Finnish Defence Forces publishes its first public Finnish Military Intelligence Review
The review, published today, describes the duties, targets and capabilities of military intelligence, as well as the impact of Act on Military Intelligence on the activities of military intelligence, and how the implementation of the act is monitored.
“This is not a detailed description or analysis of the operating environment or operations during the past year. Instead, I hope that this review will give the reader an accurate picture of Finnish military intelligence and the significant role it has in guaranteeing national security”, says the Chief of Intelligence, Rear Admiral Juha Vauhkonen.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, military activities in Finland’s neighbouring areas continued to be active during 2020. These include, for example, military exercises, strategic bomber flight sorties and naval deployments. Extraordinary events during the year included the social unrest resulting from the presidential election in Belarus.
In addition to the pandemic, the military intelligence's year was marked by developments in the armed forces of states relevant to Finland. Especially Russia has deployed more capable and technologically advanced weapon systems in Finland’s neighbouring areas as well as improved the readiness and force projection capabilities of its armed forces.
According to observations by military counter-intelligence, intelligence services of foreign states have continued to operate actively in Finland.
The Act on Military Intelligence has strengthened the foundations for military intelligence
The acts on military and civilian intelligence entered into force in 2019, and provided the intelligence actors with clearly defined statutory duties, targets and jurisdiction.
The first experiences and observations from the use of the new powers have been positive. The new legislation has improved the joint ability of security authorities to conduct intelligence on state threats and to react to them.
The oversight process of the Act on Military Intelligence has also begun. The oversight of military intelligence is comprehensive also by international standards.
Military intelligence secures the prerequisites for decision-making by the State leadership
In addition to the Defence Forces, military intelligence also serves the needs of the State leadership and provides information in accordance with the requirements set by its customers and stakeholders. Currently, military intelligence is one of the focus areas of Defence Forces development, as to maintain this capability on a sufficient level also in the constantly changing operating and target environments.
Because of rapid technological development, capability maintenance requires constant investments for example in intelligence collection systems.