COL (ret) Vaidotas Malinionis
Benjamin Franklin’s admonition that “we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately” was insightful during the American Revolution and is relevant today for Western democracies facing both Hybrid Threats* and the possibility of conventional military conflict. However, to mitigate future threats the Baltic States and Poland have to find agreement upon a regional common long term Defence Strategy. This would guaranty full utilization of NATO strategic depth via the establishment of long-term development goals, consistent budgeting, and regional interoperability of military and nonmilitary sectors at all levels.
It has already been fourteen years since the Baltic States joined NATO, but a difficult and challenging path for defence systems development in each state has complicated improvement of interoperability between even these closest of neighbors. This gap has frustrated efforts to leverage greater advantage of NATO membership for effective and efficient national self defence. This situation must be seriously evaluated and addressed for improved national and regional defence.
All young officers who are studying military tactics are familiar with the importance of identifying and mitigating the risks of “gaps” between units (platoons, companies, battalions). An adversary is always eager to identify these gaps and exploit them. Gaps are less protected, coordinated and defended areas – they can make the difference between defeat and victory on the battlefield. Gaps are always a potential weak point, especially if one is ill prepared for the fight. This principle works for units at every level and is equally valid for the national level of NATO countries.
Building the Defence System in Baltics
Summary of the International conference
Social Resilience and the Future of Russia’s Hybrid War on the West
On March 28, 2018 the National Defence Foundation together with partners and supporters held the annual international conference Social Resilience and the Future of Russia’s Hybrid War on the West.As in the previous year, the event took place at the Hall of the Act of 11 March of Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament). Among participants were Members of Lithuanian Parliament, international security and defense experts, decision makers, members of academia, students, Vilnius-based diplomats and the civil society representatives. In addition, over 1000 viewers watched the conference livestream via DELFI TV.
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