TALLINN – The national defense model of Estonia requires awareness from citizens and situational awareness from the state, Defense Minister Juri Luik said in his speech at the conclusion of the latest edition of the executive course in national defense.
Comprehensive national defense requires the inclusion and participation of the people and is not a playground for a narrow circle of professionals alone, Luik said. People's awareness plays an important role in their participation in national defense, the minister added.
"Awareness means the ability to tell the important from the unimportant – one has to understand what are the factors that shape the security environment around us," the minister said according to spokespeople.
Luik said that aside from the awareness of residents, the state having a very good situational awareness, which means being informed about what is going on around us, is very important.
"It doesn't benefit us when we note that the situation in the world is very difficult and sit down with that knowledge," Luik said. "It is the day-to-day duty of the people who organize national defense to find solutions so that risks would not materialize and threats were deterred."
Luik said that we are informed about what threatens us the most, and emphasized that to offset that threat one needs independent defense capability of appropriate level and strong collective defense of NATO.
The aim of the executive course in national defense is to provide politicians, senior public servants, members of the military, business and opinion leaders, cultural and societal figures, journalists and representatives of the third sector with an overview of Estonia's security, foreign and defense policy and comprehensive national defense, enhance cooperation and social cohesion in national defense. The course has been held twice per year since 1999. The course is organized by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS).