Editorial: allied armour not enough

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Photo: Urmas Nemvalts / PM

The two words ardently uttered along with NATO are «deterrence» and «capability». Sound like legalese, but do carry weight. 

For both, the Obama administration message regarding boosting armament in Central and Eastern Europe is good. Next year, the US is to quadruple security spending in Europe. At that, let us remember that security is only secure as we forget not to labour towards our own capacity, and cease not to believe in ourselves.

Security policy wise, the global situation is anything but easy. Painting the big picture: Syria, ISIS, Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, refugees, etc.

With oil price falling and due to sanctions, Russia is under economic pressure and ready for all kinds of agreements. IN USA, they are electing the new president and the outgoing Mr Obama might well like to leave a mark – something for everybody, as befitting to Nobel winner we might add with a touch of irony. At the beginning of June NATO holds a summit in Warsaw and the signals therefrom will be significant. Germany is facing elections next year. All these and other minor details we will have to carefully monitor and analyse.

With NATO, we are talking about collective defence. The umbrella is not held, we hold it. Jointly. Alas, there are those who like to squat under it while not holding on. As the reader understands, we are talking about the 2 percent of GDP for defence which Estonia takes as something that goes without saying, while some including our neighbours do not. Unavoidably, that does weaken us as well.

The other aspect is the overall health of the society, the socio-economic security, the oneness. Here, great is the responsibility of politicians. Tensions and gaps will breed fragility and thus wounded we will be weak. Meanwhile, citizen initiatives like the well respected and manned Defence League are to our welcome encouragement.

The increased NATO and US military equipment on location will help us boost national defence and improve its long-term planning. While sending a deterring signal eastward. Self-defence, however, is and will be mainly up to our very selves.

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