Worse than Useless: Germans in Afghanistan - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Worse than Useless: Germans in Afghanistan
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Remember those times someone has offered to “help” and you’ve said no thanks.  It’s about gotten to that point with the German military in Afghanistan.  My friend Josh Foust offers an unsparing critique of what the largest European member of NATO brings to the security table:

On November 6, 2007, a group of Afghan militants exploded a bomb at a sugar factory in Baghlan Province while visiting members of the Afghan parliament and a local school were on a tour. Nearly eighty people died, including dozens of children and six parliamentarians, making it one of the deadliest insurgent attacks of the war. Five months later, in March of 2008, the German KSK had located the man they believed responsible for the attack. As they closed in to capture him, his security forces spotted them and the man escaped. While the KSK could have shot and killed the militant commander, they did not-Germany’s rules of engagement did not permit them to do so.

The incident in Baghlan, and Germany’s inability to manage its aftermath, is part of a years-long pattern of mismanagement and confusing command decisions by the German Army in Northern Afghanistan. Responsible for nine provinces, the German Army has faced growing criticism of its refusal to participate in combat over the last few years, and its latest action-calling in an air strike in Kunduz that is reported to have killed dozens or more civilians siphoning fuel from a hijacked truck-has drawn sharp condemnation from the international community.

Some of these incidents boggle the mind. In 2005, for example, a local German unit refused for hours to assist an Alternative Livelihoods crew that had been struck by an IED in Badakhstan Province. Even though some of the men were bleeding out onto the road, it was dusk and therefore deemed too dangerous to mount a rescue operation. After much hectoring from the UN and the U.S. they eventually reached the stricken men.

If NATO can’t act as an effective back-up to the U.S. in Afghanistan, it isn’t clear what value the organization has for America.  The alliance certainly doesn’t advance U.S. interests in Europe, where Americans get to defend Europeans, who prefer to fund their welfare states than their militaries, against largely phantom threats.

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