Aims to advance the transatlantic community’s strategic thinking on the security challenges facing the Baltic-Nordic region, from armed or cyber attacks to threats against social cohesion and energy security.

Photo:Robert Reisman


Supervisory board

Chairman of the Board

Mikk Marran
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence

Members of the Board

Merle Maigre
Security adviser to the President of the Republic of Estonia

Marko Mihkelson
Chairman, National Defence Committee, Estonian Parliament

Kristjan Prikk
Director for National Security and Defence Coordination, Government Office of the Republic of Estonia

Tanel Ross
Chairman of the Management Board, Estonian Health Insurance Fund

Lieutenant General Riho Terras
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces

International Advisory Board


General Sir Garry Johnson
Chairman of the International Advisory Board


Alyson Bailes
Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik

Ambassador Matthew Bryza
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, the Atlantic Council of the United States

Ambassador Per Carlsen
Senior Adviser, Baltic Development Forum

Risto Penttilä
CEO of the Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland

Tomas Ries
Senior Lecturer at the Swedish National Defence College

Jamie Shea
Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General

György Schöpflin
Member of the European Parliament

General Franz Werner
Member of the International Security Assistance Board

Vision Statement

The mission of the ICDS is to become the regional hub of first choice for the security and defence communities of Estonia and her Euro-Atlantic Allies in accessing cutting edge analysis of international security and defence issues. The threefold purpose of ICDS research is to:

  • Strengthen Estonia’s defence sector by identifying best practices;
  • Sharpen strategic thinking in NATO and the EU on security issues in the Baltic-Nordic region; and
  • Deepen appreciation for Estonia’s contributions to Euro-Atlantic security through Estonia’s participation in international military operations; leadership on cyber security; and experience with security, political, and economic reforms.

ICDS will accomplish this mission by being a credible thought leader for two audiences: Estonian and Euro-Atlantic.

Within Estonia, ICDS will aim to guide the thinking of Estonia’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), Military Forces, and full range of national security policymakers in Government and Parliament in more strategic directions, while also responding to their specific research requests. ICDS will also provide the Estonian public analysis of international affairs that are of particular relevance to Estonia and its Euro-Atlantic Allies.

Beyond Estonia, ICDS will offer insights on the security challenges in the Baltic-Nordic region, as well as the Baltic-Nordic region’s perspectives on broader issues that are relevant to the Euro-Atlantic community.

ICDS will organise its research around two broad concepts, Defence Management and Security Policy. Each concept will contain several main research areas.

Defence Management

  • Estonia’s national security planning, institution development, and management;
  • Estonia’s participation in international coalition military operations; and
  • Foresight analysis of security-related science and technology.

Security Policy

  • Baltic-Nordic security (in a Trans-Atlantic context);
  • Cyber security (political and policy aspects);
  • Russian external security policies;
  • Energy security (in the Baltic-Nordic region and broader Eurasia); and
  • Eastern Partnership and Balkan countries’ security and internal reforms.

ICDS’s monthly journal, Diplomaatia, will be restructured in line with this vision statement.

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