When is a fence not one?

That is the thought I had a few days ago when I was confronted with ‘Finland’s main parties back plans to build Russia border fence’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/19/finland-main-parties-back-plans-build-russia-border-fence), it was a newer story with added parts, and they do not matter at present. You see, the Finnish border with Russia is 1,340km, like the Texas Mexico fence, it is folly. On the stage of getting a 1,340,000 metre fence costs more than the combined reserves of ALL EU nations, as such Finland cannot afford it. Then we get the simple setting that large parts of such a fence can be tunnelled under in simple ways. And to withstand the power of any tank that wall needs to be strong and it might merely delay any invasion by an hour, so what gives anyone the idea that this wall is a solution, other than the delusional thoughts of some politician? 

I honestly do not get it. Then, if you look at the map, the northern part of Finland borders Norway, who then borders Russia, so how to solve that? Build a wall that includes Norway? There are a dozen settings where the wall falls short, as such the use of a wall there is just folly. 

So what gives someone the idea that a wall was any kind of a solution to anything at all? And when you consider the Russian smugglers who use Finland to get to the shores to Sweden (the Lulea – Tornio – Russia route), I feel sure that some people will see the wall fail there as well. But the Guardian seemed to bite on that red herring with “Finland’s border guard last month suggested building a fence several metres high, topped with razor wire and equipped with surveillance cameras and sensors along 160 miles of the border – roughly 20% of its total”, so we have a wall that is covering 20% of the border, as such where? And when you consider that 80% is still available what does it do but take resources away, resources Finland does not really have that much to begin with. Then we get “The fence would protect areas identified as posing a potential risk of large-scale migration from Russia, mainly in south-east Finland, where most traffic crosses the border, but also around border stations in the north of the country”, which now implies that the Lulea – Tornio – Russia route could also make money for refugee smuggling, so yes, that was a really good idea from day one (sarcasm implied). And then we get the juiciest steak in political Finland. It is given to us with “The project would take up to four years to complete and could cost several hundred million euros, according to border guard estimates. Final approval for the main phase could be delayed until April, when Finland is due to hold parliamentary elections”, did you catch the stage? At a minimum of 200M, the fence will cost $1.3M per mile, which is ridiculously cheap, as such the cost would be well above 400 million and that is still decently cheap. Because border guards, electronic surveillance and a few other items will put the wall, the limited wall at no less than a billion, which is a lot more than several hundred million euros and that is before budgets are overrun and the entire mess will be useless at the price of close to €2,000,000,000 and that is still pinching pennies whilst the wall has no depth, implying that digging under it would be decently easy. So in this time of need, which nation has 2 billion ready to waste on solutions that go nowhere? At present NPR gives us that the Mexican wall is set to around $20,000,000 per mile, implying that Finland is looking at $3.2 billion, implying that my simple calculus exercise was right on the nose with €2,000,000,000 and as Finland has time issues (like Winter is coming) the 4 years is also over optimistic. Increasing the Finnish army by 300% might be cheaper and as we saw that the Ukrainian turned the Russian bear into sishkebab, that idea might be a lot more effective. A wall that cannot defend itself is merely a place you can get around and in this day and age, walls are avoided most of the time. To b e honest, I would like the politicians behind this give us the numbers on how they got to the few hundred million euro. I reckon we can all use the entertainment.

I reckon looking closely at the construction firms and their connections might reveal a few additional items, but that is me, ever the skeptic. Oh that is all before we look at the cost and maintenance of guards on that stretch of wall, you would need well over 80 guard groups, with 24 hour coverage, travel settings and food/drink options. I reckon I low balled the cost by a lot.


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