A group of Icelandic academics have warned Scotland that becoming independent would lead to a strategic disadvantage . The experts, who are from the universities of Akureyri and Iceland, claim Scotland would require shelter from stronger nations which will mean costs different from, and possibly not less than, those that they currently contribute to UK defence.
However, the experts, whose advice was published in the Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration, noted that small Nordic countries have been dealing with similar risks for many years, and that independence would give Scotland the freedom to seek out new tactical alliances that it feels are better suited to its interests.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said last week that an independent Scotland would take into account its size, position and future responsibilities at a time when global warming is creating new energy sources and shipping lanes. But the academics warned that, like Nordic nations, Scotland would face a strategic disadvantage when it comes to Russia, the region’s potentially problematic player.
They said that Scotland’s population would be less than a twelfth of the rest of the UK, and the country would be exposed more geopolitically to the wider Arctic zone when it comes to climate change.
They added that small countries are disproportionately vulnerable when it comes to threats such as terrorism and powerful crime, making them dependent on other nations in order to survive within a “hostile international environment”.