Defence College commandant: Estonia can't be taken in three days (34)
Col. Martin Herem, Commandant of the Estonian National Defence College, said in an interview with ETV that Estonia had analyzed several war scenarios, and that judging from the most realistic of them, Estonia couldn’t be taken in just three days.
The American RAND Corporation think tank published a report earlier in February which stated that Russia could take the Baltic countries in three days or less, and that NATO couldn’t do anything about it.
“If we play with the same pieces and on the same board the RAND analysis used, they’re absolutely right. But if we play with the pieces that we think we have today, I don’t see that we’d be taken very quickly,” commented Herem.
He went on to say that war simulations could be conducted based on very different factors. Every manipulation or diverging assumption would produce a different result. Herem said that they had analysed what they had from different angles, and also looked at scenarios where Estonia took losses. “But if we play as honestly as we can, we don’t see these losses,” he said.
According to Herem, the biggest worry of the Defence Forces is being able to carry out what’s been planned in a levelheaded fashion.
“That we’re able to do what we’ve planned with cooler heads prevailing. That we don’t start scrabbling something together based on some single indicator and throw our plans aside. Of course, if there are strong reasons, we’ll change plans,” Herem said.
The Defence Forces had the structure and the equipment they needed to fight the kind of war necessary for the defense of the country as they think it might happen, the colonel explained.
About the shape such a war might take, Herem said that to him as the leader of a military unit it would make no difference if a specific target was attacked, if there were little green men like in Ukraine, if it were about ISIS, or a fight against regular troops.
“What’s different is that it would be war, and here we’re talking about strategic considerations, the state’s decisions. In which kind of danger would we mobilize, redirect the state towards meeting the requirements of a war. And that’s just what might have been easier to decide a hundred years ago, today that’s more difficult,” he said.