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New Military Strategy of the Republic of Lithuania approved
On March 17, the Minister of National Defence approved a new Military Strategy of the Republic of Lithuania. The document provides analysis of the security environment of the country, defines the security threats that Lithuania is facing, the governing principles of the national defence policy, as well as the military objectives and requirements for the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the war-time armed forces.
“The Military Strategy of 2012 was no longer relevant in terms of security issues and the consequent new tasks for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. As the experiences of Georgia and Ukraine show, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have to be ready to respond promptly either individually or together with the Allies, to both conventional and non-conventional threats,” the Minister of National Defence said.
The updated Military Strategy states that the security situation of Lithuania has deteriorated, while Russia’s actions, undermining the rule-based European security architecture, pose the greatest threat to the security of Lithuania.
The document declares that the probability of conventional armed aggression against Lithuania or other NATO countries in the region is no longer a theoretical one and it may increase due to Russia’s growing military power and intensions to use it . The Strategy underlines that the Lithuanian Armed Forces have to be prepared to respond to non-conventional threats, for instance, irregular armed formations, or information and cyber-attacks.
The new Military Strategy retains the original key military objective, which is to ensure a credible deterrence in concert with the Allies, and to ensure individual and collective defence of Lithuania in case the deterrence fails. On the basis of updated legal acts, the document also places emphasis on the capacity of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to implement military operations of limited scope in peacetime in response to local armed incidents and state border violations.
The Strategy lays out the aspiration of having the permanent presence of NATO forces and military equipment in Lithuania. The revised Military Strategy also includes provisions on rendering assistance to the security sector reforms and development of local defence capabilities of the countries in the Eastern neighbourhood.
The document has been supplemented with new additional requirements for the Lithuanian Armed Forces, namely: to rapidly shift from peace to wartime structure, to maintain standing high readiness units, and to swiftly respond to threats. The Strategy also emphasises the readiness to cooperate with civilian institutions, the ability to render necessary Host Nation Support, as well as the need to ensure efficient cyber defence of command and control structures of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The revised Military Strategy replaces an equivalent document that was in force since 2012 and is the fourth Military Strategy of the Republic of Lithuania since the re-establishment of independence. The National Defence Council approved the updated Strategy on March 14.
Credits: I. Budzeikaitė (National Rapid Response Force during Exercise Lightning Strike 2016)