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General says more support for Afghanistan mission needed

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General says more support for Afghanistan mission needed
Photo: DPA
08:57 CET+01:00
German Gen. Reinhard Kammerer on Monday said the Bundeswehr's mission in Afghanistan needed greater political backing in Berlin.

“There's clear room for improvement here,” the 13th amoured division commander told news agency DDP in an interview in the eastern German city of Leipzig.

The general will be responsible for putting together the Bundeswehr's forces for all deployments abroad in 2009.

Kammerer said although young German soldiers have shown themselves willing in recent years to take part in missions in the Balkans or in Afghanistan, there remained a “weak flank” on the home front.

The general complained that “broad segments of the population don't support” the Afghanistan deployment and said few Germans knew what the Bundeswehr's mission there was. He said that's where Germany's politicians were failing to convey to the public the importance of Berlin's military engagement in the country.

The German parliament recently increased the Bundeswehr's mandate to allow up to 4,500 troops to take part in the NATO deployment in Afghanistan.

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