Military violence allowed: Cabinet wants to pass a Bundeswehr mandate

Military violence allowed
Cabinet wants to decide on a Bundeswehr mandate

600 soldiers are to ensure by the end of September that as many people worthy of protection as possible can be flown out of Afghanistan, the mandate is based on “imminent danger”.

The federal government plans to adopt the draft mandate on Wednesday for the German armed forces’ ongoing evacuation mission in Afghanistan. With this, the cabinet wants to create the legal basis for the mission retrospectively, but the Bundestag has to approve it next week. The draft, which is available to the dpa, provides for the deployment of up to 600 soldiers by September 30th at the latest.

The additional expenditure for the Bundeswehr is estimated at 40 million euros. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas presented the draft to the cabinet members on Tuesday. In an accompanying letter they justify the subsequent mandate with “imminent danger”.

“The sending of armed German forces cannot be postponed,” they write. “Any further waiting until the German Bundestag has made a final decision could call the successful implementation of the German forces into question or at least make it much more difficult and thus also endanger the life and limb of the people to be protected.”

Use of military force is permitted

It is a so-called robust mandate that also allows the use of military force, “in particular to protect the people to be evacuated and our own forces, as well as in the context of emergency aid”.

The operation began on Monday with the dispatch of two A400M evacuation machines to Kabul, which are now mainly intended to fly German citizens and Afghan helpers from the German armed forces and federal ministries to Tashkent in Uzbekistan. There the evacuees transfer to civil aircraft operated by Lufthansa. The first with around 130 passengers on board set off for Frankfurt am Main on Tuesday evening.

Paratroopers trained for evacuations, the KSK elite unit, as well as military police, paramedics and air force crews are deployed. The mission is considered to be the Bundeswehr’s largest evacuation mission to date. The Defense Committee of the Bundestag and the Foreign Affairs Committee also want to deal with the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

With a view to the meetings, the SPD defense politician Siemtje Möller called for local Bundeswehr personnel to be granted the right to stay in Germany for future missions as part of their mandate. The German government is accused of being too hesitant to accept former employees in the Afghanistan case.