German Federal Foreign Minister Maas said on the 13th local time that due to the deadlock in the Afghan peace talks, he hoped to extend Germany’s local military presence.
However, the opposition party has different opinions on this.
Maas proposed on the same day that Germany’s military presence in Afghanistan, which was scheduled to expire at the end of March this year, be extended on the grounds that the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban could not be completed by that time, and Germany needed to prepare for different situations, including obtaining a new mandate from the Bundestag.
Germany’s current military presence in Afghanistan is affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s “firm support” operation for non-combat tasks.
The operation lasted for one year, and the German government planned to invest 427.5 million euros in it. Under Operation “Severe Support”, Germany can send 1,300 people to participate in the training of Afghan soldiers.
Discussions about withdrawal within NATO are due to the previous agreement between the United States and the Taliban that foreign troops must withdraw from Afghanistan by the deadline at the end of April this year. In return, the Taliban promised to negotiate peace with the Afghan government and reduce violence.
The peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban were launched in Qatar on September 12, 2020, as the two sides seek a political solution to the situation in Afghanistan.
However, due to the large differences between the two sides and the slow progress of the negotiations, the armed conflict between the two sides has not stopped.
Maas pointed out that Germany is expected to rebuild its partnership with the new U.S. government.
Therefore, as allies, both sides hope to end the military garrison on the ground in a responsible manner that will not endanger the peace process in Afghanistan.
It is worth mentioning that U.S. President Biden ordered a review of the previous agreement with the Taliban as soon as he took office.
The advisory panel of the U.S. Congress believes that the Taliban has not fulfilled its commitment and calls for a postponement of the deadline for the full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of April.
But the opposition party in Germany is skeptical of Maas’s proposal.
LDP defense experts believe that the Bundeswehrmacht is ready to withdraw quickly from Afghanistan.
Therefore, if you want to continue to be stationed after April, the government must prove its rationality and necessity to the Federal Parliament.
The party asked Maas to provide an assessment of the garrison because “the government owes an honest analysis of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan for 20 years.”
The vice chairman of the left-wing party’s caucuse also said that although thousands of foreign soldiers have been stationed in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, the country is still threatened by bomb attacks and lacks prospects for a peaceful future.
It is not difficult to see that the temporary garrison is still meaningless even if it becomes a permanent existence.
On this basis, the Left Party asked the German Federal Defence Ministry to propose a plan to withdraw troops.