February 12, 2016

Summary

This double edition of Diplomaatia focuses mostly on warfare, a concept we have to reconsider as the world around us changes very rapidly.

Hanno Pevkur, the Estonian interior minister, writes about the importance of self-assertiveness in the information war Estonia is facing. “Consequently, the first big question of our strategic communication is how to abandon the defensive position and instead defend ourselves by playing offence,” says Pevkur. “This means asserting ourselves in a brave and confident manner.”
Pevkur’s article is followed by comments from three experts, Andrei Hvostov, Andres Herkel and Urve Eslas.
Kai Kaarelson, foreign-policy adviser to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, who is due to leave office this year, looks back at the president’s policy.
Kenneth Geers, a cyber analyst, writes about cyber warfare. “Currently, international law provides nation-state hackers with somewhat of a backstop, as aggressive cyber operations can begin as mere espionage, which is a necessary precursor to attack. Cyber war is merely the continuation of politics by other means, and politicians are prone to make mistakes,” he warns.
The future of warfare and how to deal with Daesh is weighed up by Rene Toomse, an Estonian defence analyst. “War between different nations is a rather common means of communication, not an exceptional or individual case,” Toomse writes. “Thousands of books have been written about the reasons behind war but it must be recognised that each war boils down to the human need to feel safe and increase one’s influence.”
Historians Igor Kopytin and Oleksandr Kiriyenko, respectively Estonian and Ukrainian, look at the Ukrainian volunteers fighting the Russia-backed separatist forces. The article also considers Ukraine’s complicated history.
Vaidas Saldziunas, a Lithuanian military journalist, writes about Kaliningrad oblast and the perceived Russian threat in the region.
Diplomaatia carries an interview with Peeter Järvelaid, Chairman of the Jaan Poska Foundation, to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Poska was the main Estonian negotiator with the Soviets in 1919–20 and signed the Tartu Peace Treaty in which Soviet Russia recognised Estonia’s independence.
ICDS fellow Piret Pernik reviews book on cyber warfare.

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