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Holbrooke urges Berlin to increase troops in Afghanistan

DDP/The Local · 9 Dec 2009, 09:05

Published: 09 Dec 2009 09:05 GMT+01:00

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While Germany must decide itself how many Bundeswehr soldiers it wishes to contribute, “More German soldiers are certainly very welcome,” he told the paper.

Holbrooke’s comments come after he said on December 3 that United States does not plan to pressure Germany into deploying more troops to Afghanistan following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would be sending 30,000 more American troops to the region.

“The situation there is getting more dangerous,” he told the paper, adding that the German troops there are indispensable. “I am thankful and happy that they are there.”

Last week Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted to keep the Bundeswehr in the country until at least December 2010. But Chancellor Angela Merkel said then that she would not make a decision about increasing troop levels until after a January 28 international conference on the situation in Afghanistan.

Story continues below…

Germany is currently the third-biggest supplier of foreign troops in the country behind the United States and Britain. Some 4,400 Bundeswehr soldiers there are currently engaged in the heaviest fighting Germany has seen since World War II.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:36 December 9, 2009 by Newmanator
Why would the US pressure Germany to send more troops to Afghanistan, whats the point? As long as Berlin remains content to let coalition partners do the dying while Bundeswehr soldiers drink lemonade in the peaceful northern provinces of Afghanistan, NATO isn't going to place pressure on Germany. Berlin should send more money and civilians, the only way Germany is able to legitimately contribute to the effort.
14:33 December 9, 2009 by Frenemy
Holbrooke is either schizophrenic or just simply demented. It hasn't even been a week since he publicly announced the exact opposite!!!
17:31 December 9, 2009 by richard_vijay
Richard Holbrooke is Jew, who,love nothing more than seeing German soldiers die for a war that is not going anywhere. Even America is looing for an exit straergy. I don't think that Newmanator is right when he says that German troops are drinking lemonade in the Northeren Afghanistan and relaxing in a peacful place. German troops have been killed and wounded in skirmishes with the taliban.But I realise that Newmanator sees the Germans as unwilling partners. true but , with respect to Newmanator,Germany pays for the deployment of NATO forces in own soil and that included the American forces still there. Germany pays for the NATO AWACS system which costs them a bomb annualyy.
18:09 December 9, 2009 by Frenemy
ridiculous antisemitism aside, richard_vijay: would you please cite a source and annual expenditure figure....
17:26 December 11, 2009 by Henckel
The US wants NATO countries like Germany to send more troops, but on faith that the commanders in the field know what they are doing. Do they? Moreover, Barack Obama's announcement of a tropp drawdown to begin in July 2011 makes it seen too much to expect that the US forces, Bundeswehr, and others will be able to accomplish their objectives in time.
21:00 December 11, 2009 by Frenemy
In my experience...yes. But being operationally handicapped from the get-go doesn't do much for your NATO reputation if you know what I mean...
21:59 December 16, 2009 by Thames
The whole boondogle in Afganistan is not worth one German soldier.

How many more Afgan civilians have to be killed to advance the interest of

large corporate interests which the US represents.

Obama is worse than Bush and I never thought that could be possible.

It is bad enough Germany is a vassal state for United States why should they help to create another one.

German troops drinking lemonade instead of beer! Oh my! What has this world come to.
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