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Germany sends 120 fresh troops to Afghanistan

AFP · 13 Nov 2009, 17:35

Published: 13 Nov 2009 16:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Nov 2009 17:35 GMT+01:00

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The extra infantry company will arrive in mid-January in the northern province of Kunduz, where most of Germany's 4,400 soldiers are based, Defence Ministry spokesman Steffen Moritz told reporters.

Parliament has capped the number of German soldiers that can be sent there at 4,500. The mission is highly unpopular in Germany.

Berlin's announcement came after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on other NATO allies to boost the alliance's troop numbers by 5,000.

Britain says it will send an extra 500 soldiers to Afghanistan while US President Barack Obama said Friday that a decision on whether to send more US military "will be made soon."

Germany's allies are frustrated that Germany's troops are based in the relatively peaceful north, leaving US, British and Canadian forces to bear the brunt of a tenacious insurgency in the south and east.

But Merkel refused on Friday to consider sending any more of her country's troops until after an international conference aimed at transferring more security responsibilities to the Afghans themselves.

"The international conference at the start of next year is of great significance for the international community, including for Germany," Merkel told Saturday's Frankfurter Allgemeine daily in an interview.

"It will see time horizons defined with the new Afghan government for the training of Afghan soldiers and police. We want to create the framework for a strategy of handing over responsibilities," Merkel said. "Until then, we will keep the mandate at its current level."

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was in Afghanistan this week, told Germany's ARD television that some parts of the country would be ready to be transferred to Afghan control next year.

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"There are areas, including in the northern region for which we are responsible, which from what NATO says where it will be possible to transfer responsibilities to the Afghans next year," Guttenberg said.

The minister held talks on Thursday with President Hamid Karzai and Afghan Foreign Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.

He also met US General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the 100,000-strong international force in Afghanistan.

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Your comments about this article

17:42 November 13, 2009 by Major B
Let me get this "hoorah" in before the cynics and Taliban huggers start whining about why the FRG is supporting an "American War". More troops are needed!!! Hoorah also for Pres Obama rejecting a call for an endless troop commitment and both he and PM. Brown demanding that Pres. Karzai "step it up"(ending corruption -- stable govmt. Plus a plan for to end this engagement.
18:02 November 13, 2009 by Psypher
@Maj. B

Your welcome! ;-)

Now how about you (Obama) "see, and raise us X amount of troops"... :-p
18:06 November 13, 2009 by Psypher
(fold or call?)
03:37 November 14, 2009 by beeker
Then President Lynden Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sent in the Marines to increase the troop strength to 350000. Sound Familiar?
01:42 November 15, 2009 by koenigusa
Lookout Taliban! Imagine the emperor Tiberius announcing the dispatch of 120 legionairres to the Rhineland. Sigh. :( I'm sure the barbarians are already on the run with news of this latest massive troop deployment. We need 12,000 from Germany not 120. Nato members need to be reawakened to the pending threat posed by the Taliban and Bin Laden. Maybe a terrorist attack against Germany similar to the fire bombing of Dresden will awaken Nato's European members. Es lebe die westen!
09:05 November 15, 2009 by nepo77

I cant believe you just indirectly wished a second Dresden on the Germans. What side are you on anyway?
12:25 November 15, 2009 by Psypher
Es lebe die westen
WTF is that supposed to mean?!

There is a very good reason why we (Germans) put a tight leash on the military...we are good (a little too good) at this game, and it can spiral out of control very quickly (if in doubt, see 1939).

Ask anyone with first-hand knowledge of ISAF combat action, 120 German troops is NOT insignificant!!
13:28 November 15, 2009 by Psypher
...that said, we could use an extra battalion or two
10:23 November 16, 2009 by Psypher
apparently the moderators are incapable of grasping the concept of "freedom of speech". Pretty much all of my posts on thelocal and TT have been redacted/censored/removed. So, all I have left to say is: E@t a d!ck you fu#king b@st@rdz! I'm out!
11:33 November 16, 2009 by moistvelvet
So if the German Defence Minister is right about the North being returned under Afghan control and the 4,500 limit of troops cannot be exceeded, then surely after transition of control those spare German troops will start the march south to join the battle. Well they damn well should do.
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