Germany, under great pressure from its NATO allies to allow its
troops to join the fight against the Taliban, has made a gesture. So far,
Germany has resisted calls to allow its combat troops in Afghanistan to
actually engage in combat. However, mindful off all the ill-will this policy is
creating with its allies, Germany has offered to send five Tornado warplanes to
Afghanistan. These aircraft would only be used for reconnaissance (no dropping
bombs, smart or otherwise), and would be available for taking pictures all over
Afghanistan. This is another empty offer, as most reconnaissance these days is
carried out with UAVs, which can stay over a target area for hours at a time.
However, there will be some work for the Tornados dated reconnaissance
capabilities. So it's not a complete waste, although some German politicians
are trying block even this effort.
air force detachment will contain about 250 troops. Germany already has 3,000
troops in Afghanistan, and will withdraw some so that these new air force
troops do not push the number over 3,000.
troops have seen combat in Afghanistan. A detachment of German commandos
arrived in Afghanistan during December, 2001. Shortly thereafter, the German
commandos held a little ceremony to celebrate the first combat action by German
soldiers in 56 years. When word of that got back to Germany, there was a bit of
tiff, as Germany has been tried to get away from warfare since 1945. The
struggle continues in Afghanistan. All this is believed to emanate from guilt
over the great slaughter Germany inflicted on Europe during World War II. Less
mentioned is the fact that Germany lost the last two wars it fought in, big
time. So there might be more, unspoken, reasons for being gun shy,
than the obvious ones.