ICDS’s ‘Twenty Years’ project was initiated to mark the first twenty years of the development of the defence establishments of the Baltic states since they regained their independence. Seven authors, defence experts from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and beyond, were invited to cast critical eyes over the performance of the three states in various aspects of defence during this period.
The aims of the project were firstly provide an accurate record of recent history, secondly to allow other states undergoing transition to learn from Baltic experience and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly of all, to persuade defence and other officials in the three states themselves to step back and view what they have achieved, as well as the missteps they have taken, and to learn from this as they continue to develop their defence policies and structures in the next twenty years.
The results of the project, a book edited by ICDS researchers Tony Lawrence and Tomas Jermalavičius, is available for download in pdf, e-pub and Kindle formats (scroll down to the bottom of the page). ICDS also has a limited number of bound copies available for distribution: to request a copy, please contact Tomas Jermalavicius ([email protected]).
Further Research Opportunities
Although we hope that the book will be a valuable contribution to understanding defence issues in the Baltic states in the last twenty years, it has only scratched the surface of this diverse and complex topic.
Other issues certainly deserve attention and study. A provisional list might include: the changing structures and roles of the ministries of defence; civil-military relations; crisis management procedures and responsibilities; the development of military thinking and doctrine; the development of military competence; the role of outside advisers; military education; styles of leadership; force structures; development of the Baltic navies and air forces; the role of voluntary and reserve organisations; equipment, manning and infrastructure choices; the soviet legacy; the armed forces’ relations with wider society; the armed forces and the integration of minorities; the policies and impacts of the geographical distribution of the armed forces; the role of women in the armed forces; and the role the three defence establishments have played in exporting lessons to other nations in transition.
ICDS is pleased to be able to offer modest travel and writing grants to enable those with an interest in these issues to conduct research and produce a written contribution to the project. The objectives would be to: critically document some of the key features, issues and processes related to the first twenty years of defence development following the restoration of the independence of the three Baltic states; and to identify lessons that may be relevant for future Baltic defence development and for other states undergoing defence transitions.
The product, an original article in English of 10,000 – 15,000 words, should look comparatively and critically at developments in all three Baltic states. It should be an objective assessment of what has been achieved in defence in the Baltic states over the last twenty years, and how it has been done. Accepted articles would be published on our website, with a view to eventually compiling a second volume or second edition of the book.
NB: In the book versions downloaded before 21 April 2015, there is a layout error in the chapter by Piret Paljak ’Participation in International Military Operations’. In Figure 1 on page 221, Figure 3 on page 222 and Figure 5 on page 223, the chart legend erroneously says that the line shows expenditure on operations (current prices) and that the bars represent expenditure on operations as a percentage of the defence budget. It is actually the other way round. Also, current prices are in local currencies during the period covered (EEK in Figure 1, LVL in Figure 3 and LTL in Figure 5). Our apologies.
To register an interest or to discuss a research proposal, please contact Tomas Jermalavicius ([email protected]).