A German government spokesman was quoted on Monday [November 13, 2006] as saying Berlin could expand its programme of training Iraqi border guards, but he gave no indication it would consider sending troops to Iraq. (...) Germany has helped Iraq by forgiving some Iraqi debt and training Iraqi military and police officials in the United Arab Emirates. The Iraqi government would have to formally request more help from Germany, and further German assistance would require an improvement in the security situation, Steg said. (...)DW World writes about growing pressure for Germany to do more in Afghanistan:
Germany has contributed around 9,000 troops to peacekeeping missions in places like Afghanistan, the Middle East and Congo. Germany has some 2,800 soldiers stationed in the relatively calm northern part of Afghanistan, though the United States and Britain have put pressure on Berlin to send combat troops to the more dangerous southern part of the country. So far Berlin has resisted this pressure and refused to re-deploy troops to the south. Adding to the pressure on Germany, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer wrote in an opinion article in the Berliner Zeitung that individual NATO members should scrap the restrictions they have imposed on Afghan peacekeeping work.
The UN representative in Afghanistan Tom Koenigs, warned that NATO and especially German forces must step up efforts to keep the strife-wracked country from sinking into chaos. Koenigs told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the international troops serving in Afghanistan had reached a key crossroads. "The conflict cannot be won by military means alone but NATO must not lose it," he said, calling for an "enormous military effort" against insurgents in the country. He said that while diplomatic and humanitarian aid was essential, attacks mounted by the hard-line Taliban movement and other militants had to be stopped. "Otherwise the entire NATO alliance is absurd and not usable for peacekeeping in the Third World," he said.Moving more German troops from the North to the South of Afghanistan could destabilize the North. Stabilizing Afghanistan requires more than 'just' fighting the Taleban. That's why reconstruction has to be accelerated. (See the related post Afghanistan Intervention "on the cheap.") The combat operations in South Afghanistan have caused many civilian casualties and alienated many Afghans, which harms NATO's interests rather than promoting stability. In September 2006, The Times reported that a "top soldier quits over 'grotesque' Afghan war":
"Germany must increase efforts further." Koenigs, a German citizen, called for German troops to join NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the violence-plagued south of Afghanistan. Amid growing pressure for Germany to help stabilize the region, the German military said Wednesday that 21 signals corps soldiers had been deployed to southern Afghanistan in mid-October for two months.
"The former aide-de-camp to the commander of the British taskforce in southern Afghanistan has described the campaign in Helmand province as "a textbook case of how to screw up a counter-insurgency". "Having a big old fight is pointless and just making things worse," said Captain Leo Docherty, of the Scots Guards, who became so disillusioned that he quit the army last month. "All those people whose homes have been destroyed and sons killed are going to turn against the British," he said. "It's a pretty clear equation -- if people are losing homes and poppy fields, they will go and fight. I certainly would. We've been grotesquely clumsy -- we've said we'll be different to the Americans who were bombing and strafing villages, then behaved exactly like them."