RIGA - Latvia has a sizable ethnic Russian minority which we have to try to understand, otherwise it can cause problems, Janis Kazocins, a national security adviser to President Egils Levits and secretary of the National Security Council, said today at the Riga StratCom Dialogue conference.
Deterrence of conflicts is a cognitive process, Kazocins said.
The expert also underlined the importance of clear communication and defining goals. If the goal has not been clearly defined, it is easy to take wrong decisions when dealing with unpredicted circumstances, Kazocins said.
Retired Finnish major general Pekka Toveri noted the significance of the position taken by the state and its people during war, and stressed the necessity for strong defense.
Toveri said that in Finland people's readiness to defend their country if such a necessity arose is high. Military service is compulsory for all men in Finland and public trust in government and military officials is strong. Furthermore, in emergencies, Finland's ministries communicate among themselves, finding solutions and coordinating the situation.
The Finnish expert underlined that defense alone is not enough to win a war and that it is also necessary to attack.
At the end of the conference, Janis Sarts, the head of NATO's Strategic Communication Center of Excellence (Stratcom), said that the time of Western dominance is over and that the era of conflicts of systems, or the battle for minds, has begun.