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Saeima approves the new State Defence Concept

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Thursday, 16 June, Latvia’s Saeima accepted the draft On State Defence Concept’s Approval. This concept provides for specific strategic objectives, primary principles, priorities and measures to ensure state defence in times of war and peace.

It includes three main state defence principles – military capabilities and will, deterrence policy and state defence as part of collective defence initiative, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

It is mentioned in the concept that state defence is provided by National Armed Forces. During times of peace, Latvia’s army provides support to civil society. Soldiers of Latvia’s army also often participate in other support activities. TO be able to perform objectives associated with state defence, it is necessary to increase the number of soldiers.

The document also emphasizes the role of the National Guard, adding that it is the primary instrument to help society to become engaged in state defence. The goal of Young Guard, on the other hand, is to provide an opportunity to more than 9,000 youngsters aged 10-21 to serve in the Young Guard by 2018. By 2024, it is planned to get 10% of school youngsters involved in the initiative, as mentioned in the concept. It is also necessary to provide training for the National Guard and develop a flexible and attractive involvement system.

In regards to the safety environment, the concept mentions that Latvia and its allies in NATO and Europe have experienced shocks with Europe’s security caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. To influence sovereign countries, certain sides use different elements of soft and hard power, including the so-called hybrid war. Growing instability in neighbouring European nations causes certain security challenges as well. This includes illegal immigration flow and cross-border threats, especially terrorism. At the same time, security challenges come from consequences of the economic crisis.

Identification, early warning, information exchange and cooperation between institutions can offer effective decision-making processes, as mentioned in the concept. It is especially emphasized in the concept that the goal of defence is to deter a potential enemy from using military force. The presence of allies in Latvia helps with deterrence.

The concept mentions that state defence is provided with collective defence initiative, development of national stability and military capabilities, continued integration within NATO and use of its potential.

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