Cabinet approves evacuation mission
What did the Federal Cabinet approve?
The Federal Cabinet has approved the deployment of German armed forces to carry out military evacuation operations from Afghanistan. If capacity allows, the troops will also evacuate personnel of the international community, local staff who have worked for the Federal Armed Forces and the ministries, and members of Afghan society who require special protection.
Up to 600 soldiers are to secure the ongoing evacuation from the Afghan capital of Kabul. The deployment is approved until 30 September 2021.
Why is the mandate necessary?
With the collapse of the Afghan government and the takeover by the Taliban, local security structures in the capital Kabul have collapsed. The situation is exceptionally chaotic. Aircraft flying in and out of Afghan airports are now exposed to a significantly greater risk, especially in Kabul. Along with its allies the United States of America and the United Kingdom, Germany is among those countries sending the most troops to Afghanistan in order to ensure safe evacuation.
What are the German soldiers required to do?
Their most important task is to protect human life. The soldiers being deployed are specially trained for evacuation missions and will ensure that those on the ground are able to leave safely. The German armed forces will coordinate with international allies and partners to carry out the evacuation.
Their work also includes protecting, securing and evacuating the diplomatic and consular missions where German personnel are deployed.
What is the legal basis for the deployment of troops?
Any military deployment in a foreign country must be justified under international law. Germany and its international partners have the consent of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct an evacuation mission. What is more, the operations will be carried out in accordance with the constitutional requirements for the deployment of German armed forces abroad, in particular based on Article 87a paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Basic Law.
Why did the mission begin before it was approved by the Bundestag?
Every armed deployment of the Federal Armed Forces requires parliamentary approval by the Bundestag. In the event of imminent danger, where lives are to be saved, or if there are other acute risks that do not allow for a delay, the mission may be approved by parliament retrospectively. This is regulated under § 5 of the Parliamentary Participation Act. In Afghanistan, a situation of this nature has developed due to the rapid advance of the Taliban. For this reason, swift action is necessary right away.