The goal of Lithuanian defence policy – to ensure deterrence against the armed attack of Lithuania, and in case of armed aggression – to protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lithuania. This goal is pursued through the joint efforts of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, NATO allies, all state institutions and society. Lithuania also contributes to international stability and peace in order to form an international security environment favorable to Lithuania and its allies.
The essential principle of Lithuania’s defence – total defence, which means that all resources are mobilized for Lithuania’s defence and all means, both military and non-military, are used:
- Lithuania is protected by weapons by the army and other institutions forming the armed forces;
- Lithuania’s independent defence efforts are complemented by collective defence – the national armed forces defend Lithuania together with NATO allied forces;
- All civilian authorities contribute to the defence by providing support to the armed forces and ensuring the performance of vital state functions;
- Citizens defend the state with weapons and take part in unarmed civil resistance.
Defence policy priorities
The Lithuanian Armed Forces must first be prepared for independent military defence and actions together with the Allies. In today’s security environment, it must also be able to deal with situations of a hybrid nature and the need to support civilian authorities in peacetime missions. Therefore, the Lithuanian Armed Forces must be staffed, equipped and trained to the highest standards.
The development of military capabilities focuses on:
- Developing ground combat capabilities;
- Staffing, improvement of military service conditions and social guarantees;
- Provision of modern equipment, armaments and supplies;
- Infrastructure development to meet national and Allied needs.
An essential condition for the strengthening of the army is a consistent and secure increase in defence funding, which allows for a smooth and balanced planning of the development of military capabilities.
Reliable collective defence commitments
The security of NATO members is indivisible – a threat to the security of one member of the Alliance is a threat to the security of the Alliance as a whole. The Allies are contributing to the strengthening of Lithuania’s security, and Lithuania is ready to fulfill its obligations to the Allies in solidarity. A strong and united Alliance, ready to ensure the security and defence of its members, is an important interest of Lithuania’s defence policy. Lithuania encourages and supports the development of NATO’s deterrence and collective defence capabilities.
Lithuania’s strategic allies in the United States, as well as Germany’s military presence in the region, are of the critical importance for deterrence and defence, thus Lithuania is making every effort to ensure the continued and long-term deployment of these countries’ military capabilities and strengthen political, military and defence industry ties.
Lithuania participates in international operations in order to contribute to the solution of common challenges facing the allies, ensuring international peace and stability. Priority is given to NATO- and US-led international operations, but contributions to EU and United Nations operations and missions are maintained. Lithuania’s national military training operation in Ukraine is extremely important, as it contributes to the strengthening of Ukraine’s armed forces and shows our solidarity with Ukraine, which has chosen the Euro–Atlantic direction.
A resilient state and society
The preparation and participation of state institutions and citizens in state defence is very important to ensure the principle of universal defence. This not only significantly strengthens Lithuania’s defence power, but also demonstrates a strong determination: it shows Lithuanian allies that we take the defence of our state responsibly and seriously, and shows a potential aggressor that he will face general and unconditional state resistance.
- Preparation for mobilization. The development of the mobilization system is aimed at ensuring that the state will be able to operate in the conditions of military threat – to quickly restructure activities, to mobilize the necessary resources for defence and continuity of other vital areas to respond flexibly to the changing situation. Therefore, already in peacetime, the authorities are planning the necessary actions and measures, and their readiness is constantly being tested in exercises.
- Strengthening cyber security. Taking into account the cyber threats facing Lithuania, the growing number and complexity of cyber incidents, the comprehensive strengthening of the state’s cyber resilience continues. Particular attention is paid to protecting critical infrastructure from unreliable technologies and manufacturers. Legal regulation is being further improved, institutional capacity is being strengthened and international cooperation is being developed.
- Will, resilience and readiness of the citizens. Lithuania’s defence is impossible without citizens who are determined to resist the aggressor in every possible way. Citizens’ preparation begins with the formation of will, the implementation of civic and patriotic values. Resistance to various modern threats – disinformation and propaganda, hybrid attacks – is also being strengthened. Citizens wishing to contribute to the defence of an armed state have access to a wide range of military training opportunities. At the same time, the general knowledge of how to deal with mobilization and war is being developed, and the ways and possibilities of unarmed civil resistance are being introduced. The role of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union and non-governmental organizations in preparing for civil resistance is being strengthened.