President calls for broad consensus on need to modernise army
The appeal to the government, parliament, political parties and experts comes in a statement obtained by the STA on Thursday that was penned by Pahor at the request of the National Assembly.
Pahor describes the required modernisation as a "very ungrateful and daunting task" given Slovenia's limited financial capacity, but one which cannot be deferred considering the "altered" and "unpredictable" security environment.
While acknowledging that there is no direct link between the level of funding and the level of security, Pahor notes than funding for the army had dropped by 40% in five years, which had "completely prevented modernisation".
The reduction of training and maintenance funds has affected the readiness of soldiers, units and military gear.
He believes that modernising the security system "is the only way we can secure peace, both with our own forces and in cooperation with the defence forces of allied countries".
Overall, Pahor deems the current system of national security to be "quite exhausted" and outdated.
Slovenia does not face direct military threats, but it faces greater security risks due to the deterioration of the security situation in the EU's neighbourhood, the worsening of Russia-NATO relations, and the migration crisis.
The updating of the security system is therefore "urgent and inevitable," he said.
Pahor submitted the opinion to parliament, which voted earlier this week to demand a formal statement from the president as the supreme commander of the armed forces on the situation in the army.
It comes after Pahor has recently described the situation in the army as critical following years of cost cutting that has severely eroded its defence capabilities.
Pahor's answer will be presented to MPs at an emergency session of parliament which starts on 5 May.