According to the Public Opinion and National Defence Survey, 79 percent of Estonia’s residents support a national defence model consisting of professional servicemen and a reserve force. Support for conscription, which is considered necessary by 90 percent of respondents, remains high.
According to Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet, the defensive will of Estonia’s residents – 77 percent of residents believe that Estonia must provide armed resistance in the event of an attack – is high. ‘More than half of the Estonian population is prepared to personally defend the country in the event of an attack’, stated Laanet.
He added that readiness among young people of upper secondary school age to participate in defence activities has increased to 63 percent, while a year ago it was only 54 percent. ‘At the same time, it is also significant that 81 percent of the population considers national defence education to be necessary in the curricula of schools providing secondary education. These numbers confirm that the national defence education programme must move forward’, said Laanet.
According to the residents of Estonia, our security will continue to be ensured by membership in NATO, the defensive will of residents, and the development of Estonia’s independent defence capability.
‘NATO’s role in ensuring Estonia’s security continues to be considered important – 52 percent believe that if a conflict breaks out, NATO will provide direct military assistance, and forty-five per cent believe that NATO membership will prevent military conflict’, said Laanet.
Residents of Estonia appreciate the contribution by our Allies to ensuring security in Estonia and the service by Estonian servicemen in stabilizing security in foreign missions.
The Allied presence in Estonia is supported by 75 percent of those surveyed, and 65 percent believe it has made Estonia safer.
‘Two thirds of the population supports Estonia’s participation in military operations, because it provides our troops with the necessary combat experience, ensures NATO support for Estonia in the event of a possible threat as well as protects the residents of the crisis area’, Laanet said.
According to Minister of Defence Laanet, support within society for the participation of women in national defence has increased over the years. ‘For the third year in a row, almost 80 percent of the population approves of women being able to complete military service, if they wish’, he noted.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee