Next week the German parliament will vote on the extension of the ISAF mandate. There seems to be a broad majority in favor of increasing the German contribution by 1000 troops to 4500 for the next 14 months.
However, contrary to frequent demands by NATO allies, Germany is not joining the fight against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. And the new mandate will not ease the restrictions on military operations either.
This makes the troop increase a waste of effort, says Ahmed Rashid, the acclaimed Pakistani journalist and bestselling author of "Taliban" and "Descent Into Chaos." Mr. Rashid calls upon Germany to be much more active militarily and politically. The Bundeswehr does not have to go to southern Afghanistan, but it must do much more in the North.
Ahmed Rashid gave a very thoughtful, passionate and captivating keynote speech at the Heinrich Boell Foundation's conference on "Values and Interests in Foreign Policy." Watch the video below:
Germany is not the only country that has to change course drastically and overcome its deep aversion to risk taking. The United States has to leave its comfort zone and enter new territory by talking to Iran about Afghanistan in order to win this regional conflict. This is what Ahmed Rashid told my atlantic-community.org colleague David Lebhar after the keynote speech. You can watch the interview over at Atlantic Community: "How the US and Germany Can Win in Afghanistan.