Lithuanian military doctrine is signed

  • 2010-03-17
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - On March 10, Maj. Gen. Arvydas Pocius signed the Lithuanian military doctrine in a ceremony in the Defense Headquarters of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry. It describes Lithuanian actions in case of war.

The doctrine states that Lithuania will use all means of defense which is available for Lithuania: military defense, guerilla warfare and civil disobedience against the occupying force. All of these actions will be carried out with the expectation of help from NATO allies. The Lithuanian peculiarity is preparation for guerilla war. Lithuania has a great tradition of such war, from 1944-1953. In 1949, Swedish intelligence wrote, “the Lithuanian resistance was probably the best organized and most well disciplined of all anti-Soviet guerillas in the Soviet Union.” According to the Georgian embassy in Vilnius, the Georgian government plans to translate a book by Juozas Luksa-Daumantas, Lithuanian anti-Soviet partisan hero, into Georgian and disseminate this book in Georgia for free because it can be a useful textbook in case of emergency. In January 1991, and especially in August 1991, when Soviet tanks were approaching the Lithuanian parliament, some Lithuanians were preparing for anti-Soviet guerilla war in Lithuanian forests by building bases with military ammunition there.

“Lithuania had no military doctrine in 1918-1940. Now we have enough knowledge and experience to describe further development of the Lithuanian army,” Pocius said during the ceremony, and later added, that the doctrine will be guidelines for training of Lithuanian troops.

“It will be a basis for moral training and a change of personnel’s mentality,” Lieutenant Colonel Vaidas Bernotas, one of the authors of the doctrine, said.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, visiting Vilnius on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of restoration of Lithuania’s independence, said that it is important for small countries to remind themselves about themselves by being active in NATO operations because otherwise small countries and the fifth article of the NATO treaty about collective defense can be forgotten in case of a mess in some major NATO country attacked with weapons of mass destruction by terrorists.
The Lithuanian military doctrine accepts Lithuania’s participation in such NATO operations abroad. Some of the terms of the doctrine are written in Lithuanian and English because the majority of Lithuania’s high officers studied in the West, and this makes it easier for them to understand the text.

The doctrine points out social and cultural influences from “neighboring countries” which could influence the situation in Lithuania. That thesis could formulate some tasks to consider for wider government structures, not only for military officials.