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Guttenberg: air strike ‘militarily inappropriate’

DDP/The Local · 3 Dec 2009, 19:30

Published: 03 Dec 2009 19:30 GMT+01:00

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“Looking at it today it was not militarily appropriate,” Guttenberg told parliament, shortly before a vote to extend Germany’s troop deployment in Afghanistan.

Guttenberg had said earlier this week he would not hesitate to change his previous assessment of the September 4 bombardment near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz should it be warranted by newly available information.

Former Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung and Bundeswehr Chief of Staff Gen. Wolfgang Schneiderhan resigned last week amid revelations the Defence Ministry had withheld information about the air strike called by Col. Georg Klein to destroy two fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban.

Guttenberg on Thursday said Klein had faced “warlike circumstances” when deciding to call the air strike, therefore he would not let him take the fall for the incident.

“I have no absolutely no doubt that he acted to protect his soldiers,” Guttenberg said.

German lawmakers voted on Wednesday to open a parliamentary inquiry into the matter. According to NATO, the air strike killed up to 142 people including dozens of civilians.

Story continues below…

A Defence Ministry official told the daily Stadt-Anzeiger this week that Klein considered his current situation “extremely horrific” and that the government’s goal was to keep him away from the public as much as possible.

The colonel, who decided to call in the air strike rather than attempt to retake the fuel trucks with other means, entered a therapeutic Kur treatment in mid-November, according the newspaper.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

03:50 December 4, 2009 by CalBill
Once again, the people who don't have the stones to go into combat themselves are criticizing those who have to make actual life and death decisions in real time. Amazing.
09:33 December 4, 2009 by crunchy2k
The story need to go away......as it is just junk media
12:22 December 4, 2009 by Jollyjack
The incident would not have happened had Germany been willing to actually fight. Instead they hid behind the skirts of the US Airforce.
12:42 December 4, 2009 by Wabit
calBill: I fully agree with your comments and have nothing further to add, for you said it all and what you said is the truth of the matter!!!!

Although why we punish ourselves for fighting in this terrible war is quite beyond me!! The Taliban can kill at will, it is as simple as that. And when they send into holy places people with explosives strapped to their bodies who in turn maim and murder countless civilians, Men, Women and little children..... nothing is said. It is almost just like any other day and one ever hears of any Taliban commander being held to account? Yet if we put one foot wrong, we beat ourselves over the head with a big stick!!!!!! Oh how wonderful it is to be politically correct. And to mingle with the correct people and to enjoy lavish lunches again with the correct people and make speeches to the correct people... Oh what fun indeed and to think we even get paid for this correctness. Life at the correct top has never seemed sweeter.......

Errrr ummmm sorry to interrupt your correct coffee break Sir, but one or two people in some far away God forsakewn place are dying. Do take a sip of your coffee for no doubt it is freshly ground and the aroma is so comforting......
12:53 December 7, 2009 by beckyhead
Well said, CalBill, my thoughts exactly!
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