The Baltic states have developed their armed forces and defence systems over a very short period of time following the principle of ‘learning by doing’. This chapter examines one aspect of this process: supreme command and control of the armed forces in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It aims to identify the major factors influencing the development of the democratic control of the armed forces of the Baltic states during the last 20 years. To do so, it explores how the chain of command at the strategic level (including the president, parliament, government, minister of defence and chief of defence) was established in the 1990s and how it has developed in the years since.
At the Nis military airport Serbian peacekeepers from the mission "UNIFIL" in Lebanon were welcomed. The welcoming ceremony was attended by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Aleksandar Zivkovic, commander of the Third Army Brigade Commander Brigadier General Zelimir Glisović, commander of the Peacekeeping Operations Center Colonel Milivoje Pajovic, including relatives and friends of members of the platoon of the Third Brigade of the Army.
On May 13 Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia approved a report on the creation of the NATO Center of Excellence for Strategic Communication in Latvia.
The discussions on the issue are due to take place in Germany and France within a month. Regional partners have already confirmed their support on the creation of Centre of Excellence in Riga. The initiative has the support of the Allied Transformation Command as well.
The Defence Forces' Photographic Centre will publish around 170,000 wartime photographs on the internet. The collection "From the front line to the home front 1939-1945" can be found on the internet at the address SA-kuva.fi. The photographic material is made available to all Finnish people by the Defence Forces.
The Nordic Defence Cooperation's Military Coordination Committee (MCC) will meet in Helsinki 15-16 May 2013.
The members of the coordination committee are high ranking officers that have been appointed by their chiefs of defence. The committee coordinates cooperation between Nordic armed forces at a military level. The MCC will be reviewing the results of its five subordinate cooperation area working groups and it will discuss the planning, development and future of Nordic defence cooperation.
The aim of Nordic cooperation is to strengthen the national defence of its members, to support their common strengths and help members find efficient common solutions.
The meeting will be held on the island fortress of Suomenlinna in Helsinki.
NORDEFCO has a rotating presidency. Finland has the presidency for 2013.
This is the first time the Finnish Defence Forces’ have published their annual report in digital form. The online publication automatically recognises whether it is being accessed from a computer, tablet or smartphone, and adapts itself accordingly for easy viewing.
The ways of recruitment to the military vary notably from country to country. The Austrian Armed Forces dispose of a system based on conscription. On January 20, 2013, Austria held a public opinion poll on the abolishment of conscription. A public opinion poll is nothing else but a consultation of the Austrian citizens. Paragraph 49b on the Austrian constitution reads as follows: “(1) a public opinion poll on a matter of fundamental and overall national importance, which shall be implemented by federal legislation, must take place if members of the National Council present a motion for it or the Federal Government decides to do so after a preliminary debate in the Central Committee.” The result of a public opinion poll is not binding for the government. However, the Austrian government declared that it would respect the outcome of the consultation.
19 th April - the 12th Mechanised Brigaded welcomed General Hans-Lothar Domröse JFC Commander (the Allied Joint Force Command) in Brunssum.
(In Europe, we have two Operational Commands of this type: one is located in Brunssum, the other in Naples. Currently there are 34 Polish soldiers serving in Brunssum.)
During a visit to the Blue Brigade the JFC Commander was accompanied by Head of Training of the Polish Land Forces General Marek Tomaszycki and Commander of the 12th Mechanized Division General Ireneusz Bartniak.
The Latvian Government approved the National Armed Forces’ units participation in the European Union (EU) Battlegroup on January 29. This will be the first time when the Latvian Zemessardze (National Guard) guardsmen will participate in the EU Battlegroup; the duty will begin in the second half of this year.
Competition for participation in the battlegroup was very fierce. The selection process of potential candidates identified 1,669 guardsmen and approximately 80 guardsmen from seven battalions of the 2nd Zemessardze Region were selected.
The Commandant of the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras paid a visit to Riga on 1 March. During his meeting with the Republic of Latvia Minister of Defence PhD Artis Pabriks and Latvian Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, Major General Vaikšnoras introduced his vision for the BALTDEFCOL development; the Latvian position on the progress of the BALTDEFCOL Higher Command Studies Course and the Civil Servants Course was also being discussed.
In the "South" base, the members of the Serbian Armed Forces that will participate in multinational operations in Cyprus and Lebanon have been officially seen off. Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces General Ljubisa Dikovic handed the flags of the Republic of Serbia to platoon leaders Major Ljubomir Punic and Captain Milos Todorovic, greeted all the members of the military heading to peacekeeping mission and wished them luck in carrying out this important task.
During the last years of global economic crisis, the European Union has been hit the hardest. As a result, its formerly famous global “soft power” for what it received Nobel peace prize last year, is on the decline. Apart of economic challenges, in the forthcoming future the Europeans are going to face increasing security challenges arising from global shifts of power and new threats in Middle East, North Africa, and many other places. In the meantime, the United States are decreasing its presence on the European continent and increasingly demanding Europeans to take more responsibility in the defence spending of NATO where European share is only about 28% of total, remaining being the US contribution.
Delegation of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia, headed by the State Secretary Zoran Djordjevic, visited the European Defence Agency in Brussels. The visit to the Agency was held in the framework of negotiations regarding the agreements on administrative cooperation between the Defence Ministry and the agency states. The meeting was attended by the top management of the Agency, headed by Executive Director Claude-France Arnaudt.