Lobjakas Wrong on NATO Boots on the Ground, Says Mihkelson (8)

MP Marko Mihkelson (Postimees/Scanpix)
8/22/2014 5:00 PM
Category: Politics

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson (IRL), said NATO units based in Estonia would be immediately involved if the nation is attacked, after columnist Ahto Lobjakas said they would be evacuated instead.

“Ahto Lobjakas presupposes that NATO, as the western world's most powerful source of defense, only exists on paper and falls to pieces as fast as a house of cards if a conflict breaks out,” Mihkelson told uudised.err.ee today, adding that for him, such a stance is odd, coming from a researcher at the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute who should be more in touch with the field of security.

He said the chain of events described by Lobjakas is the dream of the Krelmin.

If NATO troops are evacuated from Estonia, when the nation comes under attack, it would mean the end of Article Five, the alliance's collective defense clause, and of NATO itself.

Russian aggression against Ukraine has dispersed many internal doubts the alliance had and defense spending cuts have been stopped, he said.

A good example of collective defense is the Baltic Air Policing Mission, which has protected Estonia's skies from the first hour of NATO membership, Mihkelson said.

Lobjakas said in a ERR radio opinion segment earlier today that the 150 US troops in Estonia are symbolic and would be evacuated if war broke out as each NATO member must decide if it is willing to go to war.

He said NATO itself can not go to war, only each individual member.


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