German Army says Berlin will stay longer in Afganistan
Germany to stay longer in Afghanistan
Tue, 06 Aug 2013 17:49:23 GMT
Head of German army says Berlin will extend its military presence in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline.
Ulrich Kirsch, the head of the German army association — the Bundeswehrverband, insisted that German combat troops should remain in Afghanistan for many more years to come.
The top military official also said that the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is frightening.
Germany has thousands of soldiers in the relatively peaceful northern Afghanistan, making it the third-largest foreign contingent after the US and the UK.
The comments come amid reduction in Afghan war support in Germany, and despite an agreement that calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-ravaged country by the end of next year.
In May, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government was ready to let the US set up nine bases across Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw in 2014.
Many Afghans believe US-led forces are envisaging permanent military bases there.
Meanwhile, Afghan political groups have warned that things will get worse should the US-led forces set up permanent military bases in Afghanistan.
Afghan political figures have also heaped scorn on the foreign forces for committing unforgivable crimes against Afghan women and children since invading the country in 2001.
Thousands of Afghan civilians, including a large number of women and children, have been killed during night raids by foreign forces and CIA-run assassination drone strikes.
The increasing number of casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger against the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.
The US-led war in Afghanistan removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops.