Photo: DPA

Germany to send 1,200 police to Afghanistan

Published: 10 Oct 09 13:32 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091010-22475.html

Germany is set to send 1,200 police to Afghanistan to train local law enforcement in a major boost to its commitment to the war-torn country, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

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An official request for the officers would come in the next week from NATO, the magazine reported, citing sources within the transatlantic alliance.

The German officers would be needed for the “NATO Training Mission Afghanistan,” which is due to start in April.

Under the program, some 10,000 foreign instructors would train the Afghan security forces as part of a major push by NATO to ready the strife-torn country to manage its own security affairs.

This is seen as vital if countries such as Germany, the United States and Great Britain are to begin withdrawing their military forces from the country.

With the Afghanistan war becoming increasingly unpopular, most political leaders are eager to start looking towards exit strategies for their soldiers.

It is widely expected that US President Barack Obama will ask Chancellor Angela Merkel to contribute more towards Afghanistan now that the election is behind her.

A spokesman for Germany's Interior Ministry said: “We are not aware of such a demand from NATO.”

Security experts in Berlin said Saturday it would be difficult to mobilise that many German police for such a mission.

“That exceeds all the limits,” one said.

German police, unlike soldiers, can only be deployed overseas if they give their consent.

The ministry spokesman said Germany presently had 110 police officers deployed in Afghanistan and that this was more than had ever been there previously. By mid-2010, the figure would rise to about 200 under the present plan.

They had helped train about 30,000 Afghan security personnel in the past few years, the spokesman said.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article:

14:41 October 10, 2009 by HansJans
ah...germany style radar triggered traffic cameras!!
16:20 October 10, 2009 by kato
If they make it voluntary for the states to detach officers for this again (like in all previous police deployments), we'll see maybe a third of that number arrive. And none of them from Bavaria.
16:38 October 10, 2009 by Oblomov
The Bund cannot force any Land to deploy police officers to Afghanistan. The Bund itself can only send Bundespolizei (formerly BGS) officers. Moreover, police offers probably can only be deployed as volunteers.
19:42 October 10, 2009 by Oblomov
WTF? I post a simple statement about the legal situation and it gets voted down? Some twats in this forum seem to have a massive problem with reality.
19:46 October 10, 2009 by Steve Shadforth
well they've got all else to do here, except catch people driving too fast
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