British and Estonian military locked in disputes in Afghanistan

  • 2007-02-19
  • From wire reports
Estonia's role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan has come under question after the British command relieved an Estonian military intelligence team of their duties.
The daily newspaper Eesti Paevaleht reported that the British were unhappy with the skill level of their Estonian counterparts.
According to Paevaleht's sources, there have been communication problems with the British command, under which a 130-strong Estonian contingent is serving.
Deputy Commander of the UK Task Force in Helmand Col. Ian Huntley was quoted as saying that Estonian and British scouts were unable to work side by side because their work methods did not mesh. Another high-ranking NATO officer cited Estonian scouts' lack of skills.
The British command in Kandahar relieved the intelligence team of their duties in mid-January, and it is highly likely that the Estonian mission in Afghanistan will be terminated in May, according to the report.
The Estonian defense officials have declined comment, citing the state secrets act.
"All I can say is that I do not comment on these things. It's simply such a sensitive matter," Defense Minister Jurgen Ligi told the daily.