German Parliament Extends Afghanistan Mission

German Parliament Extends Afghanistan Mission

This is a discussion on German Parliament Extends Afghanistan Mission within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Afghanistan | 12.10.2007 Despite public opposition, over 75 percent of Germany's lower house voted on Friday, Oct. 12, to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan ...

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Thread: German Parliament Extends Afghanistan Mission

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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    German Parliament Extends Afghanistan Mission

    Afghanistan | 12.10.2007

    Despite public opposition, over 75 percent of Germany's lower house voted on Friday, Oct. 12, to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan by one year.

    In a sweeping majority, 454 parliamentarians in Germany's Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, voted to continue Germany's military action in Afghanistan. Seventy-nine voted "no" and 48 abstained.

    Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany was committed to helping Afghanistan.

    "If we give up, the opponents of the civilized world have won," he told parliament. "We don't want to let that happen. We will stand by the people of Afghanistan and help them to continue along the mapped-out path."

    The decision combines Germany's participation in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission and Tornado reconnaissance mission, which were previously covered by separate missions. The cost of the mandate over the coming year has been estimated at 500 million euros ($709 million).

    As part of the newly approved mandate, up to 3,500 German soldiers could be deployed to Afghanistan as part of the ISAF mission. Currently, about 3,000 are stationed mainly in the country's relatively safer northern regions. Berlin has repeatedly refused NATO requests to send troops to southern Afghanistan.

    The parties of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition -- the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party -- as well as and the Free Democratic Party have consistently supported the Afghan mission, while the new left-wing alliance is against it.

    Germany's Green party has expressed fundamental support for the country's involvement, but advocated a change in strategy. It has criticized the country's use of six Tornado reconnaissance jets in southern Afghanistan.

    An OmniQuest poll for the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper showed 29 percent of Germans backed the extension. Other polls have consistently shown a majority of Germans want an end to the Bundeswehr's involvement in Afghanistan, which has claimed of 26 German soldiers' lives.

    Germany's contribution of 100 special forces troops to the controversial US war on terror in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, won't be decided in parliament until November.

    Mit Ja votierten bei der Abstimmung im Deutschen Bundestag am Freitag (12.10.2007) 453 Abgeordnete, mit Nein 79. Es enthielten sich 48 Parlamentarier der Stimme.

    "Ohne flankierende Unterstützung durch die Truppen der internationalen Gemeinschaft steht der zivile Wiederaufbau auf verlorenem Posten", sagte Entwicklungshilfeministerin Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. Sie ergriff als einziges Mitglied des Kabinetts das Wort. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Jung verfolgten die Debatte auf der Regierungsbank.

    500 Millionen Euro

    Der Beschluss fasst die bislang getrennten Mandate für die NATO-geführte ISAF-Truppe und den Einsatz der Aufklärungsflugzeuge vom Typ Tornado zusammen. Dafür können sechs Jahre nach dem Sturz des Taliban-Regimes bis zu 3500 Bundeswehr-Soldaten entsandt werden. Die Bundesregierung beziffert die Kosten auf knapp 500 Millionen Euro. Das Mandat ist bis 13. Oktober 2008 befristet. Bei den Bundesbürgern hat der Beschluss nur wenig Rückhalt.

    Über den deutschen Beitrag zum besonders umstrittenen US-geführten Anti-Terror-Einsatz "Operation Enduring Freedom" soll erst im November abgestimmt werden.

    Bei der vorausgehenden Debatte über die Verlängerung des Mandats für den ISAF-Einsatz sowie den Einsatz der Tornado-Aufklärungsflugzeuge hatten die Regierungskoalition aus Union und SPD sowie die FDP ihre Zustimmung angekündigt. Die Linksfraktion hatte ihre Ablehnung beteuert. Die Grünen wollten sich mehrheitlich enthalten, obwohl sie die ISAF-Mission zur Absicherung des Wiederaufbaus grundsätzlich unterstützen. Sie verlangen von der Bundesregierung jedoch einen Strategiewechsel.

    Ende offen

    Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Jung sagte: "Wir sind auf dem richtigen Weg." Die Bundeswehr sei in Afghanistan nicht Besatzer. "Wir sind Befreier und Unterstützer der Menschen." Auf die Frage nach dem Ende des Einsatzes sagte Jung nur: "Tatsache ist, dass wir noch etwas Zeit und Geduld brauchen."

    Die afghanische Botschafterin in Deutschland, Maliha Zulfacar, hat die Verlängerung des Bundeswehr-Einsatzes in Afghanistan begrüßt. "Die breite Mehrheit im Bundestag ist ein wichtiges Signal auch für die afghanische Bevölkerung, dass Deutschland fest zu dem internationalen Engagement steht."
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    It would be good to see Deutschland take a more assertive military role on the international scene...I think their past is behind them.

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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    It would be good to see Deutschland take a more assertive military role on the international scene...I think their past is behind them.
    I agree but Deutschland has been ridden with war guilt even to this day and as a result is more liberal now than it was back in 1848. I think it is one thing to force Germany into Nato but it is a contradiction to schuld them over war and then balk when they don't want to fight.
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duisburg View Post
    I agree but Deutschland has been ridden with war guilt even to this day and as a result is more liberal now than it was back in 1848. I think it is one thing to force Germany into Nato but it is a contradiction to schuld them over war and then balk when they don't want to fight.
    I understand. I just think it's time for them to drop the old guilt and take their place as the powerful and important country they are on the world scene.

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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Seems Like France is increasing it's role, Holland seems ready to extend their mission. Canada's current Prime Minister is ready to extend our combat role past 2009, but needs either a vote of support from the other parties or win a majority in the next election, which the other parties are dreading due to poor support and little money in their bank accounts. So hopefully NATO's role there will expand and continue past 2009, otherwise the NATO will start to fall apart.

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