Germany has offered to keep nearly 800 of its troops in Afghanistan, following the planned withdrawal of US - led forces from the Asian country by the end of 2014.
On Thursday, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that his country had proposed to deploy between roughly 600 and 800 of its forces in Afghanistan for a two - year period beginning from 2015. Maiziere went on to say that after the two - year mandate, Germany would be ready to station between 200 to 300 forces in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul to provide training and logistic support to the Afghan army.
“This offer is a declaration of intent by the federal government. Germany is taking an early and timely position on this important question, ” Maiziere stated.
The offer has yet to be approved by the UN Security Council and the Afghan government. With around 4,300 forces mostly stationed in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Balkh and Badakhshan, Germany ranks third after the United States and Britain in terms of the number of troops in Afghanistan. In late January, Germany’s parliament extended the presence of German military forces in Afghanistan up until the end of 2014. While Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan is widely unpopular among the German public, most of the German political factions lend support to the plan. German soldiers have been in Afghanistan since 2001, when US-led forces invaded the country. The German army also sent its first Tiger attack helicopters to the war-ravaged country in December 2012.