Sunday, December 17, 2006


As the BBC reports, German forces in Afghanistan are executing a "charm offensive":
"I think it's important to show people we're here to help them and not to occupy them," Lt Joerg Langer explained.

"We have different projects, in schools and elsewhere to assist the people so that they can build up their infrastructure."
The locals are clearly impressed:
"The British army, a bit, but the American armies more, in the south, already had a bad relation with people, not like the Germans," Bashir complained.

"They didn't behave good in the first time and now people hate them in the south. When they wanted to find Taleban, they randomly got in the house of the people without permission.

"It happened repeatedly and it's against Afghan culture. This never happened in the north between Germans and northern people."
There are, of course, reasons why the Germans are so charming and casual:
The Germans admit that the ethnic mix of northern Afghanistan, populated by Tajiks and Uzbeks, makes it easier to come to an understanding with the local community, than say for the British troops operating in the more hostile Pashtun-dominated south.

They also concede that Nato troops from Britain, America, Canada and Holland put themselves at much greater risk. But Germany remains reluctant to send its troops down south to back up Nato allies fighting the Taleban.
Sort of makes you yearn for the German army of old, now don't it?


Anonymous The_Real_JeffS said...

The Germans have the quiet part of Afghanistan, and criticize what happens in the hard part?

I'd settle for the Bundeswehr from the Cold War days.

12:27 AM  

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