Bundeswehr back in the Hindu Kush: AKK announces Afghanistan rescue mission

Bundeswehr back in the Hindu Kush
AKK announces Afghanistan rescue mission

At the end of June, the Bundeswehr ended its almost 20-year mission in Afghanistan. A few weeks later, there were signs of a quick return: the soldiers were supposed to rescue former Afghan local workers who were threatened with the revenge of the Taliban.

The Bundeswehr is to get German citizens and Afghan local staff out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. “The security situation is getting worse. We will support the Federal Foreign Office in returning German citizens and others to be protected from Afghanistan to Germany,” said Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in view of the rapid advance of the Taliban. “We have ready-to-use forces ready and will put the first forces on the march as soon as possible.”

She could not provide any information on operational details, said Kramp-Karrenbauer. “It is now an absolute priority that we bring those to be protected safely to Germany.” With the evacuation to be protected, the Bundeswehr will “carry out another operation to be mandated”.

Bundeswehr has to save 10,000 people

According to information from ntv, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas discussed the situation in Afghanistan early in the morning. The plan provides for up to 10,000 people, aid workers and their “nuclear families” to be removed from the country in order to save them from the revenge of the radical Islamist Taliban. Over the past few years you have worked for the German Armed Forces, the Foreign Office, development aid and other German organizations, among other things, and now you have to fear for your life. First helpers, including German media, have already been murdered.

For such an action, however, a new Bundestag mandate is required. The old, ongoing cover does not cover a rescue mission, it is said in government circles. Now it should be quickly explored whether there is a parliamentary majority in the grand coalition or among the other parties.

In the last few days there had already been criticism of the slow repatriation of the so-called “local forces” of the Bundeswehr. Around 2000 of them are now in Germany. From government circles it is said that Foreign Minister Maas was asked in the Federal Cabinet several weeks ago to plan a comprehensive repatriation campaign. The Federal Foreign Office is said to have failed to do so because it was expected that the Taliban’s advance would take much longer.

Big tattoo postponed

Since a rescue mission would mean that German soldiers would have to be sent again to Afghanistan, the planned closing roll call and big tattoo are to be postponed for the previous deployment. Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would propose this to the Federal Cabinet in coordination with Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble. “Against the background of developments in Afghanistan, now is not the right time for a proper accounting and appraisal. Full attention is given to evacuating those to be protected.”

The Bundeswehr ended its almost 20-year mission in the Hindu Kush with the return of the last soldiers at the end of June. On August 31st, there was to be a wreath-laying ceremony, an appeal and talks between Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his bereaved and relatives in the Bendler Block, the seat of the Defense Ministry in Berlin. Then the tattoo in front of the Reichstag building was planned.