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Friday 15.11.2019 | Name days: Undīne, Leopolds, Unda

US analytical institute advises Baltics to adopt two-year compulsory military service

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defence, army, USA, recommendation, security, troops, compulsory service, importantTo ensure better protection, Baltic States should adopt two-year compulsory military service, among other things, as written in the article by US analytical institute Jamestown Foundation.

The institute’s Prof. Richard Hooker’s article How to Protect Baltic States mentions that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia should adopt a compulsory two-year military service with appropriate remuneration for those who want to become professional soldiers and officers.

According to the author of the article this measure ‘would  yield  an  order  of  magnitude  improvement  in  size  and  quality  and  provide  the  basis  for  expanding Baltic ground forces at lower cost than expensive professional soldiers’.

Hooker says having a larger contingent of NATO troops in Baltic States is not something that is politically possible.

«The  remaining option is to rely on host nation solutions. This approach will require significant security assistance to the Baltic States and strong support from key allies, but the Balts themselves must first step up. Although small  in  population  and  GDP,  they  are  capable  of  much  more  than  they  are  doing  now,» the article mentions.

According to the article, there are approximately six million people living in Baltic States, but only 22 000 citizens are engaged in military service. Most of them are professional soldiers serving in short missions.

Estonia has compulsory military service, Lithuania has partially compulsory serve, whereas Latvia has none.

Hooker says it would be a comprehensive goal for Latvia and Estonia to expand from light brigades to small heavy divisions under command by major generals with headquarters, two manoeuvring brigades and units such as field support artillery battalion and anti-air defence, engineering, logistics and communications battalions – approximately 10 000 troops.

He writes that division headquarters should be staffed by Baltic officers trained in the US with assistance from NATO advisors.


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