On 18 December, the German Bundestag voted by a large majority in favour of Germany’s participation in the international mission for Afghanistan, the Resolute Support Mission (RSM). Germany will thus continue to support the country in the Hindu Kush once the ISAF mission comes to an end, primarily by training and advising the Afghan security forces.
Germany has had a presence in Afghanistan for over 10 years within the framework of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISAF mission will be completed at the end of 2014, following the start, in 2010, of the step-by-step process of the Afghan security forces taking on responsibility for their own security affairs.
Training security forces – developing civilian engagement
Even since the Afghans have taken over full responsibility for security this year, Germany and the international community remain engaged in the country, advising, training and supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Germany has agreed to provide up to 850 servicemen and women to engage in military training and advising the Afghan Ministry of Defense within the framework of the RSM.
In addition to this, Germany’s engagement is increasingly of a non‑military nature. Thus Germany will make available up to 430 million euros per year for civilian reconstruction assistance. German engagement includes strengthening good governance and the rule of law, supporting the water and energy supply and the health system, developing the police and boosting both the economy and employment levels.
2014 progress report on Afghanistan approved
In November, the Federal Government approved the 2014 progress report on Afghanistan which is due to be submitted to the German Bundestag. It reviews the situation and charts the future course of Germany’s engagement in Afghanistan. The report contains a current picture of the situation from autumn of this year and covers the time period from January to October 2014.
The report makes it clear that the engagement in Afghanistan is in no way coming to an end but rather that it is entering a new phase.
2014 was an important year for Afghan politics – since the end of September, and following months of struggle, the country has a new President in Ashraf Ghani and a new Chief Executive Officer in Abdullah Abdullah. The Government of National Unity thus offer a great chance for Afghanistan's future.
Directly after it took office, the new Afghan Government asked NATO for further support, including for the time after the completion of the ISAF mission. To this end, they signed the long-awaited Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan. This Agreement also serves as the foundation for Germany's ongoing engagement in the country.