Defense Officials Making Push for More Muscular US Presence ({{commentsTotal}})

News
News

Without detracting from the commitments pledged by NATO so far, Estonian defense officials have come on the record several times recently saying the country needs a more substantial US military mission.

Coming on the heels of Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu's visit to Washington at the start of this week, Leo Kunnas, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves, said in Postimees that Estonia is not up to scratch when it comes to armored maneuvering units, mine-laying and medium-range air defenses.

"The other question is of course, Baltic air defense. It's clear that NATO's collective air defense in Lithuania will not cover Estonia: their fighters will not reach us in time," said Kunnas.

Kunnas said the solution would be a NATO Baltic air defense mission, with four fighters ready to be scrambled in each Baltic state.

Kunnas stopped short of saying there should be American bases or ground units stationed in the country, though, a contentious area even for Estonian military personnel.

Former commander in chief Ants Laaneots has said deploying US forces in Estonia would inflame tensions with Russia and be counterproductive.

"The maximum we could want is for US units to have stockpiles in the Baltics as was done in Norway, Germany and other places during the Cold War," said Laaneots in comments for the same Postimees report.

One of the bigger takeaway messages from Reinsalu was that he would support seeing a permanent US military presence in Estonia. He was criticized by some in his party for making the statements publicly.



{{c.alias}}
{{c.createdMoment}}
{{c.body}}
{{cc.alias}}
{{cc.createdMoment}}
+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long
{{comment.captcha.word.answer}}

news.err.ee

Opinion
Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: news@err.ee