Finland and NATO’s crisis management operations

Five armed NATO soldiers are advancing on a village road, local men watch them in the background.
Photo: Finnish Defence Forces

Finland takes part in NATO-led crisis management operations to promote international stability and security. Participation in military crisis management is an important part of international burden-sharing. Operational cooperation offers Finland the opportunity to strengthen the capabilities of its Defence Forces while building and sustaining a readiness to participate in international crisis management operations. The crisis management capability developed within the UN, the EU and the OSCE also chiefly draws on NATO standards.

Finland participates in two NATO-led crisis management operations:

The Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan

Established as a follow-on mission of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) was launched on 1 January 2015 to train, advice and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Although the RSM is a non-combat mission, it is authorized to use force in self-defence. The total strength of the Mission is approximately 17,000 troops.

Finland takes part in the Resolute Support Mission with a contingent of about 60 persons, chiefly consisting of training personnel. The Finnish personnel is mainly deployed in Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan.

The NATO-led support to Afghanistan also includes financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces. Finland’s contributions are in line with the commitments given at the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012. The NATO-led support is channelled through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund which is run by NATO.

Finland’s participation in the Resolute Support operation and contribution to the financial support for the security sector are part of Finland’s wider assistance to Afghanistan that includes participation in an EU civilian crisis management operation and the provision of development and humanitarian aid.

The KFOR operation in Kosovo

The KFOR (Kosovo Force) operation was established in 1999 with a mandate from the UN Security Council (Resolution 1244). The KFOR forces contribute to maintaining a secure environment in Kosovo. KFOR supports the building of a stable, democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo. NATO also supports the further development of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF).

The Finnish contribution to KFOR is roughly 20 troops.