Visit by Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom

Visit by Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom


On the evening of 30th August the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) had the honour to host the visit of the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, and the delegation accompanying the distinguished guest including the Estonian Minister of Defence, Mr Mart Laar, the British Ambassador, H. E. Mr Peter Carter, and the British Defence Attaché, LtCol Ian Watts.


The honourable guests were welcomed in the BALTDEFCOL foyer by its Commandant, BG Meelis Kiili, and Deputy Commandant, Col Ingemar Gustafsson. The party headed to the Officers’ Mess for a short greeting and informal discussion, after which Dr Fox held a captivating speech to the invited guest, BALTDEFCOL staff and students of the HCSC and JCGSC.

The main issues discussed in Dr Fox’s speech were “liberty” and “security”. He said Libertyis not the natural state of affairs – it must be fought for and defended repeatedly in place and time, in every nation and by every generation. In the light of that, he stressed that, as the members of NATO and the EU, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have contributed to guaranteeing those values immensely and expressed his gratitude for that. Dr Fox also introduced the Strategic Defence and Security Review of the United Kingdom and shared with the audience a few strategic conclusions from the assessment process. The first was that a structural economic weakness is a national security liability and has to be dealt with as a priority; in short, You can’t be secure if you are broke. As a second conclusion, Dr Fox brought out the adaptability and deployability of Armed Forces, and political will to use them. And finally, Dr Fox explained the idea of Partnership with Purpose in the Strategic Defence and Security Review saying that No country acting alone can hope to protect every aspect of its national security.


The speech was followed by BG Kiili’s words of gratitude to the Secretary of State for Defence and handing over of the College Shield. Then Dr Fox and his delegation headed to the Admiral von Cowan Hall, which denotes the common history of Brits and Estonians, to have an informal discussion with the BALTDEFCOL students and staff. 

After the visit, the Commandant and Deputy Commandant of the BALTDEFCOL had dinner with the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP and other invited guests.


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Distinguished lecturer Gen Hans Jesper Helsø


Lecture by the Ambassador of Russian Federation to Estonia

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