We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Uffe Ellemann-Jensen. He was a great friend to Estonia, a dear long-time friend of President Lennart Meri, and a frequent and valued participant at ICDS’s annual Lennart Meri Conference. He will be very much missed.
This presentation is about aspects of Estonian security policy. Hundreds of such presentations are made each year. A special brand of academic cockroach has emerged in welfare states—they scuttle from one political kitchen to another, repeating texts with only the name of the state changed at best. They spend more money than the UN peacekeepers, their metalanguage is full of meaning but untranslatable to mere mortals, and they have created an effective circle of solidary defence for themselves. At a time when international organisations melt away before our eyes like margarine under the Saharan sun; when the noise of rockets drowns out the upbeat singing heard from seedy bars; when heads torn from bodies roll on the pavement like footballs on stadium turf, the honourable academic cockroaches have created a mirage of a world in which security, stability and human rights are growing stronger with each day. Often, their most convincing arguments are that, on average, one truce is concluded per week, and even more often we witness blithe declarations in which the explosion of an artillery shell or rocket is hailed as the last one ever, and humankind is ennobled in the Beethovenesque apotheosis of the imminent brotherhood of man.
The reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s death, on 8 April at the age of 87, has been predictably enormous. Internationally she has largely been lauded, certainly in Central and Eastern Europe where she is viewed as sharing, with Ronald Reagan, much of the credit for ending the Cold War, and where her economic policies of deregulation, free trade, small government, privatisation and low taxes have served as models for the democracies that re-emerged here in the closing years of the twentieth century.