Mandate for Afghanistan extended
Earlier, in her speech in the German Bundestag, Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen called on parliamentarians to approve the extension of the mandate. She said it is worthwhile investing in the young people of Afghanistan and in this country.
Almost a year ago the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan came to an end. It was replaced by the training mission Operation Resolute Support. The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)-led operation is advising, supporting and training Afghan security forces. The ceiling on troops under the new mandate is to be raised to 980. The mandate will run until December 2016.
Responsibility in their own country
This year the Afghan security forces have been solely responsible for security in their country. The Federal Defence Minister explained that there have been a large number of Taliban attacks, with a great many victims. Nevertheless, the Afghan security forces have managed to retake their positions and restore security. But this year has equally made it clear that shortcomings still exist.
As a result, training for the Afghan security forces will have to be stepped up in some areas. Ursula von der Leyen mentioned in particular leadership and improved cooperation between the Afghan police and the country’s security forces.
Continuing the reform process
By extending the mandate, the German government is sending a clear signal to the Afghan government and the Afghan people. In this difficult transition phase, Germany will not abandon Afghanistan. The message "we will stay on for longer" should not, however, be seen as a blank cheque for Afghanistan, added Ursula von der Leyen. It is tied to clear expectations of the government.
The Federal Defence Minister called on the government in Kabul to rigorously implement the political and economic reforms discussed.
Fighting the causes of migration
The aim is to continue to support Afghanistan on its way to achieving independent and lasting stability. The Afghan people are to be given political and economic prospects in their own country. The more successful this is, the more Afghans will plan their future in their own country.
Good governance, security and economic and social prospects of development are key to achieving a better future for all Afghans. They are also the best way to effectively combat the factors that cause people to leave their homes in Afghanistan and seek a future elsewhere.
Civilian and military assistance
The training mission is part of the comprehensive support the German government is offering Afghanistan. In the coming year, development assistance worth 250 million euros will be made available. Assistance is to focus on good governance and sustainable economic development and employment. The fields of energy, drinking water supply and sanitation, and basic education and vocational training will also receive support.
Another 180 million euros are to be provided for civilian reconstruction, while the Afghan security forces are to receive support worth 150 million euros.