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100 Germans involved in NATO Libya mission

The Local · 10 Sep 2011, 09:55

Published: 10 Sep 2011 09:55 GMT+02:00

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The German Defence Ministry made the admission on Friday in its reply to a request for information from Green parliamentarian Hans-Christian Ströbele. Up to now it had been assumed that only 11 German soldiers were involved in the NATO operation.

The ministry said that 103 German soldiers had taken part in the selection of bombing targets against the army of Libya Dictator Muammar Qaddafi, as well as issuing orders to AWACS, NATO’s airborne warning and control system aircraft.

Ströbele has argued that the German parliament should have been asked for permission to allow the soldiers to participate. The Green Party is now considering filing a constitutional complaint against the government.

The previous admission that 11 German soldiers were involved in the mission came in August in response to a request from Ströbele. Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said at the time that the use of German soldiers in NATO operations is standard practice and does not require parliamentary approval.

Ströbele accused the Berlin government of inconsistency.

“This practice contradicts every public declaration by the government of not wanting to be involved militarily in NATO’s Libya mission,” he said.

Relations between Berlin and its NATO allies have been strained since Germany refused to play a major role in the NATO efforts to hinder Qaddafi’s military advances against rebel forces. It also abstained from voting on a UN resolution backing military action.

Story continues below…

But a representative for US President Barack Obama said earlier this month that the US was pleased with Germany's current attitude toward helping Libya's reconstruction.

DPA/The Local/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:48 September 10, 2011 by nemo999
To paraphrase a line from Casablanca, "I am shocked, shocked that their were 103 German military personnel involved in this NATO operation", given the number of German military personnel assigned to the Headquarters Allied Air Command, you quickly run out of fingers and toes. The Deputy Commander has been a member of the Luftwaffe since gasp 1967. Do you think he was asked to leave the room when Libya was discussed?

What about the use of Luftwaffe personnel, assets, and facilities used to cover NATO functions that could not be handled by the other NATO forces, since they were involved with Libya, would that also add to the number of German military personnel and assets involved the Libya?

Given how integrated the Bundeswher is into NATO, and how critical some of these positions are, I surprised that only 103 German military personnel were involved.

Get a life
12:05 September 10, 2011 by 9900lawre
I think that the report (although not specific) refers to the number of personnel ACTUALY ON LYBIAN SOIL during the operation.

As for the number personnel involved from the supply lines in Germany all the way to the flight lines elsewhere, this cannot be accurately reported on.

This figure would be in the thousands (Both directly & indirectly involved).
14:43 September 10, 2011 by Ludwig von America
Of course Germany has blood on it's hands from the killing of hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians in Libya. They participated directly in the NATO-led military operation to overthrow Gadhafi and his country. This "humanitarian mission" killed far more innocent people (and will continue to do so) than what Western propaganda says Gadhafi did or would have. Good job Germany. At least you are helping to spread the shame around between all other NATO countries who had a part in the murder of innocent women and children.
14:51 September 10, 2011 by Navigator_B
The German government kept its allies happy by joining in the war. It kept the public happy by pretending not to join in the war. Pity that they didn't whisper their little secret into the ears of their predecessors, like Helmut Kohl and Joschka Fischer who attacked them for being such spoil-sports.
17:02 September 10, 2011 by Major B
Let's be real and quit threading needles. 100 military personnel involved in obscure planning and coordinating efforts does not constitute direct military involvement. Not that these efforts were inconsequential and appreciated by Germany's NATO allies, they are not direct combat.

The political haggling over this is sickening. The German government loudly made a decision not to participate in the Libyan campaign. It is too late to back track now. Napoleon, I mean Sarkozy, was vindicated. Cameron as well. This is beginning to feel like "the party that invitees snubbed" but now wished they had attended.

Can anyone stick by a decision anymore? And if the oppostion thinks there were violations, then bring on formal charges or else just shut up. This story ought to die.

There will be a huge after party, ready to ensare the foolhardy that gets involved in this North African Afghanistan/Iraq in the making. Oh I can see the nefarious up to no good extremist groups now streaming into Libya. Get ready.
19:14 September 10, 2011 by lwexcel
Major B.

I agree completely with the last two sentences from your post.
13:40 September 11, 2011 by storymann
Major B, yes I agree with all you said, well put.
22:21 September 18, 2011 by Gangrene
Thank God...I was really concerned with the fact that there are only about 81 million Germans living under the military umbrella (mainly funded by the US taxpayer for the past 66 years) of NATO from which to drum up 100 bodies to support this mission..... to wantonly kill innocent civilians and remove from power that kindly benevolent, completely rational and democratically elected leader Muammar Gaddafi.....oops, sorry, I started to copy some of the nonsensical comments of the left wing anarchist from above....Glad to see that there were at least a hundred German narcissists that weren't too busy either on or planning their next Ferienurlaub to do something to fulfill their moral and legal obligation to NATO.
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