Jan Techau and Alexander Skiba of the German Council on Foreign Relations criticize the German Government’s rejection of the US request for more German combat forces in south Afghanistan. There are at least three reasons for Germany to re-evaluate its current position: stabilizing Afghanistan is in Germany’s national interest; strategically it makes sense for Germany to carry more of the burden if it wants to have a say in other geopolitical matters; and if Western engagement were to fail in Afghanistan a disastrous signal would be sent to the rest of the world and especially to China, Russia, and Venezuela. But while the "military rationale for Germany’s deployment in Afghanistan has increased," German leaders are facing a public which demands that Germany limit itself to playing a humanitarian and supportive role.
International Herald Tribune, February 7, 2008
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