Afghanistan as a German Election Issue - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Afghanistan as a German Election Issue

The German Free Democrats, expected to form a center-right coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU amalgam if current polls hold true in the upcoming election, have called for a speedy exit from Afghanistan. 

Reports the New York Times:

After ignoring the issue of Afghanistan for much of the federal election campaign so far, the Free Democrats, an opposition party that hopes to join Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservatives in the next government, have called for a plan to bring home the 4,500 German troops serving in the NATO force there.

In doing so, the party has broken ranks with most of the major parties, which have tried to keep the issue of Germany‘s controversial Afghan presence out of the public eye.

“The next government must formulate a precise plan that spells out how a pull-out of the German Army over the coming years would look,” Jürgen Koppelin, a federal legislator and defense expert for the Free Democrats, said in a newspaper interview Wednesday. “Our soldiers in Afghanistan and their families need to know that the mission will end.”

By raising the issue now, the Free Democrats may be trying to show their foreign policy credentials, particularly since they hope to take over the Foreign Ministry if they win enough votes to form the next coalition with Mrs. Merkel, who is favored to retain the chancellery. So far, foreign policy issues have played no role in this campaign, which has yet to get going in force.

The Free Democrats have also tapped into the public mood, which may win them more votes.

The Obama administration may be hoping that the Euriopeans will do more in Afghanistan, but they almost certainly will be doing not just less, but far less, over the next year or two.

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