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Dec 2, 2010 - While visiting the US Cyber Comand on December 1, Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo stated that Estonia can contribute a lot more to the security of NATO and its allies in the field of cyber security than its size suggests.
In Ft. George Meade Aaviksoo met with the Commander of US Cyber Command General Keith Alexander and was given an overview of the cyber defence organization in the US.
According to Aaviksoo the importance of cyber security and its meaning to the defence capabilities of USA is ever present. “The messages of President Obama’s cyber security coordinator Howard Schmidt and General Alexander of the newly created Cyber Command are extremely clear – cyber threats are the most dangerous and likely threats to the US and its allies over the next years,” stated Aaviksoo.
Aaviksoo added that Estonia is remarkably competent and experienced in this field and that this is also extremely valued among our allies. “I am confident that especially in the field of cyber security lies Estonia’s strongest contribution, despite our small size, in providing security for NATO and its allies,” added Aaviksoo.
Defence minister Aaviksoo also met with Howard McKeon, the incoming Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee of Armed Services. During the meeting, Aaviksoo presented McKeon with an overview of the current Estonian and European vision on security. Also, the importance of each NATO member allocating 2% of the GDP to defence funding was once again stressed and Member of the House McKeon agreed that the permanent military presence of the US in Europe must continue in its current form.
The Minister also met with the White House cyber security coordinator Howard Schmidt.
A day earlier Aaviksoo visited the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, where he met with General Stephane Abrial. During the meeting they discussed the consequences of the Lisbon summit, the roles of ACT in the new NATO military structure and latest developments in the field of cyber security.
On December 2, Aaviksoo took part in a briefing at the think tank Atlantic Council, where the most important developments of the US foreign policy was discussed. Also, the Minister of Defence visited the Memorial for the Victims of Communism in Washington.
On Friday, December 3,  Aaviksoo met with his US counterpart Robert Gates in the Pentagon. The planned topics of discussion were the Lisbon summit, new strategic concept of NATO, the operation in Afghanistan and the cyber security cooperation between Estonia and the US.
Aaviksoo was accompanied on his visit by Sven Sakkov, Undersecretary for Defence Policy and Colonel Ilmar Tamm, Director of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. The Minister of Defence returned  to Estonia on Saturday, December 4.

Ministry of Defence Estonia


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