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Director of the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania

Colonel Elegijus PAULAVIČIUS

Director of the Defence Intelligence and Security Service under the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania

Dear readers,

Lithuania’s national security is affected by negative global security developments, which in recent years have been very significant. Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, instability in the Middle East, hostile countries seeking to change the global security architecture – all these processes are highly dynamic. These dynamics also pose challenges for intelligence. With new crises reported almost daily, societies are in need of simple and quick answers. However, simple and quick answers are not always appropriate for explaining complex situations.

Intelligence is more often called upon to report bad news than good news. It must warn of threats and even worst-case scenarios because providing timely warning is one of its main tasks. However, the ability to communicate bad news to decision-makers is an advantage of living in a free and democratic country. In authoritarian regimes, the intelligence and security services often dare to provide their leaders with good news only, which leads to inadequate assessments of the situation, bad decisions, and unjustified risks. The strength of intelligence is its access to non-public information, which allows it to provide a fuller picture of the situation and make assessments that are as close to reality as possible.

Lithuanian intelligence agencies provide information to the top state and military leaders, civil and military authorities so that they can use it in decision making. Along with these obligations there comes a great responsibility. In order to inform decision-makers in a timely manner, often there is no time to wait till all the data are collected and we have to provide the intelligence available at the moment, which is always accompanied by assessments of intelligence analysts. The language of probability or definition of terms is therefore unavoidable in intelligence work. Terms such as ‘possible’, ‘highly likely’ or ‘in the medium term’ are common in this publication, their definitions can be found on the first pages of both this and previous editions of National Threat Assessment. These terms, which are also used by intelligence agencies in other Western countries, allow us to explain what is meant by one or another event, to interpret the fragmented intelligence obtained through various collection methods, and to provide an assessment of whether and when the situation will change.

We present our intelligence assessments to the public without revealing sensitive details, methods or secret sources of information in the ninth National Threat Assessment prepared by the Defence Intelligence and Security Service under the Ministry of National Defence and the State Security Department. We believe that the information on events and emerging threats affecting the security environment in Lithuania will be useful to readers at home and abroad.

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