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Should Germany Send Troops to Southern Afghanistan?

"Recently, pressure from NATO officials and representatives of other contributing nations augmented for Germany to move more of its troops to the east and south of Afghanistan where the security situation has become much worse leading to more casualties among British, American and Canadian troops stationed there. Former Bundeswehr General-Inspector Klaus Naumann in a newspaper interview went as far as to say that Germany's refusal to take more of the military burden threatens the existence of NATO." writes the Gateway to German Foreign Policy at the University of Trier and then presents two op-eds in favor and against sending German troops to Southern Afghanistan. Excerpts below the fold:
PRO:
"Let German troops help their comrades in Southern Afghanistan," argues Thomas A. Haag, a former German reserve officer and now an attorney practicing in Washington, D.C. He criticizes the German government for "ignoring the plight of their allies" and points out:
The distribution of responsibilities in Afghanistan will be at the top of the agenda at next week's NATO summit in Riga. German politicians will get an earful for their dogged determination not to allow Bundeswehr troops to come to the aid of their comrades in the south. German policy makers will try to change the subject by arguing for a new overarching strategy for the country insisting that military victory cannot be achieved without civilian reconstruction. It should be clear to all, however, that the German "networked" approach is not possible in the south without first rooting out the marauding Taliban fighters.
He concludes:
In view of its bellicose history, the international community has until recently largely indulged Germany the luxury of its pacifist self-image in justifying its reluctance to take on military responsibilities. However, the specific demands on Germany from NATO in Afghanistan no longer constitute suggestions to increase its defense spending, prodding to speed along military transformation or gentle nudging to take on more peace-keeping missions. They now amount to allied cries for military combat assistance which, if withheld, could lead to exacerbated allied casualties, the reversion of Afghanistan to a failed state terrorist incubator and the ultimate dissolution of NATO itself. NATO needs German troops in southern Afghanistan and Germany's politicians should have the moral backbone to send them and explain to its citizens why.
CONTRA: Prof. Dr. Hanns W. Maull holds the Chair for Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University of Trier and defends Germany against being unfairly singled out: Other countries have similar restrictions on their military. NATO's problems in Afghanistan are much bigger than Germany's refusal to send troops to the South: NATO does not just need more (German) solidarity. "It needs to review its overall strategy in Afghanistan, define its aims much more clearly and carefully, and then mobilize the resources needed to do the job properly." Sending Bundeswehr troops from North Afghanistan to the South would not make much of a difference, argues Maull. Besides, the North is not as calm as the media claims it to be:
The Northern Alliance warlords, firmly in cahoots with the drug mafias, are getting increasingly restive and frustrated with the government in Kabul which has been trying to sideline them politically. They therefore are re-arming, and tensions among them, but also between them and the Kabul government are mounting. (...)
While the call for solidarity is understandable and justified, solidarity cannot substitute for a good strategy and wise policies.
Berlin thus has a point when it now pushes for a strategy debate within NATO about its commitment in Afghanistan. The present strategy, which combines far-reaching ambition with meagre resources and a lack of clarity and determination, seems to be failing, and needs to be reviewed thoroughly.
What is the purpose of NATO in Afghanistan? Is it to build a functioning modern state in the country, where none ever existed? This seems to be the goal at present, but it would probably require vastly more resources, both military and financial, than have so far been put into the effort. Is it to defeat the Taliban? This will probably not be possible, as long as the Pakistani government and military remain unwilling or unable to control the border regions. Is it to secure a victory in the "global war against international terrorism"? This would be futile.
Maull also blames the United States:
NATO reluctance to focus seriously on the challenges in Afghanistan started as early as 2002 in Washington, which after the rapid military rout of the Taliban government in November 2001 quickly lost interest in securing the victory in Afghanistan. The Bush administration instead focused its military efforts on the war against Iraq, and even "forgot" to make any provisions for the reconstruction of Afghanistan in its draft budget allocations for 2003.
Related post in the Atlantic Review: Afghanistan Intervention "on the cheap"

Deutsche Welle: US Calls on Germany for Riskier Afghanistan Missions
International Herald Tribune: Merkel signals Germany won't send troops to southern Afghanistan
Marco Overhaus at the University of Trier looks at NATO Transformation beyond Riga - From Crisis Reaction to Long-term Planning?

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Atlantic Review on : Opinions about the NATO Summit in Riga

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The leaders of 26 NATO member countries meet in the Latvian capital Riga from 28-29 November to "chart the way ahead for the Alliance" operations, transformation and partnerships." Here's a round-up of opinions on the eve of the sum

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Yank on :

In stating Haag' conclusion, you omited the last sentence: "Otherwise, the amusing anecdote about German over-eagerness for prime pool chairs risks becoming a sad metaphor for an inconsiderate and self-absorbed German foreign policy." Haag speaks to the point. This is ABOUT whether Germany should send troops into southern Afghanistan. Haag fouses on the conduct of Germany, the security crisis in Afghanistan that calls for Germany to change its conduct, Germany's betrayal of its allies to the enemy, resulting in many allied causualties due to Germany's failure to assist them. The answer? As with any nationalist, to Maull, it ain't about what it's about. Nothing ever is. Everything is viewed as a demonstration of a rival's degeneracy and failings. So, this ain't about whether Germany should send troops to southern Afghanistan. It's about what everybody ELSE is doing wrong. Pro and con? No, pro and off-the-wall. Haag states the bottom line: the consequences of Germany's conduct. Brits, Americans, Danes, Afghans and others are dying because their German allies won't come to their aid. What do Germans expect will be the result? That we'll believe the line that this is because Germans are filled with milk of humanitarian concern? And will any amount of further German yadda yadda yadda change that? That will be ABOUT the consequences, not what Germans will think it's about = the same old thing everything has always been about in their eyes. Not that we'll be listening anymore.

Don S on :

I think the the question of which problem to solve depends upon your where you are standing. Haag sees how Germany is being viewed in DC, and adresses that point. NATO is under stress and one of those points of stress is that Germany and France do seem to spend most of their time criticising the actions of the US in lieu of taking effective action of their own. Maull lives in Germany and sees things differently. He believes that Germany cannot make a real difference in this war and therefore any German sacrifice to come to the aid of it's allies in South Afghanistan will only wind up killing German soldiers for little strategic gain. They are both correct in their way but Maull is also very wrong in another very important sense. The problem is that deplouyable German forces are small and do not have much combat experience. I am uncertain of the state of their equipment; that may or may not be another problem for them. So if they are drawn into southern Afghanistan they may suffer greater casualties for smaller results than their Canadian, British, and US counterparts. The trouble today with German forces are decisions taken 5, 10, or 15 years ago after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Germany failed to forsee the need for German forces to fight outsie of Germany. The Cold War Bundeswehr was a highly-competent and well-equipped army with good morale and tactical doctrine well-fitted to the Cold War mission - the defense of West Germany. Today? I don;t know - except that it;s reputation is no longer nearly as high. That needs to change if NATO is to avoid being eaten from the inside by political canker worms. Because the impression forming in influential circles in the the US and the UK (and possibly Canada also) is that NATO is becoming a two-tiered alliance with allies capable (and heretofore willing) to fight - and allies who are neither capable or willing. Sp while Maull's argument is a perfectly logical one in the short term horizon it feeds into the deepening political crisis within NATO; the perception that Germany doesn't wish to bear it's share of the alliance burden, won't develop it's armed forces into an effective and sufficiently large force, and won't contribute even the little that it does have. Where does that leave the US, UK, and Canada? As mercenaries. And to read the fulminations of a good deal of the German press - calling them despised mercenaries is not unjustified - in these circles. One thing you may be sure of - the portion of the German press holding the 'despised mercenaries' viewpoint is MUCH more visible in the US and the UK than the others. Gentlemen, it is going to be an existential crisis for NATO......

Yank on :

FACTS: NATO – 25 other nations with 5 million men in arms. In 1999 it put more than 40,000 troops in tiny Kosovo less than 80 miles wide at its widest point and, on average, but about 50 miles north-to-south. Afghanistan – about 600 miles wide and around 500 miles north-to-south in its midsection. NATO’s promise? Just 18,500 troops. What did NATO deliver? All the way to around 8,000 troops by the end of 2004. Germany is the largest country in the EU, with a population of 82,422,299 (the United States has a population of 300,000,000). It has 270,000 soldiers in its army. But it claims that only about 10,000 can be deployed at any one time. The German Parliament set a ceiling of 2,300 troops for Afghanistan, finally raising it to 2,750. Wow. The UK, which has a population of 60,609,153 and also has many troops in Iraq, has upped its forces to 5,800 troops in Afghanistan - 4,500 of them in the Taliban infested southern provice of Helmand. The British commander begged in vain for NATO troops to help with the mission in Southern Afghanistan. The Taliban took advantage of the situation and went on the offensive. So the Brits and Canadians were involved in heavy fighting and taking many casualties. When Euros refused, guess who came through? US. In October, we put 12,000 American troops under his/NATO's command (leaving only 8,000 American troops to train the Afghan national army and hunt the Taliban and al-Qaeda) to help the Brits and Canadians. I posted on this, so you can find links to all the sources at http://www.operationdoubles.com/zoo-blog/2006/10/nato-keeping-myth-alive.html

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Yank You are right. Given the size of Germany's military, it is surprising that the Bundeswehr seems to be stretched thin with about 4% of the total troops deployed. The US seems to be streteched thin by having 12% of the troops abroad. I have elaborated on this [b][url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/476-A-European-Army-with-a-Single-Command.html#c5558]in a recent comment[/url][/b]. Also see mbast's response to that comment. Germany has failed to sufficiently transform its military in the 90s. Germany is still in Cold War mode. Thus we are prepared, when Russia attacks us... @ Zyme You have been surprisingly pro-Russian in your previous comments... Look at the German military: I guess, we are still expecting to fight the Russians rather than cooperate with them ;-) Perhaps we cling to our Cold War military, because we want to deterr the Russian bear from invading... Oops, I hope I don't get radioactively poisoned for saying that... ;-( @ Yank I hope you also acknowledge that the US has not sent enough troops to Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Iraq have both a population of some 30 million people. While the US has some 150,000 troops in Iraq, you only have some 25,000 troops in Afghanistan. Can you explain this to me? It is a bit weird to criticize Germany for not sending enough troops, while you are neglecting Afghanistan as well. Besides, Europeans have increased their troops in Afghanistan, while the US has not, as far as I know. The US has just put some troops from OEF under NATO command. NATO took over new responsibilities in Afghanistan from the US. The US was reluctant to accept NATO help. Only when the Bush admin planned the war against Iraq and lost interest in Afghanistan, did they give NATO a limited role for Kabul. Only last year, when developments in Afghanistan deteriorated a lot (primarily due to the lack of interest in Washington), did the Bush administration seek more NATO involvement. By that time it might have been too late. If NATO had been involved in all regions of Afghanistan right after 9/11, then things might had be better or at least you could blame the Europeans. Americans wanted the Afghanistan intervention the cheap and Europeans did not change that, when they got involved. [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/490-Afghanistan-Intervention-on-the-cheap.html[/url] Anyway, what would you like to achieve in South Afghanistan? What is the goal? What is the strategy?

Zyme on :

lol! I favor the german-russian partnership, but I´m no fool: Germans and Russians have something in common - they are both very authoritarian. We will benefit from that partnership, as long as we are equal partners. When one side starts acting subserviently , it loses the respect of the other one. So maintaining an army of considerable size and keeping the general conscription is no bad idea, I would argue. You probably know the famous roman quote which fits excellent here: Si vis pacem, para bellum!

Yank on :

"I hope you also acknowledge that the US has not sent enough troops to Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Iraq have both a population of some 30 million people. While the US has some 150,000 troops in Iraq, you only have some 25,000 troops in Afghanistan." A wise man once said the devil can quoth statistics for his own purposes. You cite population statistics to imply that Afghanistan requires as many troops as Iraq. Misleading. You are conveniently overlooking many important facts. Do so if you will, because I find it too tedious to keep pointing out what people relentlessly leave out to paint an inaccurate picture. Disreagard the relative population density and level of development of the two countries. Disregard Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, and that Iraq had no such formidable indigenous resistence to work with. Afghanistan doesn't require as many troops as Iraq. And I find it disingenuous for you to say otherwise. I gave the following statistics. Did you read them? I repeat, the population of the US is 300,000,000. The population of Germany is 82,422,299. So, the US is 3.6 times more populous than Germany. Yet it has 9 times as many troops there. I therefore find you accusing us of US of not having enough troops in Afghanistan bizarre. Germans had better start worrying less about our image and more about Germany's image. George Orwell in "Notes on Nationalism": "A nationalist is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige. He may be a positive or a negative nationalist--that is, he may use his mental energy either in boosting or in denigrating--but at any rate his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units, and every event that happens seems to him a demonstration that his own side is on the upgrade and some hated rival is on the downgrade." That's what everything is about in PC German eyes - they view it as a demonstration of rival America's degeneracy (= their ascendancy). That's why their view is often twisted and nonsensical and phony. I think the transatlantaic alliance is in the toilet, despite Blair's heroic efforts to keep the big boys in Europe (France, Germany, and Russia) from driving a wedge of hostility between America and Europe to alienate us so they can then fill the power vacume and go back to pre-WWII politics as usual. I think NATO is a myth. It died at the end of the Cold War. Since we were attacked on 9/11, the European leaders couldn't be shameless enough to refuse to honor the treaty and come to our aid in Afghanistan. That would have made it too obvious that Europe is unfaithful, that NATO extisted only to protect them, and that the first time it is invoked to protect us - POOF - gone. In Afghanistan Europe has consistently done nothing but put up token shows of support and drag their feet every step of the way. And they have in the meanwhile whipped up enough anti-American bigotry and fury that they can now just refuse to honor the treaty, and even their promises on Afghanistan, with impunity. So NATO is gone. What's left is but a mirage. Only time will tell if I am correct. But that's the view from here. PS: Of course, by "Europe" I mean just "old Europe". For the UK has done its part. Denmark has too. You also can't blame the new democracies of eastern Europe. They really are doing about all they can do. In addition, many Canadians, in their own national debate, have felt bad about the way Canada's solcialists treat us and about Canada's parasitizing the US for their protection and economic well being. They elected a conservative governemnt that is doing its best to fix a broken and ill-equipped military that wasn't even fit for combat. They too are now doing their part.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Nobody said that there should be as many troops in Afghanistan as in Iraq. The fact that the US has sent 150,000 troops to Iraq, but only 20,000 to Afghanistan indicates that the US has not given the Afghanistan the importance it deserves. Seven times less troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq. That speaks volumes. Besides, many experts believe that the US has too few troops in Iraq. Moreover, you wrote yourself: "In 1999 it put more than 40,000 troops in tiny Kosovo less than 80 miles wide at its widest point and, on average, but about 50 miles north-to-south. Afghanistan – about 600 miles wide and around 500 miles north-to-south in its midsection. NATO’s promise? Just 18,500 troops. What did NATO deliver? All the way to around 8,000 troops by the end of 2004." Besides, just compare the financial resources for Afghanistan with those spent in Iraq and in Bosnia and Kosovo. Also, you mention Afghanistan's Northern Alliance. Well, Iraq is relatively calm in the North as well... Without enough troops in Afghanistan, we cannot secure reconstruction efforts. And without reconstruction, our Afghanistan intervention does not make sense. Since the US has not taken Afghanistan serious enough, it does not make sense for Germany to contribute more. [b]I am only in favor of sending more German troops to Afghanistan, if the US and other NATO allies would like to win in Afghanistan and provide sufficient resources to achieve that goal. Either all of us increase our contribution, or it does not make sense for anyone to contribute more. [/b] I think Don made a similar argument in his statements about Prof. Maull. If NATO (as always incl. the US) does not agree to triple their efforts, then German should stay in the North of Afghanistan and increase its reconstruction efforts there. There is a lot to be done in the North. If we do not do more in the North, we will soon lose the North as well. If NATO is unwilling to provide sufficient resources to stabilize and develop Southern Afghanistan, then they should give up and help Germany to reconstruct and stabilize Northern Afghanistan. We could use your help. NATO has set high goals for Afghanistan, but does not provide enough resources. Germany's lack of troops in Southern Afghanistan is NOT the main problem. The main problem is that all NATO countries wanted a intervention on the cheap. See the links in my post on that topic. Again, if American and Europe do not want to spend more resources for Afghanistan, then America and Europe have to give up on South Afghanistan and combine the few resources for the North. That makes more sense, then spreading the resources all over the country, because that would result in our defeat in both Southern and Northern Afghanistan.

Don S on :

Taking Afghanistan seriously, Joerg? What an interesting line of argument! On the one hand we have the US, which contributes 21,000 combat troops to the hottest sector in Afghanistan despite heavy commitments elsewhere. On the other had we have Germany, which contributes 2800 largely nonfighting troops to the quietest sector in Afghansitan and has thus far declined to help out it's allies in the hotter sectors. Despite a realtive lack of commitment elsewhere. The natural conclusion is that the US is not taking Afghanistan seriously. Ummmm, I see. I guess. Well - not really. It's all too confusing to this dumb yank, Joerg.

Yank on :

Ah, Joerg, this is like a trip to The Argument Clinic: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~ebarnes/python/argument-clinic.htm

Anonymous on :

Didn't read all the comments so this might have been addressed already: "gave the following statistics. Did you read them? I repeat, the population of the US is 300,000,000. The population of Germany is 82,422,299. So, the US is 3.6 times more populous than Germany. Yet it has 9 times as many troops there." I hate to break it to you but, who pressed the rest of nato to invade Afghanistan again? Who started the whole thing? Who is now thinking loudly about leaving Iraq? Who will be present in the middle east when the US is withdrawing their troops? And even more important: Who is more threatened by an unstable Iran/Iraq? the USA or Europe? Could it be that the figures you were giving above are the result of a very militant US regime rather than of a reasonable peacekeeping strategy? Try to feed your troops another 30 years and you'll be poor like Eritrea. The US has a military budget bigger than the following three nations combined! So don't tell me that Germany should even try to compete. Just because the USA is pumping a ****load of money into the military doesn't automatically mean that Germany or Europe has to do the same.

Zyme on :

How long will you keep complaining about that fact? Face it: You are talking to the wrong people here. The only institution that can change the direction of german military foreign policy, is the german government. They probably won´t change their mind unless they have good reason to do so. And since we do not know its current reasons, this whole discussion makes no sense.

Shawn in Tokyo on :

I found the below post at Real Clear Politics: [url=http://time-blog.com/real_clear_politics/2006/11/british_conservative_shadow_de.html]Interview with Dr. Liam Fox, British Conservative "Shadow Defence Minister"[/url] What is most interesting to me is the point about the lack of standardization amongst country forces in terms of rules of engagement. Most people would assume that the forces of NATO all fall under the same rules of engagement--but it isn't true. As a result, the deployment of resources in Afghanistan can be even more hampered than it already is in terms of simple numbers. As a logistics person, this would be a nightmare in terms of figuring out the best way to deploy assets on the ground on a given day for a given scenario, let alone for alternative scenario planning. I am thinking that a system like the call-up of National Guard/Reserve units in the USA from different states is most appropriate. Once these units are deployed for federal purposes (Afghanistan, Iraq) they fall under the command and rule sets established by their leading military arm. This is just me shooting from the hip admittedly, as I am not well studied in the call-up logistics for these units. Best, Shawn

2020 on :

As long as the U.S.A. don't care about their dear friend Pakistan as the safe haven #1 for terrorists, there will never be enough forces in Afghanistan. China is against NATO presence in Central Asia. And Russia. And Iran. And Usbekistan. And Kasakhstan. And India. And Kirgisia. And Tajikistan. If America wants to fight terror there, they should do it at the root - or they should have done it. The longer they hesitate, the less options there are... We should leave Afghanistan to the Russian-Chinese sphere of responsibility, NATO will never hold Afghanistan against the explicit will of its neighbors. And Bin Laden is in Pakistan anyway, but that seems to be a minor issue for the EF-coalition.

Bill on :

Jörg, you and I have already exchanged views about this issue off-the-blog. My opinion stands. The German electorate AND the German political leadership are simply exhibiting cowardice in the face of tough decisions and challenges. "Let the Amis (Americans) do it, or the Brits" is the attitude here and you know it as well as I do. However, all Hell will break loose about Germany's reluctance to support combat missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe at the NATO Summit in Riga, Latvia today and I hope it sends cracks and rifts all they way up your EU rearends. In an opinion poll conducted in Germany for Der Spiegel magazine between November 21st and 23rd (1000 readers surveyed) 7% supported sending Bundeswehr troops to the south of Afghanistan to take part in combat missions, 29% supported sending troops to repair infrastructure only, and 61% did not support sending any Bundeswehr troops to the south at all. Similar polls conducted for German military missions in Lebanon and the DR Congo (Kinshasa) show that fully 83% - 90% of the German public are against sending German troops to support UN and EU allies in these respective crisis. As far as I am concerned, no matter what you do as a nation at this late stage in regards to crisis in the Middle East, Asia, Africa (Sudan, DR Congo) or anywhere else on the planet, it's too late. Germany has shown its hand... and it is shaking violently with Angst und Gier (fear and greed). Did I spell that right? Oh yeah, let us not forget political deciet and backstabbing. I feel sorry for your professional military troops, I really do because they are well-trained, committed, and can do the job as well as any fighting force. I know this to be a fact from first-hand experience. Problem is that they (the Bundeswehr) do not have the support of the German people, the strength and courage derived from a solid nation behind them, and that has been a serious problem for more than 60 years. Soldaten. Mörderer. Soldiers. Murderers. Don't shoot, we're Germans. Bitte nicht schiessen. Ref: Spiegel International (English edition) Afghanistan overshadows NATO Summit - Nov 27 2006 http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,450940,00.html Dying for Kabul: Are the Germans stationed in Afghanistan cowards? - Nov 24, 2006 http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,450397,00.html

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"The German electorate AND the German political leadership are simply exhibiting cowardice in the face of tough decisions and challenges." If Germany is a cowardly, then America is a brave. I will describe the American electorate and political leadership as exhibiting bravery for having deployed some 150,000 troops to Iraq and 20,000 troops to Afghanistan for several years now. What have you achieved with this bravery? There is a civil war in Iraq. Most Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq seem to hate you. You have been killing many Taleban and other insurgents in Afghanistan, but many Afghans in Southern Afghanistan hate you. And the insurgents continue to fight you. [b]You describe German policy as cowardice. Fine, I don't mind. American policy is brave. Great. Now, please, tell me: Why should Germany give up this "cowardice" and be more brave like the United States? Just because "brave" is a nicer label than "coward"? That argument reminds me of high school. What is the benefit of being as brave as the US? If you want to convince Germany to do what the US has been doing, then you would need to tell me what you have achieved with this bravery so far! What are America's achievements after five years in Afghanistan and 3,5 years in Iraq after losing nearly 3,000 servicemen and women after accidentally killing many Iraqi and Afghan civilians after spending a several hundred billion dollars that you could have used to eradicate poverty in the US or elsewhere, finance public health care etc.? [/b] Your brave soldiers can't even keep the road to the Bagdad airport safe. Why should we German cowards be as brave as America? Do you really think the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan would be more successful if Germany would pursue the same policy as America? Do you really think that Germany is sooo powerful that we would make a difference on the ground, if we would do the same you have tried, but failed?

mbast on :

Welcome to the club, Jörg. Now everybody who doesn't jump when Washington whistles is a coward, can't make tough decisions blah blah blah. It's not just that I heard this kind of "argument" once or twice before (cf. superfrenchie ;-)), I hear it over and over and over again. It seems that using your brain before starting wars has suddenly become unpatriotic and unamerican. Much better, much more gratifying for your national ego to scream revenge for the 9/11 dead, invoke the Alamo and Pearl Harbor, and run amok in the middle east, mindless of the fact that most of its inhabitants had nothing to do with 9/11. But what the heck, was nicht passt, wird halt passend gemacht (sorry, untranslatable, but to the point :-)).

Bill on :

But what the heck, was nicht passt, wird halt passend gemacht (sorry, untranslatable, but to the point :-)). Untranslatable? Any second year student of the German language can translate that line. It's meanining is: "What doesn't fit will be made to fit."

Bill on :

This is where you first screwed up: "The German electorate AND the German political leadership are simply exhibiting cowardice in the face of tough decisions and challenges." If Germany is a cowardly, then America is a brave. I will describe the American electorate and political leadership as exhibiting bravery for having deployed some 150,000 troops to Iraq and 20,000 troops to Afghanistan for several years now..... My response: The NATO Summit in Riga is NOT about what the U.S.A. wants and does not want, it is about what NATO wants and needs from its various member nations. The Secretary General of NATO is NOT President Bush but is a European like you, a Hollander no less, your next door neighbor. I don't think that I have stated anywhere in my comment that America is BRAVE, those are your words. Is NATO asking for troops to fight in Iraq? How did Iraq get in there? Is the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan one and the same? I don't think so. Do you? Let's stay on the subject of your post "Should Germany send troops to southern Afghanistan?". And if your answer is an empahtic NO, then why the Hell not? BTW: What does Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Jung mean by "...we will only send troops to aid our NATO comrades in the south if there is an emergency."? What kind of "emergency" do they need to see? NATO forces in full retreat from advancing Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters pouring in from Pakistan? Who are your politicians trying to deceive, their electorate or themselves?

ADMIN on :

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