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Afghanistan War Heats Up For German Troops

The German government has repeatedly expressed misgivings regarding the conduct of the war in Afghanistan and has opposed requests by the American government to increase the number of German soldiers in the country. The slaying of six aid workers and three attacks against the German military underscores concern in the German army, the Bundeswehr, that the area of northern Afghanistan in which they have been deployed is becoming more violent. Despite official statements of relative calm in northern Afghanistan, it is increasingly obvious the situation is neither peaceful nor stable. Bunsdeswehr General Inspector Wolfgang Schneiderhan, noted the “alarming development” of attacks in the area his forces are guarding is part of a pattern of growing violence in the north.

The German military is particularly concerned that several aid workers have become targets for Taliban forces. An important component of German uneasiness is frustration at the apparent lack of an overall strategy for peace in Afghanistan. The war has been going on for seven years and the situation today is certainly more dangerous than it was six years ago. Many Europeans are questioning the efficacy of relying too much on military rather than on political action to achieve peace.