NATO

Lessons identified in Crimea – does Estonia‘s national defence model meet our needs?

The annexation of Crimea in late February 2014 raises a number of questions about whether Estonia’s own national defence system is adequate. The military part of the national defence development plan approved last year states that Estonia can only benefit from units that consist of trained personnel and possess the …

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The Estonian Defence Forces in Afghanistan – in pictures

The Estonian Defence Forces have been active in Afghanistan since 2003, serving along the British forces in the restless Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The first contingent to serve in Afghanistan was the mine clearance group. The Estonian contingent (ESTCON), which normally consists of about 150 soldiers, or about 3% …

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Estonia’s defence spending: Upholding the NATO commitment

The primary goal of any nation-state is, first and foremost, to ensure its own security from internal and external threats. The Republic of Estonia is no different, with territorial integrity and the safety of its citizens ranking at the top of its list of foreign policy priorities. Today, as historically, …

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Estonia and the US: paving a way forward in cyber security

At the sidelines of the NATO ministerial meeting that took place in Brussels in December, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and US Secretary of State John Kerry signed a landmark agreement regarding cyber cooperation that, except for a few articles recycling press release text, went largely unheeded by both the …

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Saber Strike 2013 successfully concluded (video)

Saber Strike 2013 concluded last week, as training locations in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia held closing ceremonies to commemorate two weeks of multinational exercises in the Baltics. “The exercise was an extreme success,” said Col. Frederick Jessen, U.S. Army Europe’s contingency-command post officer in charge. “We partnered with numerous nations …

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Cold War in the north

The Nordic and Baltic states are increasingly worried about Russia. Discussing NATO membership in Sweden is a bit like discussing sex at a church youth club. Everyone agrees the subject is important, but you have to tiptoe round some taboos. I have just been in Stockholm courtesy of the terrific Free …

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Ahto Lobjakas: Estonia’s betrayal of Omar, the Pashtun interpreter

In rejecting the asylum plea of Omar, an interpreter who worked with Estonian troops in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Estonian government this week thumbed its nose at pretty much everything that’s been going for it in recent history. Admittedly, it may have thought itself in good company after …

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Forecasting the Baltics’ future security environment

Every few years, the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) publishes studies of how the world might evolve over the next two decades. Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, released in December 2012, is the latest such iteration. Its four scenarios include one in which the United States turns inward and economic globalisation …

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