreement with Finland to increase armament cooperation and joint training exercises.
NATO sends more troops to countries sharing a border with Ukraine to stop Russia's progress in case they win the war
In case of a Russian invasion, all nations in NATO, including the US, declare war
If Russia attacks Finland, Finland can invoke the CSDP to bring aid from other European nations
The US deploys troops to prepare a retaliatory strike into Russia if they use grey zone tactics such as launching missiles into Finland but not invasion
A nuclear attack on Finland would be met by a unified global response against Russia, and the US might launch its own nuclear attack
Russia is losing badly in the war in Ukraine, and Putin would face dire consequences, even the loss of power, if he attacks Finland
Military Capabilities of Finland
Finnish Defence Forces have been preparing to protect the nation from Russia since its conception
Finland gained independence from the Russian Empire in 1917 but quickly found itself once again under threat of invasion by the Soviet Union during World War II
The Finnish Air Force consists of around 166 aircraft, which only 55 are fighters
Finland has around 240 tanks, most of which are Leopard IIs, often considered one of the most capable tanks in the world
Finland also has around 800 artillery guns and 75 MLRS vehicles
The Finnish Navy is pretty much non-existent, with around eight fast attack vessels and a handful of mine sweepers
When compared to the Russian military, even in its weakened state, Finland is outmanned and outgunned. But again, numbers aren’t everything
If a war ever broke out between the two nations, Finland would have some powerful allies, including the United States
Relationship between Finland and US
The US formally established diplomatic relations with Finland in 1919
During the Cold War, Finland's proximity to USSR was of particular interest to the United States
Finland was adamant about remaining neutral in the conflict and refused to openly aid the United States or allow nuclear weapons be deployed within their borders
However, the Finnish government was much more invested in the West winning the Cold War than the Soviet Union
In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States ramped up its efforts to help support Finland in its nonalignment policies while also reinforcing their cultural and economic ties to the West
In 2016, The United States and Finland signed a bilateral Statement of Intent with several objectives of this agreement
The first was to deepen bilateral and multilateral dialogue defense policies
This would set up Finland to join NATO more easily in the future since interoperability between militaries is a requirement for being accepted into the organization
Economic Capabilities of Finland
Finland’s economy has been on an upward trend since 2015 and is close to reaching 300 billion dollars annually
Economic agreements between Finland and the US have only helped Finland’s economy
The Russian economy, on the other hand, is starting to stall and eventually will go into crippling decline as the sanctions placed on Russia by the West take hold
These will cause long-lasting effects, and a lot of Russia’s current future economic problems can be traced back to United States policies
Possible Scenarios of US reaction to Russia attacking Finland
The extent to which the United States would get involved in a conflict between Finland and Russia depends on what actions Putin takes
A full-scale invasion would elicit a very different reaction from the United States than a series of skirmishes along the border of two nations
If Putin resorted to using nukes against Finland, the US response would be swift and catastrophic
Finland would have some powerful allies, including the United States if a war ever broke out between the two nations
Finland has been preparing to protect the nation from Russia since its conception and has a strong military capable of defending itself
The relationship between Finland and the US has been strengthening over the years, and the US has been helping Finland support its nonalignment policies while also reinforcing their cultural and economic ties to the West
The US reaction to a potential Russian attack on Finland would depend on the actions Putin takes, but a full-scale invasion or the use of nukes would elicit a swift and catastrophic response from the US
US-Finland Strategic Agreement
The US and Finland signed a strategic agreement called "The Statement of Intent."
The agreement aims to increase strategic information sharing and joint training exercises.
The US wants to increase armament cooperation and collaboration in research, development, test, and evaluation.
The US seems to want to militarize Finland to work with them in the future if their neighbor, Russia, ever became aggressive.
The US and Finland Cooperation
The US and Finland have cooperated in peace-support missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The US has played a significant role in helping Finland grow its military and modernize its tactics.
US Response to Russian Attack
Finland and the US have good relations and several trade agreements.
The US is heavily invested in maintaining the status quo of pro-Western ideologies and alliances in Finland.
If Russia ever invaded Finland, the US would respond.
The extent and severity of the response would be directly connected to the type of attack Russia initiates against Finland.
Scenario 1: Russia invades Finland using similar tactics as in Ukraine
The attacking force would likely be much weaker than the initial invasion of Ukraine because war has taken a significant toll on the number of soldiers and weapons that Russia has at its disposal.
If Russia was to invade Finland using tanks, armored vehicles, and troops, the US would not take such actions lightly.
The US would likely send javelins to allow Finland's far inferior numbers to decimate Russian tanks and vehicles.
The US would send M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to launch six long-range rockets either simultaneously or at different times and then immediately move its position to get out of danger.
The US may even provide Finland with more aircraft or at least expedite the delivery of F-35 Lightning IIs that Finland has already purchased.
Congress would pass a Finnish relief bill authorizing huge sums of money and weapons to be sent to Finland if they were ever invaded by Russia.
Possibility of Deployment of US Forces in Joint Operation with Finland
The US could deploy its own forces in a joint operation with Finland if Russia started to amass troops on the Finnish border.
This could act as a deterrent for Russia.
If Russia invaded and American troops were caught in the crossfire, it may be seen as an act of war against the United States.
They could claim that Russia was not only the aggressor but attacked American troops intentionally, allowing the US to declare war on Russia.
NATO's Role in Sending Troops to Countries that Share a Border with Ukraine
NATO has been sending more and more troops to countries that share a border with Ukraine.
This has been done to stop any further progress Russia could make if it won the war.
NATO Response to a Russian Invasion
If Russia invades Finland, all nations in NATO, including the United States, would declare war on Russia.
This would be an unwinnable war for Russia.
Finland's Potential NATO Membership
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May 2022, but Hungary and Turkey have not yet ratified their acceptance.
However, if Finland were attacked by Russia, the United States and NATO could still declare war on Russia under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union.
Finland is a member of the European Union and could invoke the CSDP, which would bring other European nations to their aid.
If Russia continues to wage war while other EU forces are in Finland, it could be considered an act of war against those nations, many of which are NATO members. This would trigger Article 5 of the Treaty, and every member of NATO would declare war on Russia, including the United States.
Gray Zone Tactics
If Russia uses gray zone tactics and launches conventional missiles into Finland but does not invade, the United States' response would be different.
The United States would likely not retaliate with force, but it would deploy troops to Finland and nearby NATO countries in preparation for a retaliatory strike into Russia to deter further aggression.
Finland has already procured tactical missiles and Joint Stand-Off Weapons from the US to mount a defense or act as a deterrent against Russian attack.
Possibility of a Nuclear Strike
Although highly unlikely, if Russia were to attack Finland with nuclear weapons, it would be met by a unified global response against Russia.
The United States and Russia would be brought to the brink of war, and NATO would also actively arm their nukes just in case Putin decided to launch any more missiles.
A Russian nuclear strike against Finland probably wouldn't result in World War III because China has made it clear it would not support Russia using nukes in Ukraine or in general.
North Korea might back Russia, but Finland, the United States, and NATO have little to fear from North Korea.
Russia's military capabilities and China's role
North Korea relies on old Soviet technology and may not have reliable nuclear missiles.
China would likely intervene if Russia launches a nuclear attack on Finland to prevent a global nuclear holocaust.
Putin launching nukes at Finland would prompt a worldwide effort to remove him from power and prevent further nuclear weapon deployment.
US response to a Russian attack on Finland
The US would not be the only country to aid Finland in the event of a Russian attack.
A worldwide effort would likely be made to remove Putin from power and prevent further nuclear weapon deployment.
If the US believed that Russia would launch more nukes, they might launch their own nuclear attack against Russia to send a clear message.
This could lead to a series of exchanges and result in the loss of countless lives.
Scenario 4: Russia is too weak to attack Finland
Even without US support, Russia is in no position to invade another country.
Russia is already losing badly in the war in Ukraine, and Putin is desperate to hold onto the little territory Russia still controls.
The scenarios discussed would almost certainly lead to the Russian military being decimated, as they could not fight two different countries simultaneously.
The most likely outcome for Russia is that they will continue to fight in Ukraine until more Western tanks and weapons arrive.
Possible repercussions for Putin's regime
The Ukrainian military may eventually push Russia out of their country.
Putin's regime will suffer drastic repercussions if he admits defeat in Ukraine, at the very least losing the faith of the Russian people and greatly diminishing his power.
An attack on Finland by Russia would likely result in much more aggressive actions by the US and members of the European Union, possibly even declaring war on Russia.
Since Russia cannot defeat the much smaller Ukrainian military, it has no hope of winning a war against the US and its allies.
Probability of a Russian attack on Finland
The probability of Russia attacking Finland is very small, but it cannot be ruled out entirely.
If Russia did attack Finland, the US response would be swift and merciless.
Other videos to watch on related topics are "How NATO Would Respond to a Nuclear Strike" and "US World War 3 Plan."