How a Book about the Future Turned to Recent History Even before Being Published. Book review of European Strategic Autonomy and Small States’ Security. Edited by Giedrius Česnakas and Justinas Juozaitis
For several years, the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF), M. Bydén, has acknowledged the significance of digital security threats
(Bydén, 2017). Even now, he continues to stress the importance of taking such threats seriously; ‘Sweden is attacked everyday by means that harm our society today and in the more long-term. We are not in a military conflict on and about Swedish territory, but we are in a conflict about the values we want to uphold and interests we want to be handled in a democratic way’
(Dagens Nyheter, 2022).
This article considers Estonia’s contribution, since May 2015, of an infantry company to the Finnish contingent of the Finnish/Irish battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. It is intended to provide a case study of a small European state’s involvement in UN peacekeeping in the ‘post-Afghanistan’ security environment. Drawing on interviews with Estonian officials and peacekeepers, it sets out the rationale for Estonia’s contribution and explores the degree to which participation has met the expectations of the Estonian defence leadership. It concludes that participation in UNIFIL has largely been a valuable policy, both politically and for the defence forces.