14 November 2009

ATTN: European Readers

Since the tragic air strike in Kunduz Province of Afghanistan which killed roughly 140 civilians, there have been a number of articles questioning the German Army's fitness for operations in Afghanistan, to the point where it's become somewhat of a running gag at this blog (Airstrikes and alcohol, German Eurofighter Typhoon gets groceries). The latest round of Bundeswehr-bashing comes from the Wall Street Journal, which includes a quote from the governor of Kunduz, who asked for more American troops, not Germans, noting that the Americans "love to fight".

Now, on one hand, I should be counting my blessings, as the new-found German pacifism in the wake of the Second World War is greatly preferable to, well, watching the Germans invade France and Poland on a regular basis. Still, the performance of the German Army in Afghanistan has left much to be desired--which is surprising, as I've interacted with the German Army on a few occasions (not the least of which was during an airborne operation with paratroopers from the 26th Luftlandebrigade serving as jumpmasters), and they didn't seem to be as bad as their record in Afghanistan makes them out to be.

Anyway, I have a lot of foreign readers, and was wondering if there's anyone in the Bundeswehr with experience in Afghanistan that might be able to fill us in on the difficulties, or maybe even set the record straight in some areas. I suspect much might result from extreme risk aversion within the political leadership.

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