The 2004 defense is based on selective military duty with
an initial service of eight months and comprises about 5,500
men. In 1996, Estonia adopted a four-year plan with a new
doctrine based on future NATO membership. The defense is
organized with five infantry battalions, three patrol boats
and a semi-military Border Guard unit comprising 2,600 men
organized in a regiment. Estonia has no fighter aircraft.
To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that EST stands for Estonia. The reserves amount to 24,000 people.
Estonia aims to militarily protect its own territory and
its borders. A cooperation agreement with the other Baltic
states was signed in 1996 with the aim of coordinating
border surveillance of the countries' eastern borders. A
coherent maritime surveillance system along all the three
Baltic states has been established, including Swedish aid.
After all, lack of financial resources, voluntary, educated
staff and competing societal needs with regard to
conscience-related young men limit the growth rate of the
Estonia, like other Baltic states, applied for membership
in NATO in 1997 and became a member in 2004. Defense
spending in 1996 amounted to 2.4% of GDP and in 2001 had
decreased to 1.2%. Estonia participates in UN peacekeeping
efforts, including by joining Swedish UN unions in the long
term to build up their own competence.