Bundeswehr mission in Afghanistan to be extended
What mission has the Federal Government agreed to be part of?
Up to 1,300 armed Bundeswehr soldiers are to continue to be part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. They are responsible for providing training, advice and assistance to Afghan defence and security forces on the ground. The mission is to be extended up until 31 January 2022.
What is the legal basis for Germany’s involvement?
Germany’s involvement in the mission is based on a resolution adopted by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on 2 December 2014 and on the approval of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
In Resolution 2189 (2014) of 12 December 2014, the United Nations Security Council expressly welcomed the agreement reached between NATO and Afghanistan and underlined the importance of supporting efforts to stabilise the situation in the country.
What is the aim of the mission?
International military support is an important factor when it comes to giving the intra- Afghan peace process and efforts to build up civil society and development cooperation in Afghanistan the necessary time and the necessary space. To support the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan the Bundeswehr is providing assistance in the north of the country by training and advising local security forces.
Germany thus stands by the responsibility it has taken on for the population of Afghanistan and by its commitments vis-à-vis international partners and solidarity with NATO allies. The Federal Government wants to see an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, with NATO allies leaving in stages, which is to preserve wherever possible the achievements made over recent decades. The security of our soldiers on the ground is our top priority.
What has been achieved so far?
Applying a networked approach which includes civilian and military measures, Germany has made important contributions so far to ensuring stability in Afghanistan. Measures implemented by Bundeswehr soldiers have increased the capabilities of the Afghan national security and defence forces in Mazar-e Sharif and Kunduz.
It has also contributed to the emergence of a democratically controlled political system and to social and economic development. Improvements have likewise been made in terms of the human rights situation, especially that of women, by supporting peace negotiations between representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, which have been ongoing in Doha since September 2020.
Why is the mission being extended?
Despite the improvements which have been made, Afghanistan is still faced with uncertainty. Intra-Afghan peace negotiations with the Taliban remain extremely fragile and are overshadowed by a sustained high level of violence.
In the view of the Federal Government, the conditions for a full, responsible withdrawal are currently not in place. Support from the international community is still necessary if progress is to continue to be made along the peace process. An international military presence is an important factor in negotiations. The ongoing presence of the USA remains essential to this approach.