Bundeswehr general optimistic as Afghan regions tipped for handover
With seven regions set to be turned over to Afghan troops this summer, Bundeswehr Gen. Bruno Kasdorf said Tuesday he was cautiously optimistic about the situation in the strife-torn country.
“Much has been done” since the end of 2009 to prepare the way for transferring power to Afghan authorities, Kasdorf, who is deputy chief of staff of the German armed forces, told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
In many parts of the country the Taliban has been defeated by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which includes some 5,000 German troops, he said.
Kasdorf’s comments came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai named seven regions to be taken over by his forces in July. One of these is the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the Bundeswehr leads the ISAF’s regional headquarters.
In late 2010, NATO decided to end its military operations in Afghanistan by 2014 and hand over control to the new government there.
While Kasdorf said he’d seen significant progress, particularly in training some 122,000 Afghan security forces since 2009, he admitted that compromises still had to be made “when one is putting troops on their feet quickly.”
But the most important goal is ensuring that the region does not become a danger to the rest of the world again, he added.