Zu Guttenberg: “A secure future for Afghanistan cannot be achieved by military means alone”
The Federal Government put forward its own concept when it participated in the international Afghanistan conference in London at the end of January. This had been announced beforehand by Federal Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg in a press interview. This concept also contained a proposal regarding the number of Bundeswehr troops to be deployed in the Hindu Kush.
“Our motto is: A secure future for Afghanistan cannot be achieved by military means alone”, the Federal Minister stressed and went on to explain:
“The Federal Government will put forward its own proposals at the international Afghanistan conference in London at the end of January. This will not merely comprise proposals concerning future force levels.”
Concentrating on civilian measures will be crucial. With regard to the possible reinforcement of the German ISAF Contingent, the Federal Minister made the following clear:
“The figure of 2,500 additional troops cited from time to time is unrealistic.”
Boost and enhance training of security forces
At the same time, zu Guttenberg emphasised that he will not allow himself to be put under pressure by his NATO ministerial counterparts or by the USA’s wishes.
“I am not one to bend to peer pressure. I do not need any input from the USA to form my opinion,” said the Minister.
“The isolated calls for more combat troops do not do justice to Germany’s commitment so far. Of course our troops also fight. However, we are particularly committed to boosting and enhancing the training of security forces.”
The international Afghanistan conference took place in London on 28 January. In addition to representatives of the ISAF participant nations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Afghan President Hamid Karsai also took part in the conference.
Specific goals as well as verifiable intermediate steps through which the success of the international commitment, which began at the end of 2001, can be measured were agreed on at the London conference.