The Latvian defense ministry proposes developing a comprehensive national defense system that would encompass not only the Baltic country's defense sector and government institutions but also the private sector, nongovernmental organizations and individual residents, the ministry's representatives informed Tuesday.
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Latvian ministers on Tuesday approved the defense ministry's report on the introduction of comprehensive or total national defense concept, aimed at deepening cooperation among all state authorities, creating effective public and private partnership mechanisms and raising public awareness of self-defense and self-organization instruments in case of a crisis.

Representatives of the ministry argued that in order to deal with constantly changing security challenges, Latvia's national defense system has to be comprehensive and based in the readiness of the whole population and government institutions to cope with emergencies and resilience to external threats.

The ministry therefore proposes developing a defense system that would include not only the state defense sector and government institutions but also private enterprises, nongovernmental groups, individual residents and other entities.

In the long term, such an all-encompassing approach is expected to promote a responsible attitude to the state and its security, bring people and state authorities closer together and prevent divisions in society.

Latvia's state institutions are expected to come up with their analysis and proposals for the defense system's development by Sept. 1, 2019. The defense ministry wants to encourage a broad public debate on the planned comprehensive defense system and how to bolster national security.

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