Monday, February 05, 2007

Bad Finland! No missiles!

I pinched the pic from Helsingin Sanomat, but they borrowed it from Lockheed Martin so its all free advertising for them in the end... If that is really a pic of the JASSM air-to-ground missiles concerned, it looks bloody big doesn't it? Presumably it is much nearer the camera than the F-16 otherwise I can't quite see how the Falcon got off the ground?

Anyways... so the US has refused to sell Finland a certain weapon and the Finnish press suggests that it's the result of poor bi-lateral relations as opposed to dozens of other perfectly possible reasons. There's an old joke about a Frenchman, an American and Finn meeting a elephant. The Frenchman looks at the elephant and thinks "look at zat fine leg! Wiz a lil' butter et garlic it will taste magnificent!" The American looks at the elephant and think "wow - an unclaimed elephant! What business opportunity. I'll do elephant shows and make a fast buck!" And the Finn looks at the elephant and thinks "I wonder what he thinks about me?"

Having said that I was told by a Finnish diplomat in Washington once what tactics they use to keep the Finnish foreign minister's more... ummm... expansive comments on the US off the top of the in-tray at the Finland desk at the State Department. But of course telling you that would just be scurrilous gossip and self-respecting bloggers never do that sort of thing!

Update: I just checked out JASSMs on FAS. For those of you who dig weapons-porn, knock yourselves out. ;-) Here's a pic of a Hornet carrying one:Unfortunately for Finland, that's not a Finnish air force Hornet!

Update 07 February: This is an interesting bit of news suggesting that bad bi-lateral relations are unlikely to be the reason for the refusal to sell Finland the missiles. Who knows really, but there are so many other possible reasons, and the Helsingin Sanomat story seems more like some good grist for the election time mill, as Finland approaches its general election. Thanks very much to the anonymous commenter who left the link.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, what do you think was the reason behind the US' decision not sell the missiles?

Having said that I was told by a Finnish diplomat in Washington once what tactics they use to keep the Finnish foreign minister's more... ummm... expansive comments on the US off the top of the in-tray at the Finland desk at the State Department.But of course telling you that would just be scurrilous gossip and self-respecting bloggers never do that sort of thing!

Oh c'mon, you can't go around saying things like that and then not tell us ;)

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

I have to protect my sources - sorry. ;-) But put it like this, it's an old PR trick that when some bad news comes out, that's the day to release a deluge of good news. Not sure about why on the missiles. Perhaps they are really cool and new and only the very closest allies are going to get them?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are really cool and new and only the very closest allies are going to get them?

I've been thinking the same thing. Maybe the Americans are also afraid of technology leaking to the Russians (which doesn't really make sense considering the US has already sold us their most advanced air-to-air missiles and other very sensitive technology for the Hornets). But maybe things will change:

YLE has learned that the two countries are to sign a Declaration of Principles (DoP) before the Finnish Parliamentary elections in March. Under the declaration, Finland is expected to have an easier time purchasing arms from the U.S. The DoP however is not legally binding.

The U.S. has previously signed a corresponding declaration with Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Holland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

http://www.yle.fi/news/left/id52959.html

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Thanks for the link. Very interesting. I'll add it to the body of the post.

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