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Germany extends military mission in Afghanistan

AFP/DDP/The Local · 18 Nov 2009, 16:52

Published: 18 Nov 2009 08:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2009 16:52 GMT+01:00

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"In a regular cabinet meeting, we decided to get the process of extending the mandate underway," Merkel told reporters.

The extension to the deployment, which has seen German soldiers engaged

alongside NATO and US forces in the army's heaviest fighting since World War

II, must now be approved by parliament before the mandate expires in December.

The Bundeswehr currently has around 4,400 soldiers deployed in the country, making it the third-largest contingent of NATO forces.

"With this, we want to send a clear signal. The new federal government is sticking by Germany's responsibilities," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. "It is about more than security, it is also about reconstruction and it is about good leadership, including the fight against corruption."

The cabinet also decided to scrap a mission to send AWACS surveillance planes to Afghanistan after Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan refused to allow NATO to fly them through their airspace and extended Germany's participation in a mission to fight piracy off the coast of Lebanon by six months.

The daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Wednesday that the German military has decided to redeploy heavy weaponry in northern Afghanistan in response to the deteriorating security situation in the region.

Story continues below…

The paper said the Bundeswehr will send at least five Marder armoured fighting vehicles to Kunduz. Resembling small tanks, the vehicles have 20 millimetre cannon and can carry up to 12 infantrymen.

The German forces there will also receive a modern armoured vehicle used in reconstruction efforts.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg announced during a visit to Afghanistan last week that the Bundeswehr would send an extra 120 soldiers to the strife-torn country. According to the Hannoversche Allgemeine, the troops will largely come from the Panzergrenadierbataillon 92 in Munster, Lower Saxony.

AFP/DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:39 November 18, 2009 by Herpes
1) Marder = APC, not IFV

2) they've been deployed in Afg since early '04 (along with Leopard2's...which are ACTUALLY "heavy" land warfare platforms). "heavy" should only be used in reference to MBTs or self-propelled howitzers or MLRS systems (the Marder is a tuk-tuk in comparison)

09:59 November 18, 2009 by Jibzy
Germany should not fight this American war. Germany doesn't need to 'waste' its army on what MIGHT or MIGHT-NOT make America secure. They asked for it themselves.
10:02 November 18, 2009 by Celeon
@ Herpes

The Marder is a IFV. All IFV's can carry troops like APC's.

The Article also speaks of redeploying so it already says that Marders have already been in Afghanistan.

Four Marders 1A5 have been in Afghanistan since 2006 where they guarded Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif. Since July 2008 they were integrated into the Quick Reaction Force.

In early 2009 they were deployed to Kunduz because of the deteriorating situation there.

They were first used in battle on 19-20 July in Cahhar Darreh district where they attacked fixed enemy positions with 20mm HE ammunition supported by mortar fire.

They are however not really fully suitable for that terrain.

The new Puma would be much better and it would not be that hard to make a small number of them ready before 2011 if you would just have the will to do so.

It has a better suspension, much heavier armouring and heavier 30 mm autogun that can also fire electronically triggered anti-infantry airburst ammunition which would be the ideal ammo for fighting a enemy setup like the Taliban, and a automatic 30 mm grenade launcher for close in and backside defence.

Its the world's only IFV with Hunter-Killer capability btw.

This means the commander (Hunter) has a fully seperate sighting system for himself and can designate and leave targets to the gunner (Killer) while he already moves on to looking for the next target.

Usually a feature solely reserved for main battle tanks. That coincides with the fact that it is the most expensive IFV in the world at the moment *lol*

You could buy two and a half u.s Bradley IFV's for the price of one Puma. :-D

But what do we do? We sent the 30 year old Marder to Afghanistan because ...."the cut in stone plans say that the Puma comes in 2011". :-/

What is this? WW2 again? All the high-tec stuff ready when the war is already almost over or what?
12:47 November 18, 2009 by blogboy
to jibzy this a NATO war not an American war, Afghanistan needs to be stable. The reasons being are the drug trafficing and training areas for any group that would like to spread it's agenda with a violent policy. As for your last comment " that asked for it themselves" I see no justifcation for ramming jets into a buildings full of normal working people from any country, any religion, or any race. That is why there is a war there in the first place. Rememeber also some of those people in those buildings were German.
13:15 November 18, 2009 by Newmanator
@ Jibzy

The war in Afghanistan is not an American war, its a NATO war. If Germany wants this war to end, its interests are better served by keeping troops in Afghanistan. A repeat of German refusal to participate in global security operations, such as that in the Iraq Conflict, (regardless of whether or not this war was justified) will further weaken support of US, British and other European support for a stronger German role in global security.

If Germany chooses to shun its security responsibilities, or to limit its troops to only non-combat operations, it will continue to loose influence in supra-national organizations such as NATO, the EU and the UNSC.

Germany needs to quit hiding behind its past, and realize that a stronger German commitment to global security, will lead to a stronger German influence on security matters - making it better able to prevent an unwanted war in the future. For the time being and despite some Germans' belief, NATO is not dependent on Germany's underfunded and outdated military to carry out operations in Afghanistan. Therefore, the war would continue without German support.

All this is only relevant if Jibzy's advocating for pulling out the war is a belief that this is in the best interests of Afghanistan's people. The alternative motive being simply the national interest of German people in protecting their soldiers - an understandable motive, but not one which will allow Germany to unilaterally pull out of the war. Not-so-old European fears of German unilateral action in the national interest are more established and deeply rooted than those of the modern threat posed by international terrorism.
17:46 November 18, 2009 by Jibzy

Its not a NATO war. Its an American war. US was attacked (in a brutal and condemnable manner) for their brutal and condemnable acts around the world.

And then US dragged the rest of countries in it.

Let me take a small quote from your post.

"The reasons being are the drug trafficing and training areas for any group that would like to spread it's agenda with a violent policy"

If you didnt mention drug trafficking here, i would've assumed you meant the US =)

Apparently, you're not German. Well i see no justification of ramming those airplanes into buildings too. But please find for me logical, ethical and moral justifications of the multitudes of wars that the US has been doing on the entire globe. Then we proceed
19:16 November 19, 2009 by Major B
Well said Newmanator.

Jizby, you have any "facts" to back up your "assertions"? Let's review some recent international conflicts:

-- Russian invasion of Georgia

-- War torn Somalia, no government, clans fighting it out

-- Civil war in Northeastern Congo, govmt and rebels


-- Carnage in former Yugoslavia, 1992 - 1999,

-- Burmese govmt fight with rebel minority group

Could go on but the point should be obvious. Anyone who accuses the American people of wanting war and conflict just can't read, is ignorant and/or both. Governments do things all citizens abhore. The American people have spoken.

What's the cost of membership to the "Blame America" club?
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