Survey: Almost all Estonians consider conscription necessary

According to a recent survey, 90 per cent of Estonia’s residents consider military conscription necessary and 79 per cent support a national defence model consisting of professional servicemen and a reserve force.

Over three quarters of Estonia’s residents – 77% – believe Estonia must provide armed resistance in the event of an attack, according to a statement by the Estonian defence ministry. In addition, over half of the Estonian population is prepared to personally defend the country, should it be attacked.

The readiness among young people of upper high school age to participate in defence activities has increased to 63 per cent – while a year ago it was only 54 per cent, the defence ministry added.

“At the same time, it is also significant that 81 per cent of the population considers national defence education to be necessary in the curricula of schools providing secondary education. These numbers confirm that the national defence education programme must move forward,” the Estonian defence minister, Kalle Laanet (Reform Party), said in a statement.

A group of Estonian soldiers from the Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion. The image is illustrative. Photo by the Estonian Defence Forces.

According to the survey, Estonians believe the country’s security will continue to be ensured by membership in NATO, the defensive will of residents and the development of Estonia’s independent defence capability.

NATO’s presence in Estonia supported by 75%

“NATO’s role in ensuring Estonia’s security continues to be considered important – 52 per cent believe that if a conflict breaks out, NATO will provide direct military assistance, and forty-five per cent believe that NATO membership will prevent military conflict,” Laanet asserted.

A Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jet, operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia as part of the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, intercepting a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace. Photo by RAF.

NATO’s presence in Estonia is supported by 75 per cent of those surveyed, and 65 per cent believe it has made Estonia safer, the defence ministry noted.

“Two thirds of the population support Estonia’s participation in military operations, because it provides our troops with the necessary combat experience, ensures NATO support for Estonia in the event of a possible threat as well as protects the residents of the crisis area,” Laanet added.

Also, support within the Estonian society for the participation of women in national defence has increased over the years – almost 80 per cent of the population approves of women being able to complete military service if they wish.

Read also: Military service in Estonia is worth it, by Patrik Maldre.

Cover: Almost 80 per cent of the Estonian population approves of women being able to complete military service if they wish. Photo by the Estonian Defence Forces.

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