The German government has opted to extend the Bundeswehr’s mission to Afghanistan for another year – until March 31, 2021. The current mandate for the German armed forces’ mission to Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission expires in March.
“The efforts of last year open up, albeit fragile, the prospect to start peace talks in Afghanistan,” the Cabinet of Minister’s statement quoted by the dpa agency says. “Despite considerable efforts, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are not yet able to provide security on their own.”
This decision to extend the Bundeswehr’s mission to Afghanistan must still be approved by the German Bundestag, a session of which is scheduled for March 4.
Bundeswehr soldiers were sent to Afghanistan as a response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York, the US. In December of that year, the Bundestag issued the first mandate for the participation of the German armed forces in the NATO-led mission in the Hindu Kush. In December 2014, a 13-year era of the North Atlantic Alliance came to an end when the command transitioned to NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which began on January 1, 2015. The new mission focuses on training, advising and assisting the Afghan government and security forces. As part of this operation, the Bundeswehr is planning to send up to 1,300 soldiers to Afghanistan, German media informs.