The Financing and Personnel of the Lithuanian Army

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Abstract

In 2014, at the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine and Russia‘s aggression against this neighboring country, Lithuania became concerned about the strengthening of its military capabilities, augmenting the National Defense System (NDS) budget by almost 50% in two years. This may be considered unprecedented, if seen against the background of the presidential elections and those to the European Parliament, the fiscal discipline, the introduction of euro, as well as Russia‘s economic sanctions, the political decision in the course of 2014 on increasing the defense assignation by 130 million litas and in 2015 the increase by planned additional 356 million litas. This article analyzes two closely related problems of the Lithuanian NDS capabilities. First of all, changes in the NDS financing are explored in the context of permanent agreements of Lithuanian political parties concerning the allocation of 2% of the GDP for defense. This is followed by the discussion of the issues of military personnel staffing and training of the reserve as well as future challenges. This research contributes to the assessment of the critical NDS financing and staffing not only within academic circles but particularly among politicians and society in general. Additionally, it contributes to the awareness of the problems the army encountered in seeking to implement the objective set for it: to ensure the military security of the state. In the presence of the emerging threats in the region, this is of particularly great significance to the demilitarized and pacifist society of Lithuania. The article aims at identifying financing and personnel planning problems throughout a quarter of the century, ranging from the restoration of the Army of the Republic of Lithuania to 2014 inclusively. At the same time, the study encourages a discussion by the academic community on issues of the military security of the Lithuanian State and provides analyses as well as possible development scenarios.

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