Renewed: 02.07.2014, 10:31

25 June 2014 16:37

Terras at RUSI: We must retain our Afghanistan experiences

Commander of Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Riho Terras today met with the Vice Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom, General Sir Stuart Peach and participated as a panellist in a Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) organised international security conference on achievements through alliances and partnerships.

Terras highlighted the special relationship between the UK and Estonia based on shared historical events and stressed the need for continued co-operation to maintain the achievements. “The countries that have fought together in Afghanistan set conditions to create a force with better joint intelligence gathering as well as ensure the participation of the United Kingdom in securing our national sovereignty, while creating good basis for continued co-operation,” Terras said. Terras also thanked General Peach for United Kingdom joining the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn.

During the panel discussion Commander of Estonian Defence Forces stressed the mutual understanding and a cultural connection achieved with fighting shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan and explained the participants what it means for a small nation like Estonia to belong to an alliance with shared experiences from Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We have participated in many operations with our allies and have always been involved in the decision making process. There have always been different understandings on how we should act and how the whole process should work. This comes from our different cultural background and historical past,” Terras said, acknowledging that the alliance is currently in a unique situation, where operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought allies very close again. “We must hold on to our joint perception and cognition. We need to continue our intensive co-operation, training and exercises, so that we do not lose those values and mutual understanding what we have accomplished in ten years.”

Major General Riho Terras was accompanied on the panel discussion by the Commander of NATO Land Command, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges and Commander Army Operational Command, Royal Danish Army, Major General Per Ludvigsen.

The Land Warfare Conference, held annually on behalf of the UK Chief of the General Staff, brings together representatives from across the armed forces, government, academia and industry, as well as international allies and partners, with the aim of promoting professional debate.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in defence and security research. Founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and reflection on defence and security matters.

Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, 717 1900, mil[at]mil.ee, Juhkentali 58, EE15007, Tallinn, Estonia.

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