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Troops to start leaving Afghanistan in 2011

The Local · 16 Dec 2010, 12:45

Published: 16 Dec 2010 10:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2010 12:45 GMT+01:00

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In a speech to parliament, Westerwelle defended the decision to send Bundeswehr soldiers to the strife-torn country as necessary to protect Germany, but said Berlin would begin drawing down its forces in 2011.

“That’s why this mission is the right thing to do. But it’s also right that it shouldn't continue on forever,” he said.

Assuming Afghan forces can ensure security on the ground, the last Bundeswehr troops will leave by 2014.

“The roadmap stands,” Westerwelle said, cautioning that Germany would not simply leave the country to have it descend back into chaos. “If one day later the Taliban moved back in, it would help no-one.”

Westerwelle addressed parliament to explain the government’s policies following a report on Afghanistan’s progress issued by his ministry earlier this week. He said the security situation remained troubling on many fronts, but there had been promising advances in both the country’s economic and societal development.

The Bundestag must renew the mandate for the German military deployment in Afghanistan in January. Currently there are almost 5,000 German soldiers in the northern part of the country as part of NATO’s military engagement in country.

The opposition centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) accused the government of stoking uncertainty by sending conflicting messages about the length of the German military deployment.

“One can’t flip-flop back and forth in this matter,” said the SPD’s deputy parliamentary leader Gernot Erler, referring to comments by Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg earlier this week against setting a date to remove the troops. “We need certainty and trust.”

But Westerwelle and members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition attacked SPD criticism of Guttenberg’s most recent trip to Afghanistan for taking along his wife Stephanie and TV talk show host Johannes B. Kerner.

Story continues below…

The Guttenbergs were accused of using the backdrop of Germany’s military mission in the country as a publicity trip.

“Your defamation of Mrs. zu Guttenberg was simply obscene,” said Westerwelle.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:30 December 16, 2010 by joetke
"If one day later the Taliban moved back in," Guido pointed out. It's as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow!!! What a kind of rhetoric Mronz had taught you man?

You ought to know, victory is like sex, you stop when you're done! It's hard to believe Talibans having some week holiday on the french riviera then coming back in Afghanistan to resume the war, completely in the best shape possible.

Guido's playing with stance, but posture had never been enough to impress your enemies, never in the past history and likely never nowadays!
18:25 December 16, 2010 by Major B
"If one day later the Taliban moved back in, it would help no-one" said Guido.

Sure, Westerwelle is to be trusted. Thanks to the horrors of Wiki-leaks, we learn it was Westerwelle who didn't support the Bundeswher military leadership, causing Germany to send inadequate troop numbers to Northern Afghanistan. An "arm-chair" general, his extensive military experience was enough to hamstring operations in that area, enabling allies to criticize Germany for its lack of military effort the first few years. Yet his defense minister is a member of the military reserves.

Now, with the "Royal Guttenbergs" looking good in Afghanistan, he can't resist the effort to show his face and get some publicity too. How can he look the troops in the eyes if he was the one in the coalition who held them back.
22:25 December 16, 2010 by ngwanem
bring the german troops home. the taliban or the afghans never attacked germany and what is germany doing in america's war? help build democracy? can someone tell me the difference betwwen the west spreading democracy in afghanistan under the barrel of the rifle, and the taliban imposing harsh islamic law in afghanistan? all sides claim to be doing good under the cover of force?
21:30 December 17, 2010 by DrGideonPolya
The German departure from war-devastated Afghanistan is just he beginning - then we need war crimes trials for all German and other US Alliance war criminals who have grossly violated the Geneva Convention , the UN Genocide Convention, the UN Charter and the Rights of the Child Convention .

Post-invasion in Occupied Afghanistan non-violent avoidable deaths from US Alliance-imposed deprivation total 3.7 million, violent deaths possibly total 1.2 million, under-5 infant deaths total 2.6 million and refugees total 3.2 million (with a further 2.5 million Pashtun refugees generated in NW Pakistan under Obama war policies) - an Afghan Holocaust and an Afghan Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention.

The ostensible reason for the Afghan Genocide (4.9 million post-invasion violent deaths and non-violent avoidable deaths from US-imposed deprivation cf 5-6 million killed by the Nazis in the Jewish Holocaust) was 9-11. Yet no Afghans were involved in 9-11 according to the lying Bush version of 9-11. Indeed scientist, military and intelligence experts now say the the US did 9-11 (very likely with Israeli involvement) (Google "US did 9-11")..

Germans will have a happy Christmas knowing that they have helped the racist Zionist-beholden, genocidal Americans murder several million Afghan infants alone in the last 9 years.
22:24 December 17, 2010 by DOZ
Retreat and rest until you are back. Afghanistan will never be free of Foriegn Troops and the Taliban will never surrender unless conditions suit their likeing.
10:10 December 18, 2010 by raandy
Human rights watch estimates the following,a cut and paste from Wikipedia

direct deaths: at least 11,443 - 14,240

indirect deaths: 3,200 - 20,000

direct & indirect deaths: 14,643 - 34,240 I have no idea where the millions stated above come from..
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