Fragile achievements: continuing engagement
The international community’s support for Afghanistan has yielded tangible achievements since 2001, primarily in the fight against terrorism and in the area of development. These achievements are fragile, however, and it is important to consolidate the progress made and to avoid setbacks.
This is the conclusion reached by the “Report on the Status of and Outlook for Germany’s Engagement in Afghanistan”, which the Federal Government submitted to the Bundestag.
Heiko Maas: ending engagement would send the wrong signal
Germany is currently the second-biggest donor country in Afghanistan after the US. A key component of Germany’s engagement is NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. Germany is helping to train, advise and support Afghan security and defence forces.
A premature end to Germany’s engagement would “send the wrong signal, especially now,” emphasised Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a debate in the Bundestag on extending the NATO mission. By continuing to support the Afghan armed forces, the Federal Government intended to foster efforts to stabilise the country, which was a project that would take generations, he said.
Up to 800 servicemen and -women are currently deployed in Afghanistan. The Federal Government has suggested that the troop ceiling be increased to up to 1300. After the US and Italy, Germany is the third-biggest contributor of troops and is thereby assuming long term responsibility for Afghanistan.
Supporting the Afghan peace process
Alongside combating terrorism and achieving regional stability, the objective of Germany’s engagement is to create prospects for the people in Afghanistan and to tackle the causes of forced migration and migration.
It will only be possible to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan in the long term with an Afghan owned peace process, however, and not by military means. Germany is therefore supporting the Afghan Government’s efforts to achieve political progress in the country.