Terras: Armed forces need to be ready to defend Estonia
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras held a speech on Wednesday at the Independence Day parade in Tallinn’s Freedom Square. Terras stressed that the Defence Forces and the Defence League’s most important task was to be ready to defend the country, no matter where they were stationed.
Terras’ speech outlined three main ideas that connected the country’s past and also that of its armed forces to the present.
The first was the will of citizens to defend the country, which had been as important 98 years ago as it was now, Terras stated.
Long before the Estonian state first came into being, Terras said, bright minds had come together and forwarded the Estonian cause in social gatherings and meetings. In today’s understanding, that was voluntary work, and he considered it the cornerstone of the Estonian state.
The second idea was that the development of the Defence League mirrored today’s security environment. People who cared for the wellbeing of their country and wished to defend it wouldn’t hang their heads, but join the Defence League, Terras said.
The third idea, Terras continued, was that it was Estonia’s task to remain secure in its traditions, principles, and values in a changing world. To be responsible, and if required to do its part and lend a hand.
To improve its own defenses, Estonia needed to start from the principle that all its military forces, no matter where stationed in the world, needed to be entirely ready to contribute to the defense of the Estonian state.