Finland is deepening its bilateral partnership with the United States in the field of cyber defense. Senior military leaders from both nations approved and signed a Letter of Intent for an advanced cyber partnership during a formal ceremony in Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, Jan. 24, 2024.
The event was hosted by the Finnish Defence Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Maj. Gen. Kari Nisula. U.S. European Command’s Deputy Director of Plans and Operations, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James Cleet, served as the event’s senior U.S. military representative.
“Cyber threats do not respect traditional national borders and that is why you need international partners in building security,” said Nisula. “Cooperation with the U.S. definitely strengthens Finland's defense capability in this domain and builds a solid foundation for effective combined cyber defense. We are very satisfied with this Letter of Intent with USEUCOM.”
International cooperation is vital in the global cyber operating environment. The Finnish Defence Forces participate actively in international cooperation and exercises according to National Cyber Security Strategy and its own action plan. The cooperation is done both multilaterally and bilaterally.
The U.S. is a close bilateral partner with Finland, and today also a NATO Ally. The countries signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in December 2023, which further deepens the partnership between their militaries, and enables cohesive cooperation in all security situations. Defense cooperation with the U.S. has already existed for decades and the two nations have also conducted planning and training in combating cyber threats together for a number of years.
The Letter of Intent is based on a shared vision to develop cyber defenses to respond to the increased threats of today's world. It facilitates cooperation in five lines of effort, namely: policy, interoperability, training, capability development and cyber operations. Consistently improving cooperation in these areas will enable further advances in the partnership between Finland and the U.S.
The two senior military leaders signing the agreement emphasized the importance of international cooperation in cyber defense against the backdrop of the prevailing security environment.
“The European theater faces increasingly aggressive near-peer competitors and a much-expanded hybrid threat environment, posing significant risks to the Alliance,” the American general, Cleet, said. “With our NATO Allies and partners – notably, Finland – we must be resilient and able to resist and recover from attacks in the cyberspace domain. This is necessary to prevent adversaries from degrading critical systems and networks we share and depend on.”