FSD2718 Finnish Opinions on Security Policy and National Defence 2011: Autumn

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  • Advisory Board for Defence Information (ABDI)


European Union, armed forces, conflict resolution, conscription, defence, defence and state security policy, foreign policy, future, integration, international alliances, international conflict resolution, national security, peace-keeping forces, public expenditure

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This annual survey charted Finnish public opinion on foreign policy, defence policy, security, military alliances, military service, military reforms and Finland's military presence in Afghanistan.

Opinions were charted on the success of defence and state security policy during the previous few years, funds allocated to the Defence Forces and whether Finland should resort to armed defense in case of any sort of attack. Respondents were asked how the global security situation would develop in the next five years, whether Finland should form military alliances and whether Finland should apply for NATO membership. Views were probed on the current, conscription-based defence system.

Regarding Finland's military presence in Afghanistan, the respondents were asked whether Finland should cease military operations in Afghanistan in 2012, by the end of 2014, or continue operations for the time being. Further questions covered whether Finland should continue civilian crisis management and development cooperation in Afghanistan.

Some questions pertained to issues affecting the safety and security of Finland. These included EU membership, potential NATO membership and Finland's participation in the EU defence. The respondents were asked to evaluate how much impact factors such as modern weapon systems, maintaining good relations to neighbouring countries and the amount of funding have on credible defence.

Views on military reforms were studied by asking how the reforms should be carried out in terms of conscription, peace-keeping forces and the size of the reserve. Reasons for either closing down or preserving garrisons and detachements were charted as well as the military activities for which the funding should be cut if necessary. Concern caused by certain phenomena and issues such as economic situation in Europe, international crime, income inequality and nuclear weapons was charted.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age, occupational status and economic activity, marital status, occupation of the household head, household composition, age of children living at home, education, gross annual income of the household, newspaper reading and television viewing habits, type of accommodation, ownership of car, home, holiday home and consumer durables, Internet use, and political party choice if parliamentary elections were held at that time.

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