Part of the Baltic Defence College's mission is developing research activities in the fields of strategic and security studies. These activities are aimed at achieving several closely interrelated goals:
To build, broaden and deepen knowledge of various fundamental conceptual issues of strategic, military and security-related affairs within the strategic community of the Baltic States and to facilitate a critical debate on those issues in the context of changes and developments in the contemporary geopolitical environment.
To support the educational mission of the college by inducing research-based teaching on the all courses, therefore creating a vigorous intellectual setting for the further development of the curriculum.
To promote a strategic culture in the Baltic States, which is a key requirement for sustaining high-quality academic education.
Since 2006, several broad research directions have been established as a framework for specific research projects – collaborative and individual – to be conducted under the auspices of the Baltic Defence College:
Trends in war and warfare
New security issues and the armed forces
Change management and military transformation
Armed forces and society
While pursuing these research vectors, the college focuses on issues and topics which have not been explored by any of the academic and research institutions of the Baltic States, thereby developing a unique profile within the Baltic research community. At the same time, as the college envisages itself as a vehicle for catalysing strategic studies in the Baltic States, it seeks to involve researchers from various academic institutions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in its projects. The Baltic Defence College's long-term ambition is to expand its research directions so that they intersect with the wider research community in the Baltic States, thereby laying the ground for the emergence of a vibrant strategic studies culture in the region.
The Baltic Defence College's research events, publications and Visiting Fellowships are crucial for realising this ambition. From 1999-2006, the college published the Baltic Defence Review, which is widely distributed in the Euro-Atlantic security community. To better reflect the spectrum of research topics, the publication was re-named the Baltic Security and Defence Review in 2006. Since 1999, the college has held numerous conferences, seminars and workshops, which have brought together researchers and policymakers to discuss issues pertinent to the Baltic States' military policies and strategies.