Germany, Konigshaus observed, is not used to other countries being so anxious to have German troops on their soil - reference to the Second World War, which still shapes policy.Oh, that is just rich. Konignshaus a comedian or just a tone deaf, spoiled Euroweenie? This is a serious subject that deserves a better cop-out than that. It has been over 60 years since you took off the hob-nailed boots. Get on with life. Sixty years after the U.S. Civil War was the middle of the 1920s for us. Southerners had their sackcloth and ashes off for, what...59 years by then?
Here is what really makes me mad; a first I thought he had to be a Socialist member of the SPD - but no, Konigshaus is from the FDP! If I was a German, that is the party I would be a member of. The horror!
As their conference nears its end, NATO parliamentarians were united Thursday on the need to bring more stability to war-torn Afghanistan, what they can't seem to agree on is who will do it.Liar! That is a bold faces lie. He knows it. NATO knows it. Murray Brewster who wrote the article should know it - and I know it.
A member of the German delegation, Hellmut Konigshaus, said his country is tapped out in terms of the number of troops it has overseas assignments. "We have Lebanon now and other commitments," he said.
At a reception following a closed-door session of alliance's defense and security committee, Konigshaus also denied that German troops are under any excessive restrictions that prevent them from taking up combat.
"They can go anywhere in Afghanistan," said Konigshaus, a member of the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's parliament.
It is open source knowledge that Germany along with other EuroPansies keep their troops in the safer north and west of Afghanistan where it is ethnically Uzbek, Tajik and a smattering of other former Northern Alliance Taliban haters dominate. They have a whole series of national caveats that stops them from going where the real war is - and therefore let better nations and men do the fighting for them while they stay all smug and yappy.
The problem is that now that other NATO nations are having to fight, on the "other side of the glass" as General Jones put it so well, they are starting to see what the US, UK and others (now CN and NL).
NATO commanders have asked for an additional 2,300 soldiers - or a combat battalion. Poland agreed last month to supply 900 soldiers, but many of those were due to be sent anyway.This is all over the Canadian press, and the German press as well. Rightfully so, Germany is catching a lot of heat. For NATO, outside the U.S. and Turkey, they have the largest fighting bulk. An military of ~250,000 people, the majority Army, they are not even close to being over stressed.
Canada, the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands have been lauded for carrying most of the fight but Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay warned a few weeks ago that Ottawa isn't prepared to carry on alone in Kandahar province.
A second committee report at the conference specifically chastised Germany, France, Italy and Turkey for not dispatching additional troops.
"At this point, no member country has heeded NATO's request for sending additional troops," wrote Bert Koenders, of the Netherlands.
"This is clearly unacceptable."
The U.S. has been particularly scathing in its backroom criticism of NATO members, pointing out that many European forces are not allowed to operate more than 80 kilometres away from their bases - limiting the amount of missions they can undertake and in some cases preventing soldiers from staying outside of the wire overnight.
Welcome to varsity football folks; cowboy up or shut-up.
BTW, want to drop Hellmut an email? Here you go. He even has a website.
As a side-note - I have nothing but the greatest respect for the German military. I have had the chance to serve with them. They are great professionals, and just like you and me - they just don't seem to have better beer. Good friends too. Their politicians though....