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Army admits shooting, driving problems

The Local · 23 Jun 2011, 14:24

Published: 23 Jun 2011 14:24 GMT+02:00

Bundeswehr officers complain in the reports obtained by German daily Bild that, “The soldiers’ proficiency in small arms and their command of the weaponry does not correspond to the requirements of the territory.”

“The soldiers generally have no mastery over their weapons,” the report added. “There is a need for more intense firearms training in the preparatory stages of foreign deployment.”

The reports also alleged that German soldiers have “little to no instruction and experience” in driving armoured vehicles. In Afghanistan’s difficult terrain, this has resulted in too many accidents and damaged equipment, putting additional lives at risk.

Medical care for wounded soldiers is also inadequate, according to the reports. Some generals complain that it has not been possible to meet the Nato target of 60 minutes for a wounded soldier to receive treatment, particularly since that has been reduce from a previous target of 90 minutes.

The situation had seemed to be improved by the deployment of additional American medical evacuation helicopters, but the Germans expressed doubts about the quality of American care. “The additional service of a German rescue medic working to German standards is vital,” one of the reports said.

Yet the reports, which span the time from November 2009 to November 2010, also acknowledged that German medics often lack the training required for trauma associated with gunshot wounds and explosives.

Soldiers are also dying due to insufficient protection from mines and hidden explosives, the cause of over 60 percent of all ISAF casualties in Afghanistan, according to the reports.

One report criticises a lack of, “the most modern metal detectors, protective suits, cameras and telescopes” that could prevent these casualties. Even where the equipment exists, inadequate training often leads soldiers to deploy it “poorly or not at all.”

A broader problem for the German mission in Afghanistan has been the increasing dominance of the Americans among the allies, particularly since US General David Patreaus took command of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) last July.

He has integrated US soldiers into the leadership of the mission, the report said. “Thus the already marginalised contributions of other nations have been further marginalised... It has been established that the American dominance in the leadership and decision-making has further increased with the new commander.”

Bristling at this disadvantage, German officers advised that “it must be evaluated whether Germany, which maintains the third-largest troop presence” among allies in Afghanistan, “is actually well represented enough to be able to serve its interests in the headquarters.”

The reports also criticised the Bundeswehr’s strategy of training Afghan soldiers and police, with the international “mentors” training Afghans too often under-qualified for the job.

“Those filling mentor posts are inadequate in terms of age, rank and experience,” one report said.

Story continues below…

“Age, rank and experience play a decisive role in Afghans’ acceptance of their partners, and the assignment of ‘gap-fillers’ to these posts is not conducive to solving the complex challenges of the Afghan army. Successful mentoring is not possible in these conditions.”

The Bundeswehr is slated to transfer responsibility for Mazar e Sharif, a major city in the north of the country, to Afghan authorities in July, according to Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:00 June 23, 2011 by trash head
> obtained by German daily Bild

And there i stopped to read the article.
16:37 June 23, 2011 by Major B
Yep. You have these problems when you have a mission that calls for 12,000 troops and you only send in 6000. Every issue mentioned here was artificially created by political limitation afer political limitation.

And there's the rub. Who suffers when inadequate resources are committed? - the troops!!!!!!!!!!
16:56 June 23, 2011 by Staticjumper
I have a hard time imagining that German troops have a hard time with driving or weapons qualification. We (U.S. Army Europe) used to send guys to thier ranges and our troops were pretty impressed by the standards. And a German who's a poor driver?! Really?! But if the Bundesvehr wants more input or respect, they're going to have to convince the German gov't to approve deployment to the southern areas. Last I heard, the Bundestag refused to send German troops south because it was too dangerous. Kind-a like not sending cops into a neighborhood because there's too much crime.
17:02 June 23, 2011 by trash head
Well i guess, after US and its a$$croucher France plan go home now, we can carry alone the sh!tload which the US political infiltration brought us back in the 80s.

If the humanitarian situation wouldnt have called for help, our troups should have never gone there.
19:26 June 23, 2011 by catjones
Put them in desk jobs...problem solved. Ok, except for those nasty paper-cuts, but butcher's gloves should do the trick.
20:49 June 23, 2011 by auslanderus
All one has to do is look, really look at there military. Not once have I heard anything good about them. What reports I have seen shows a weakness that will not end untill they become men and not wet nosed boys(women also) that wine when they have to work to hard. Why is the US Army so good, is because of pride, training and leadership. Time for the German Army to realize there short comings and make changes or more Germans will die needlessly.
00:00 June 24, 2011 by farmon
Lets not get too concerned about the army. We all know that when the Germans really need an army. They have an army that nobody wants to go against.
01:07 June 24, 2011 by hasanhusin
Germany should start withdrawing, truly not worth waiting, fighting and dying. Americans who started this illegal invasion and occupation of afghanistan will begin 10,000 troops withdrawal soon.

History is repeating itself, foreign occupiers never win in afghanistan and US/Nato will be no different.

Never before the US mention to seek any political solution to this futile war but now they are saying that they want to talk to the Taliban. This clearly shows that they are losing the war and have no other option.Taliban firmly as before says that no talk untill all foreign occupiers leave their land and they are having spring offensive...

Leave now...
01:45 June 24, 2011 by german-guardian
@ farmon

I like your statement. Very true
05:32 June 24, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Well I'm not surprised. I had the pleasure to serve in the Panzerlehrbataillon 93 at Munster some 22 years ago. We had dispatch riders who couldn't read a map and lost their way in a maneuver, in bright sunshine, in the merry month of May. In this same maneuver, I was with a sanitary unit At one point, we were simply left behind, since no one told us that the other troops had marched on. They picked us up half a day later.

The Munster garrison was running (I'm not sure whether it still does) an incineration facility for chemical weapons left over from WW2. Theoretically, when on duty as the sole physician in the garrison, I was supposed to respond to emergencies in that facility. Not once was I actually shown around or told what to do and where to find the tools to do it with. I could go on - my general impression was that many people were assigned designations and responsibilities, but were not ever given the means or instruction to meet them.

Our S4 officer summed it up: "I don't want to go to war with this bataillon." And this was supposedly one of the army's elite units.
06:23 June 24, 2011 by Wrench
"but the Germans expressed doubts about the quality of American care."???? They have none of their own, yet complain about the Americans. Typical.
07:33 June 24, 2011 by mike_1983
This never would have happened under Adolf, lol.
07:40 June 24, 2011 by german-guardian
@ Mike_1983

You could be right.
07:53 June 24, 2011 by ioann
I agree with the first comment by trash head. This article is obtained by Bild, so I didn't read it (trash) but scrolling down the comments read also a bit like Bild.
07:56 June 24, 2011 by german-guardian
@ ioann

People such as yourself, are so biased against Germany, that you only read the magazines that reflect your biased opinion. Instead of looking for the news, you want to find the only one news agency that is biased such as yourself, to only satisfy your inner thoughts. Ex, I bet your favorite magazine is New York Times. you know that magazine is biased enough for your taste.
08:07 June 24, 2011 by ioann
Wow, 0 logic in your comment guardian! You made all these things up because I don't like the Bild??? Do you work there or something??
08:08 June 24, 2011 by harcourt
Of course one could say that since WWII the German army has had very little practise in warfare. One could say that is a good thing, but it has it's drawbacks when push comes to shove and they have to defend their OWN country. However being within NATO means that eventuality should never happen!!
08:16 June 24, 2011 by german-guardian
@ harcourt

There is a strong evidence that NATO might dissolve. Just like the united nations dissoved after World War 1. So the future is the European Union.
08:35 June 24, 2011 by harcourt
german-guardian : My point was that up until now NATO is in place. If in the future NATO is disbanded then militarily Germany will be on its own!!
12:13 June 24, 2011 by Dogs_Gonads
@ german-guardian.

You mean the League of Nations ended after WW1.

Which is a good thing since it was so corrupt.
18:26 June 24, 2011 by guti1016
I am an American former U.S.M.C. who servered in Vietnam...I have watched countless films, clips, looked at many many photos of the German Army and have always respected their ability to fight. I find it hard to believe that according to this article German Soldiers are having trouble with their weapons and vehicles. I didn't even know German Soldiers were in Afganastan. Where are they and how many are there fighting? Why are we not hearing more of their battles on the news? Is it only news in Germany? I would like to know this...Thank You....Semper Fi...
19:42 June 24, 2011 by harcourt
guti 1016 The reason you don't hear about the German battles in Afghanistan is because they are not out there to fight.
04:32 June 26, 2011 by yhsanjay
One should not venture to places and arenas where one's incapability is apparent.Believe the troops need to be better trained to withstand these odds as there may be many more Afghanistan's during their careers. That is easier said than done. A blueprint has to be made and executed!
00:18 June 27, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
The German Government and the Bundeswehr have already grossly failed in their duty to protect the lives of German citizens.

Germany as part of the US Alliance in Occupied Afghanistan has been involved in the restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry to about 90% of world market share.

It is estimated by the UNODC that US- and Merkel Germany-protected Afghan opium kills 100,000 people each year worldwide (1,284 yearly in Germany) ) and since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 has resulted in the deaths of 1 million people, including 6,700 Germans, from opiate drug-related causes (for detailed statistics Google "26 June UN anti-drugs day" .

Democratic fascism in Germany based on craven support for the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialists (NAZIs) has made Germany again complicit in the mass murder and genocide through Germany's involvement in the Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide (post-invasion war-elated deaths 5.0 million, under-5 infant deaths 2.7 million, refugees 3-4 million) as well complicit in opiate drug-related deaths of 6,700 Germans at home and the deaths of 53 German soldiers in Occupied Afghanistan.
00:14 June 29, 2011 by Major B
@ Dr Gideon

Gosh you are so off the hook with your comments. "Neocon American and Zionist Imperialists(NAZIs). And you just thrownumbers out there.

Some folks will say anything to get their anti-Jewish/Israel comments in the public. I mean the agenda is so blatant and crazy

However, regrettably, you are somewhat right(ok more) in that opium production is way up. Way up. And opium destruction was ONE THING the Taliban did right.

And I am not happy to admit that, but the truth is the truth.
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