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US wants Bundeswehr forces to help in eastern Afghanistan

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US wants Bundeswehr forces to help in eastern Afghanistan
A German Quick Reaction Force soldier in Afghanistan on Monday. Photo: DPA
11:35 CEST+02:00
The US wants the quick reaction forces (QRF) from the German Bundeswehr to begin operations on the unstable eastern border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, a CIA source in Washington said on Tuesday.

The 205 German troops, which took over QRF duties from Norwegian troops on Monday, are currently responsible for peacekeeping in the northern part of the country near Mazar-e Sharif, but the US wants help fighting the Taliban in their area on the instable eastern border. The soldiers are only allowed to participate in operations outside of their area under the approval of German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung.

The CIA source told news agency DDP that "the dice for Afghanistan's future will probably be cast on the Pakistani border," adding that if coalition forces don't quell the increase of Taliban and al-Qaida rebels on the border, then efforts in the Hindu Kush mountains would be "ineffective."

John Johnson, a commander of US soldiers on the tense eastern border said, "we haven't operated on the ground near the border out of political reasons," but added that it is merely a matter of time before forces have to cross the border into Pakistan.

If the Americans advance, then "the German QRF forces from the north could fly in and relieve the US troops in the east," the CIA source told DDP.

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