Eight Years and Counting

So today the blog turned eight. Time flies when you have fun – or as is the case for this particular blog, when you get to watch the most tense security environment Europe has seen for a generation or two from a front row seat.

The year ended with the F-35A being chosen as Finland’s next fighter. Here a few USAF F-35As undergo hot pit refuelling in Alaska. Source. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong

I would like to take time to thank all of you readers! It certainly wouldn’t be the same without you. As to who exactly “you” are, the majority of you last year came from Sweden, with Finland being a rather close second, followed by USA, France, the UK, Germany, Norway, Canada, and Australia quite a bit further down the list. A special shout-out to my single readers in Madagascar, Sint Maarten, Congo-Brazzaville, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Gabon, the Falklands, Guyana, Mayotte, Kiribati, Tajikistan, St Lucia, and Bhutan (no guessing how many are correct and how many are creative VPN-users).

The number of page views rose nicely (38%) compared to 2020, with everything HX obviously being a big fan favourite. The most read post was still not HX-related, but my take on AUKUS. This was followed by a bunch of HX-related material, before it was time for two posts on another acquisition program: the new sniper rifles for Finland (and probably Sweden). My interview with brigadier general Frisell and colonel Norgern of the Swedish Defence Material Administration was without doubt the post that featured the most unique details of any blog post last year – HX is studied in such a detail by more or less the whole Finnish media landscape that few details can be said to be really breaking.

A big shift visible last year was that the number of comments jumped from a rather steady baseline that in fact hasn’t changed much despite the growth in readership over the year. 304 in total in 2020, to a whooping 1,174 in 2021. While I welcome the discussion and have received quite a few hints and correction through the comments over the years, the amount at this stage is slowly starting to reach the point where more moderation might be required than I have time for. For the time being the comments stay open, though I am going to have to make some kind of decision on the future of the comments at some point during the not-too-distant future.

I would like to end with a big Thank You to the large number of people who in one way or the other have helped me during the past year with answering questions, giving hints, and generally being nice people! You are too many to mention all, but I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the people involved in different aspects of HX – including both Finnish authorities, manufacturers, and other.

That was all for this anniversary post. Normal posts will continue soon, and unfortunately I have a feeling that the situation in Europe will provide plenty of topics during the upcoming year.

6 thoughts on “Eight Years and Counting

  1. Brian nH

    Congratulations on reaching happy birthday no 8! I am one of the Aussies that reads frequently, but comments little. We appreciate your comments and views, and the info you provide, continue with the good work please!

  2. Anne from Switzerland

    It is so good to have a blog where researched facts, personnal balanced opinion, humor – and from a more personal point of view references to statistics and business thinking – add together in a very refreshing way. Happy anniversary!!

  3. I moved to Finland from the UK not too long ago and had been searching high and low for some quality, English Language analysis and explanation of the Finnish perspective of international relations, defence and current affairs. I am delighted to have found your blog and read it regularly, congratulations on the milestone and long may it continue!

  4. EMK


    Take a look at the FIIA (Finnish Institute of Foreign Affairs) website and their publications. In my experience, their papers are usually surprisingly readable even for a layperson.

    While FIIA claims to be fully autonomous in its research, it is funded by the Parliament and tends to, if not totally align with the ‘official’ foreign policy, at least to hide any serious criticism between the lines. That being said, I think it is maybe the best English language source when it comes to Finnish point of view. (If you can stomach the academic style and jargon.)

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