Germany mulls extending deployment in Afghanistan

Published November 12th, 2015 - 08:00 GMT

Germany could expand its military commitment in Afghanistan for next year, news reports said late Wednesday.

The proposal to extend its field presence in the north of the country until the end of 2016 and boost numbers from 850 to 980 soldiers, was to be voted on by the cabinet as early as Wednesday, Spiegel Online reported.

Germany was originally planning to withdraw from its base in Mazar-i Sharif, around 400 kilometres north-west of Kabul, during the course of 2016, leaving just a smaller deployment in the capital.

Increasing the force was justified by greater demands on the German contingent in Afghanistan, where security conditions remain problematic, according to defence policy blog Augen Geradeaus! (Eyes Forward!), which first broke the news, citing unnamed government sources.

But the greater commitment would not represent a return to combat operations, for which Afghan government forces took primary responsibility at the end of 2014.

The German Defence Ministry did not confirm the reports overnight in response to a dpa inquiry.

The German military had up to 5,350 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led, 13-year combat mission, which ended last year.

NATO forces remain in a training and advising capacity under mission Resolute Support.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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