Afghanistan's Need for Civilian Experts Will Grow After Troops Leave, Says Estonian Expert
Jaan Helmdorf, an Estonian who has been training Afghan police forces for three years, said that the need to continue civilian missions such as his will only grow after foreign troops pull out later this year.
Speaking to ETV on Thursday, Helmdorf said that it will take ten years before he will see if his work has had an effect.
“There are certainly areas, especially in the south and east, where the Taliban never left but has been in hiding. As the same time, in central, western and northern provinces it will be very difficult for the Taliban to gain power, as the locals there do not support them,” Helmdorf said.
In a nation where most people are illiterate, only 15 percent of policemen can write beyond signing their name, Helmdorf said.
He said that because of the upcoming elections due to take place in April, the various insurgent groups and political forces are currently trying to disrupting normal life, to benefit from the chaos.
Four Estonians, including Helmdorf, are part of the EU's EUPOL training mission, while another four in the country as part of NATO's civilian training program.