German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he will spend four days examining the situation. The trip was made hours after he spent time with Senator Barack Obama discussing the topic of Afghanistan. The government of President Karzai has come under increasing criticism as the Taliban grows in strength, corruption is rampant, and the military appears uncertain how to deal with the Taliban. Both Obama and his opponent, John McCain have pledged to send additional troops to the beleaguered country. The German government is concerned it will be called upon to supply more troops and the foreign minister wants to find out if additional troops are the issue or does change require rethinking who leads Afghanistan.
Steinmeier is considering dispatching more troops but first he wants assurances President Karzi will deal with corruption and bring a greater sense of stability and vigor to the fight against the Taliban. A few years ago, Steinmeier referred to Kabul as a stable city, but this time he will be forced to ride in an armored car and even wear a bullet proof vest.
German politicians are confronted by the reality their nation does not want more troops in Afghanistan. Perhaps, it is time to rethink what is happening in Afghanistan and develop a new strategy that encompasses both economic and military reform.