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Smaller nations under threat – finding the right training focus

2nd August 2023 - 10:00 GMT | by Giles Ebbutt in Plymouth

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Small, well-trained and equipped professional forces will eventually reach a point where they and their resources are exhausted. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

It is inevitable that a country’s military training policy will be driven by its situation in the world, and also by its society.

Small countries that feel under existential threat from a large neighbour have a particular problem if they wish to maintain a normal existence, but still feel able to offer significant resistance to aggression.

Brig Gen Vahur Karus, Commandant of the Estonian Military Academy, outlined this dilemma at the 2023 DSET conference in Bristol. He reminded his audience that Estonia had been occupied by Russia in 1940 and there was ‘no intention of allowing it to happen again’.

The country has an area of 45,000 sq km and a population of only 1.3 million. While its defence budget is 3% of

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Giles Ebbutt

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Giles Ebbutt


Giles Ebbut is a Shephard Media correspondent based in the UK who specialises in C4ISR …

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