Afghanistan, seen from Berlin

The Globalist’s Stephan Richter weighs the pros and cons, difficulties and opportunities of an increased German military involvement in Southern Aghanistan and comes to the – in my opinion correct – conclusion that increased combat participation is much less a domestic policy problem than it is usually thought to be.

It’s a tricky question because the American example of nation-building as exercised in Afghanistan is not a particularly convincing one … The Germans truly believe in a different concept. It basically says that, in the long run, you cannot quell violence unless there is a bright future on the horizon. … But since Germans rightfully believe that there is good reason not to let Afghanistan slip back into a state of lawlessness and anarchy, they have to embrace an enlarged role — which implies more sacrifices. However, this must be part of a well thought – out strategy and not only another quick fix.

Solidarity with allies in the common fight is of utmost importance, but what do you do if you’re responsible for the lives of the soldiers you send, believe the common strategy to be seriously flawed, endanger the results achieved in the North, but you don’t really have the clout to change it? Exactly. You send some planes.

1 thought on “Afghanistan, seen from Berlin

  1. Do people *really* think a permanent commitment to Afghanistan is a good idea? The place is like Haiti, or Somalia, or Congo or any number of places who for structural or geographic reasons have an anarchic character to them.

    It seems like the sort of open-ended commitment with underspecified goals (words like “democracy”, “stability” and “not the Taliban” aren’t really good enough) which will bite NATO in the ass 10 years from now.

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