Interior minister: Broad-based national defense in place

The focus of recent opinions has been on military national defense, and rightly so, while we must not forget other things that contribute to defense but are not of military nature.

Security and security threats have landed on the top of the agenda after recent events in Kazakhstan and the Russia-Ukraine border. Let us also not forget that the situation is still strained on the Belarusian border of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland….

Yes, the situation remains calm in Estonia, while that does not mean we should not prepare and further reinforce allied relations not just with talking points but through activity. Whether we are talking about mutual or multilateral relations or membership in international (defense) organizations.

…It is clear that even though there is no direct threat against Estonia right now, security matters are acutely in focus in our region and the world.

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But what does it mean to avoid military activity and prevent corresponding escalation? This brings us to the concept of broad-based national defense. Put simply – primarily non-military activities where internal security is the focus but not the only aspect. Social, justice and economic factors, as well as foreign relations and strategic communication are also important. Military national defense is necessary once these aspects fail….

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Another important security guarantee is civilian-military cooperation. Tangible progress has been made in the form of the temporary border fence installed during a recent reserve training exercise….

The new coalition in Germany decided to boost national defense spending to at least 3 percent of GDP. While no details were given, it was added that it goes beyond military national defense.

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British Army members finish winter exercise with ice plunge drills

British Army personnel based at Tapa with the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) got a taste of a real Estonian winter on Friday, after conducting ice escape drills. The cold plunges were the culmination of a three-day winter training exercise focusing mainly on navigation and survival….

The instructors were primarily Royal Marines, AK reported; the bulk of the British contingent at Tapa consists of personnel from the Royal Tank Regiment’s (RTR) Dreadnaught Squadron, though soldiers from support elements such as the engineers, the logistics corps and the Army Air Corps are or have been at Tapa on the same rotational basis.

While the British Army and Royal Marines have long been known for their winter exercises in Norway, winters in Estonia also often afford cold weather experience, as here.