Academic Workshop held in BALTDEFCOL


On Tuesday 9 June the BALTDEFCOL held an academic workshop on the theme “Russian Security Policy, Present and Future.” This workshop is the first of a series of academic events on security issues relating to the Baltic States. More than two dozen people, mostly academics, participated from regional military and civilian institutions. The participants included personnel from the Estonian Foreign and Defence Ministries and from the Latvian Defence Ministry. The Finnish National Defence University, the Euro University, the University of Tartu and the Baltic Defence College faculty were all represented.


The workshop was hosted by the Commandant of the BALTDEFCOL, Brigadier General Gundars Abols, and the Dean of the BALTDEFCOL, Dr. James Corum.
The workshop events included extensive discussions of the impact of the 2008 Russian/Georgian conflict and its impact on European security. Major Dr. Heike Lehtonen of the Finish National Defence University was the featured speaker on this subject. Major Lehtonen served as an international observer in Georgia and was present there at the time of the conflict. Mr. Paul Teesalu of the Estonian foreign Ministry and Mr. Kristi and Nielson of Tartu University also offered perspectives of the Georgia conflict and its effect on EU and NATO policies.

Dr. James Corum offered an overview of the several major points of friction between the Western nations and Russia over the last two decades. The economic side of security was a major theme of the workshop. Mr. Frederick Labarre presented a paper on Russian neo-mercantilism and Dr. Arunas Molis provided an analysis of the issue of energy supplies in European security. A very interesting analysis of current Russian thinking on security issues was offered by Professor Leonid Karabeshkin, an associate professor of Euro University.


The BALTDEFCOL has several academic workshops planned for the 2009-2010 academic year to include a workshop on cyber security in September 2009, one on the NATO Strategic concept and the Baltic Region in October 2009, and a workshop on Baltic regional military history planned for November. In early 2010 the BALTDEFCOL will host a workshop on lessons learned from Baltic nation deployments overseas.


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Central European Forum on Military Education


Gen. Hans Jesper Helsø

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