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Europe's Contributions to Afghanistan Should be Recognized

Four Bundeswehr soldiers were killed in three attacks in Afghanistan's North in the last two weeks. Two in three Germans want their country to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of the year. The German government, however, stays the course. (Focus Magazine in German.)

Why? Because of a threat from Afghanistan to Germany? No, Al Qaeda and its affiliates do not need a safe haven at the Hindu Kush, but can plan terrorist attacks in Hamburg etc. As Ahmed Rashid notes, "not ever, has an Afghan Talib been involved in global jihad."

Rather, we have invested so much in Afghanistan, that we cannot afford to see it all fail. Moreover, we are still in Afghanistan after nine years as a matter of solidarity with NATO and especially with the United States due to the 9/11 attacks.

Unfortunately, Germany's contributions and but especially those from our British and smaller European allies, like Denmark and Poland, are not appreciated by large parts of the US media and think tank community. Thus, my British colleague Elias Gladstone and I have fact-checked an article by Stanford professor and Hoover fellow Russell Berman in the popular online magazine The Daily Beast. He is for instance simply wrong in stating that Obama was "completely unable to convince any European ally to increase troop commitments."

You can read our critique of Berman's article at atlantic-community.org: Europe's Contributions Should be Recognized. Feel free to register and comment over there.

Of course, I just want our contributions to Afghanistan be recognized. They should not be exaggerated either. Especially Germany is not in a position to ask the United States to do more in Afghanistan. This is borderline chutzpah in my opinion.

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