German Defence Ministry to begin debate on Afghanistan




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German Defence Ministry says it will, from Oct. 6, begin a debate on the lessons learned from the German armed forces’ 2nd decade-long mission in Afghanistan.

Conclusions are also to be drawn for other missions, like in the West African country of Mali.

Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, plan to speak at the kick-off meeting, which is scheduled to start at 11 a. m (0900 GMT).

Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and Defence politicians from the Greens Free Democrats (FDP), Social Democrats (SPD) and CDU/CSU conservative bloc have been cancelled.

Reference was made to an inappropriate time shortly after the Bundestag elections.

The launch of the stock-taking was originally planned for the end of August, but it was postponed because of the military evacuation operation in Kabul after the unexpectedly quick victory of the Taliban.

The debate now includes Brigadier General Jens Arlt, Commander of the German forces in the airlift from Kabul.

Also Brigadier General Ansgar Meyer, the last Commander of the last German contingent deployed in Afghanistan.

Defence minister said a historic chapter has come to an end and the mission in Afghanistan has challenged.

He said that it has also shaped the Bundeswehr and has proven itself in combat.

“Members of the Bundeswehr have been wounded in body and soul, people also lost their lives and we had casualties.”

Meanwhile, during the 20-year mission, 59 men from the ranks of the Bundeswehr died.

Germany operated a Bundeswehr base in Kundus in northern Afghanistan which was captured by the Taliban on Aug. 8.

A week later the Taliban took power in capital Kabul, leading western countries to leave the country.

(dpa/NAN)