Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Security Update for Northern Afghanistan

Attack on German MeS Consulate. A suicide bomber rammed his truck into the German consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan killing and wounding civilians in the area on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The consulate suffered major damage to its outside perimeter wall - leaving a huge crater in the ground and overturning nearby cars in the street. No German or Afghan members of the consulate staff were killed or harmed. Twenty members of the German staff were evacuated to Camp Marmal (nearby MeS). Read more in "Afghanistan: Fatal attack on German consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif", BBC News, November 11, 2016.

Video on North Afghanistan and Central Asia. In July 2016 the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conducted a 90-minute presentation and discussion on the security situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the Central Asia states across the northern border of Afghanistan. There is growing instability in Afghanistan and this includes the formerly peaceful areas of North Afghanistan.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

News Snippets - Afghan War Blog

NATO Medal Authorized for RS. The NATO Medal has been approved for acceptance and wear by Soldiers and other U.S. military members who have participated in Operation Resolute Support. (Army Times, Dec 7, 2015).

China's 'Af-Pak' Dilemma. China's involvement in the affairs of Afghanistan has increased over the past few years. China wishes to bring stability to Afghanistan to ensure success for its "One Belt, One Road" strategy. But that means it must pressure Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Read more in "China's Emerging Af-Pak Dilemma", by Michael Clarke of the Jamestown Foundation, December 7, 2015. (Posted on

Resolute Support Video Update #8 (Dec 7, 2015). This 3 minute long video provides content on human rights, rule of law, and Train, Advise, Assist Command - West in Herat, Afghanistan.

Petraeus - "No Further Punishment". The U.S. Army has decided not to pursue any further punishment for retired General Petraeus - former COMISAF and CIA Director. (The Washington Post,  Dec 7, 2015).

Germany is Staying. The German defense minister recently visited Mazar-i-Shari - when the European nations are encamped at TAAC-North headquarters. The end result of the visit is an acknowledgement that mistakes were made and a commitment to increase the German troop presence. See "What'a going wrong in Afghanistan?", Deutsche Welle, December 12, 2015.

Gen Dunford Visits Afghanistan. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Afghanistan on Dec 8th to meet with General Campbell and other senior military representatives. Dunford was the ISAF commander prior to Campbell. He made several comments on the current situation in Afghanistan. (Stars and Stripes, Dec 8, 2015).

Quarterly Parameters Autumn 2015. The US Army War College Quarterly Parameters is now posted.

Korengal Valley - And Limits of Power. A Soldier writes of his time in the Korengal Valley in Kunar province and about how power projection has its constraints. (Best Defense - Foreign Policy, Dec 11, 2015). The Korengal Valley, an offshoot of the Pech River Valley was a hard-fought battle spanning a few years.

Photos from Khost. Sudarsan Raghaven provides us with a photographic view of Khost in eastern Afghanistan in "This is what the real Afghanistan looks like", The Washington Post, December 4, 2015.

Probe on Civilian Deaths at Mosque. A mortar attack by government troops on Friday, Dec 4th resulted in a number of civilian deaths near a mosque. The incident took place in Sayedabad - a district in central Maidan Wardak province. The Taliban issued a statement condemning the attack. (VOA,  Dec 5, 2015).

UNAMA Report on Toll from Kunduz City. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan stated that the preliminary findings put the civilian casualty toll from the Kunduz city crisis two months (late September to mid-October) ago at 848 - 289 dead and 559 injured. You can read the UNAMA Special Report on Kunduz Province dated December 12, 2015.

Video - MG Buchanan visits TAAC-West. Italian forces have taken over responsibility for Train, Advise, Assist Command - West in Herat from the Spanish contingent. MG Jeff Buchanan comments on his recent visit to Herat in this short (2 min) video posted by Resolute Support HQs on DVIDSHUB on December 9, 2015.

Video - IED Training in TAAC-West. Resolute Support personnel provide counter IED training to members of the ANDSF in Herat. (2 mins, DVIDS, Dec 9, 2015).

German Defence Minister visits MeS. The Defence Minister of Germany recently paid a visit to Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. The visit on Sunday, Dec 6th comes after a recent decision to enlarge the German contingent in Afghanistan. The message is "We're staying". (Tolo News, Dec 8, 2015).

Germany Contributes AFN 5 Billion. The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund has received a pledge from Germany for a large contribution. (Khaama Press, Dec 10, 2015).

WTO Membership & Afghan Economy. Afghanistan 'imports' international aid and 'exports' opium but the international community is trying to change all of that. One step in that direction is providing membership to Afghanistan in the World Trade Organization. Read more in "Afghanistan Hopes W.T.O. Membership Can Reboot Its Battered Economy", The New York Times, December 9, 2015.

Heart of Asia Conference. Pakistan hosted the Heart of Asia conference which aimed to strengthen the peace process in Afghanistan and also improve economic and political cooperation in Afghanistan and among its neighbors. Twenty-seven countries participated. No word yet on whether Pakistan will pledge to stop supporting the Taliban with intelligence, training, support, money and sanctuaries. Read a news report on the conference by Deutsche Welle, December 9, 2015. The results of the conference were less than encouraging; with Afghan and Pakistan diplomats holding firm to previous positions. (Gandhara Blog, Dec 9, 2015).

EU, Afghan, and US Meeting. Representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, European Union, and United States met in a side meeting during the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad to discuss preparations for future conferences (of course) and regional security and economic developments. See a press release by the European Union External Action dated Dec 9, 2015. See also a press statement by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December 10, 2015.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

German Probe into NATO Hit List

German lawmakers called for an investigation into reports that German military and intelligence agencies contributed to a NATO list of Taliban targets in Afghanistan. It seems, according to NATO documents, Germany added names of insurgents to the alliance's Joint Prioritized Effects List or JPEL. Hmmmm. Seems to me that when using intelligence in a counterinsurgency you would want to identify insurgents and place them on a priority list so they can be detained, captured, or neutralized. One method is to use the F3EAD process to 'attack the network' and maintain a prioritized list for targeting. Guess I am missing something here! Read more in "German Opposition Urges Probe Into NATO 'Hit List'", The New York Times, December 30, 2014.

Monday, December 29, 2014

NATO Troops End on Mission, Start Another

The end of 2014 sees the ISAF mission in Afghanistan end and the NATO Resolute Support Mission begin. The Afghan War, which has lasted over 13 years, has seen critics expound upon the successes and failures of the NATO mission thus far. Read more in "NATO troops end one Afghanistan mission, start another", Deutsche Welle (DE), December 27, 2014.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Germany and Resolute Support

Germany will continue its presence in northern Afghanistan under the Resolute Support mission after December 2014. It will keep over 800 troops in Afghanistan as well as a few CH-53 transport helicopters. Read more in "Germany says to keep up to 850 soldiers in Afghanistan", Reuters, November 18, 2014.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Germany and Uzbekistan Base Negotiations

Uzbekistan is squeezing Germany hard for allowing the use of the Termez Air Base in Uzbekistan. Germany uses the base as a transit point for personnel and equipment going into and out of Afghanistan; principally Camp Marmal located just outside the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Germany has committed itself to participation in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan that begins in January 2015. One would think that Uzbekistan would be interested in a secure Afghanistan especially in light of the threat that the IMU poses to its southern border but . . . not so much. Looks like the bank account balance is the driving issue for Uzbekistan; and they will worry about that jihad thing later. Read more in "Helicopter Crash Complicates Germany-Uzbekistan Base Negotiations", The Bug Pit (, October 28, 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chancellor Merkel Wants to Extend German Mission

Chancellor Merkel believes that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will not be ready by the end of 2015. She believes that they will need assistance beyond 2015. The biggest camp where the Bundeswehr is currently stationed is Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. That camp is scheduled to close next year at the end of 2015. Afghanistan is still plagued by a thriving drug trade, rampant corruption, and a resilient Taliban. Germany has been the third-largest contributor of troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Read more in "Merkel wants to extend Afghan mission", The Local DE, October 13, 2014.

Friday, October 10, 2014

German Soldiers 'Stranded' in Afghanistan

The German military's ability to transport equipment and troops is getting some bad press. Seems the Luftwaffe is hurting with problems getting its jet fighters into the air and mechanical breakdowns of its cargo and troop transports. Many of the German Soldiers stationed in northern Afghanistan are having difficulty taking their mid-tour leave and that is causing some problems (Their tours are 4-6 months long and they can head home for a break from the action; usually in the middle of their long tour). Read more in "German soldiers 'stranded' in Afghanistan as more planes breakdown", The Telegraph, October 1, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Germany's View of the Future of Afghanistan

Germany has held a leading role in Afghanistan from the early days of the conflict. Besides placing a number of personnel to serve on the ISAF and IJC staff they have deployed a significant number of troops to Regional Command North (now called TAAC North). MG Dieter Ernst Warnecke was the deputy commander of the ISAF Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan in 2013 and a former commander of Regional Command North in Mazar-i-Shariff. He provides his perspective on the future of Afghanistan in "Afghan combat mission definitely over", Deite Welde (DW), September 21, 2014.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Germany to Continue Deployments to Afghanistan

It appears that Germany will extend its mission in Afghanistan to at least December 2014 and possibly beyond. The commitment of troops beyond December 2014 would be dependent upon the next Afghan president (it certainly will not be Karzai) signing the Bilateral Security Agreement or BSA with the United States. If the BSA is signed then Germany would take part in the functionally-based Security Force Assistance mission called Resolute Support. For the last decade Germany has provided troops to the north of Afghanistan with assistance from other Nordic and European countries. Read more in "German deployments extended to Afghanistan, Mali",, February 5, 2014.

Monday, January 13, 2014

German Defense Ministry Mum on Security Incidents

Following the lead of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) the German Defense Ministry is putting a lid on information pertaining to security incidents in northern Afghanistan citing the lack of accurate reporting from Afghan National Security Forces. However there are some skeptics that think this is more of a "report only good news" whenever possible and "avoid bad news". In addition, there is the 'information operations' aspect to only reporting good news. As part of the withdrawal process ISAF and its Coalition partners want to advance the narrative that troops are being pulled out of Afghanistan because the lead for security has been successfully transferred to the ANSF and the ANSF is doing well enough at this point in time. Bleak assessments of the security situation don't support the ISAF narrative. Read more in "German Defense Ministry closes files on Afghan security incidents", DW DE, January 8, 2014.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The IMU Targeted by ISAF in Northern Afghanistan

Map of Uzbekistan
As ISAF goes through its withdrawal process in northern Afghanistan its ability to affect the battlefield is being restricted more and more. Germany, the major player for ISAF in the north, is slowly withdrawing as well. However, the insurgents still have a presence. That includes the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or IMU. The IMU is linked with al Qaeda and has been a persistent thorn in the side of ISAF for a number of years. Lately, ISAF has been paying more attention to the IMU. Read more on the topic in "ISAF targets IMU suicide bombing network following deadly attack", The Long War Journal, March 18, 2013. Read more news reports about the IMU.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A German Perspective on Afghanistan War

A retired general officer of the German Bundeswehr (German Army) has wrote an article entitled "German Perspective On Lessons Learned From Afghanistan - Analysis", posted on Eurasia Review - News and Analysis, on March 10, 2102. The author is LtGen (Ret) Dr. Ulf von Krause, a retired officer of the German Bundeswehr. The article describes the scope of deployments of the Bundeswehr to Afghanistan ranging from 100 members of German Special Forces (GERSOF) in the early part of the war to over 5,000 troops to participate in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). At first German troops were stationed in and around Kabul but eventually the German forces moved into Northern Afghanistan and commanded Regional Command North (RC North). The author discusses the Rules of Engagement (ROE), types of missions, the multilateral aspect of German commitment to the Afghan conflict, German support of the NATO alliance, the difference in objectives of ISAF (stabilization and political reconciliation) and the US (combat operations), the German populations' perception of the war, parliamentary process and the escalation of the German participation, lessons learned, and the future of Afghanistan after 2014. A very good read. Access the article here.