Progress report on Afghanistan

The purpose of the German Government’s progress reports is to provide information to the German Bundestag. They describe the current situation in the country, outline the international engagement and provide an overview of forthcoming events. Germany is and will remain one of Afghanistan’s most important partners. Our country continues to provide the third largest international contingent in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Germany is the third-largest contributor of funds for civilian reconstruction and the promotion of the country’s development. This is why an annual report to review Germany’s engagement and chart its future course is so important.

The latest progress report was published on 5 February 2014. In line with previous reports, it is divided up into the three central areas of international engagement in the country: security, state structures and governance as well as reconstruction and development.

2014: A turning point in Afghanistan’s history

Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul

Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul
© picture-alliance/dpa

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Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul

Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul

Afghan police checking a car and its occupants in Kabul

2014 will be an eventful year in Afghanistan. It will be marked by far-reaching changes. For the Afghan people are set to elect a new President in April 2014. Provincial council elections will take place at the same time throughout the country.

What is more, Afghanistan’s security forces are preparing to take over full responsibility for security from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 31 December 2014.

The process of handing over responsibility for security to Afghanistan and the withdrawal of international troops is far advanced: The Afghan security forces already shoulder responsibility for the security of 80 per cent of Afghanistan’s population.

Support also beyond 2014

The international community has stated its readiness to continue to assist the Afghan security forces after 2014 by providing training, advice and support within the framework of NATO’s Resolute Support mission. Germany is prepared to shoulder responsibility and to provide between 600 and 800 troops for the advisory and training mission for an initial period of two years. However, this has still to be approved by the German Bundestag. Moreover, the conditions in Afghanistan itself have to be right: among other things, the Afghan Government must issue a formal invitation and a status of forces agreement must be concluded between NATO and Afghanistan.

The international community will remain involved in civilian reconstruction and Afghanistan’s development even after 2014. Germany will continue to provide up to 430 million euros each year for this until at least 2016.

The international assistance remains tied to the conditions agreed upon with the Afghan Government at an international conference held in Tokyo in 2012. Afghanistan has made progress in meeting its commitments. However, the Afghan Government has hitherto not shown sufficient resolve in fighting corruption or in other spheres.

2014 progress report: Highlighting problematic areas

The German Government believes that the progress report reveals both positive and negative aspects: it documents the progress made in the sphere of economic development and in the handover of responsibility for security. But the report also highlights problematic areas. For example, it describes the continued difficult security situation in Afghanistan.

Nor has the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan led yet to a serious dialogue between the Afghan Government and the Taliban. At the same time, the German Government remains convinced that only such a political dialogue process can bring durable peace to Afghanistan. One positive aspect highlighted in the report is the cautious détente between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last few months. Both countries want to work closer together in the peace and reconciliation process. This is especially important in view of Pakistan’s special relations with the Taliban, which stretch back to the early 1990s.

Since 2010 the progress report on Afghanistan for the information of the German Bundestag has been issued annually. The reports are drawn up by the Special Representative of the Federal Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Michael Koch, in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery and the various ministries dealing with Afghanistan-related questions. An interim report is published every summer.

The latest progress report of January 2014 will also be available in English shortly.

Previous progress reports

Last updated 05.02.2014

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