According to a report on the German Der Spiegel website on February 13, German Chancellor Angela Merkel linked the German Federal Defence Forces' operations in Afghanistan to the United States' continued military presence in the country. Merkel said that the German government has decided to extend the operation in Afghanistan, provided that our continued presence with other countries operating in northern Afghanistan also depends on the US military presence.
The report said that US President Trump plans to withdraw about half of the 14,000 US troops currently stationed in Afghanistan, but has not yet determined the timetable for withdrawal. The German government warned the United States not to rush to withdraw troops. German Defense Minister Von Delaine said: Americans know that we think it is wrong to leave Afghanistan now.
Merkel said: If there is a change there, we will have to reconsider whether the action is still necessary. This stems from the obligations set out in the NATO Defense Alliance, and we will also make this clear in ongoing discussions with our American counterparts.
Not long ago, the German government decided to extend the Afghan operation of up to 1,300 German officers and men for one year. In a briefing to the members of the Bundestag, the German government stated that Germany is prepared to provide protection for the peace process at the request of the parties to the conflict.
The German Bundestag will make a final decision on whether to extend the time limit for participation in NATO forces in Afghanistan, which will focus on providing training and support to Afghan security forces.
The report pointed out that the Afghan government currently only controls about half of the country's territory, and another 30% of the territory is in a state of war. Serious attacks against Afghan government forces and security forces have occurred from time to time.
In addition, Tobia Lanze, deputy head of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan, warned of the many challenges that may arise after the parties reached a peace agreement. For example, in this country with about 34 million inhabitants, the fight against poverty will begin. According to Lanze, 54% of Afghans currently live below the poverty line.