German government backs Trump’s military escalation in Afghanistan


German government backs Trump’s military escalation in Afghanistan

Johannes Stern

24 August 2017

The same German politicians and media outlets that issued hypocritical criticisms of President Donald Trump’s response to the fascist rampage in Charlottesville are now fully behind his escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Immediately after the US president proclaimed in a militarist speech Monday evening at the Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Virginia, that the number of troops in Afghanistan would be increased and the so-called war on terror massively expanded, the German government gave its firm backing to the decision.

During a visit to soldiers at a base in Eckernförde, Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) declared on Tuesday, “We welcome the US decision to consolidate its deployment and engagement in Afghanistan.” It was to be welcomed that “decisions about which steps to take next will be conditions-dependent, rather than being dependent upon domestic electoral calendars.”

Von der Leyen did not exclude sending additional German troops. Responding to a journalist’s question, she noted that Germany was the second-largest troop contributor after the United States and that it had special responsibility for the north of Afghanistan.

However, she continued, last year, as other military forces were reduced, the German army increased its force by 18 percent. The view was therefore that Germany “is not now in the first rank of those who are being asked for additional troops.”

The Social Democratic Party (SPD)-led foreign ministry also backed Trump’s decision. “It is good that the US will continue its substantial engagement in Afghanistan. Despite strenuous efforts by the international community, the…

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