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Aaviksoo goes to Washington

  • 2010-12-08
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - During his visit to the U.S. Cyber Command, Estonian Minister of Defense Jaak Aaviksoo stated that Estonia can contribute a lot more to the security of NATO and its allies in the field of cyber security than its size suggests, says the Estonian Defense Ministry, reports news agency LETA. In Ft. George Meade, Aaviksoo met with the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command General Keith Alexander and was given an overview of the cyber defense organization in the U.S.

According to Aaviksoo, the importance of cyber security and its meaning to the defense capabilities of the U.S. is ever present. “The messages of President Obama’s cyber security coordinator, Howard Schmidt, and General Alexander of the newly created Cyber Command are extremely clear – cyber threats are the most dangerous and likely threats to the U.S. and its allies over the coming years,” stated Aaviksoo.

Aaviksoo added that Estonia is remarkably competent and experienced in this field and that this is also extremely valued among its allies. “I am confident that, especially in the field of cyber security, lies Estonia’s strongest contribution, despite our small size, in providing security for NATO and its allies,” added Aaviksoo.

Defense Minister Aaviksoo also met with Howard McKeon, the incoming Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, of the House of Representatives. During the meeting, Aaviksoo presented McKeon with an overview of the current Estonian and European vision on security. Also, the importance of each NATO member allocating two percent of GDP to defense funding was once again stressed, and member of the House McKeon agreed that the permanent military presence of the U.S. in Europe must continue in its current form.

Aaviksoo visited the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, where he met with General Stephane Abrial. During the meeting they discussed the consequences of the Lisbon summit, the roles of ACT in the new NATO military structure and the latest developments in the field of cyber security.
Aaviksoo then took part in a briefing at the think tank Atlantic Council, where the most important developments of U.S. foreign policy were to be discussed. The Minister of Defense will pay tribute today at the Memorial for the Victims of Communism in Washington.

Also on the schedule for Aaviksoo was to meet with his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates at the Pentagon. The planned topics of discussion were the Lisbon summit, the new strategic concept of NATO, the operation in Afghanistan and the cyber security cooperation between Estonia and the U.S.

Aaviksoo was accompanied on his visit by Sven Sakkov, Undersecretary for Defense Policy and Colonel Ilmar Tamm, Director of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.