A.When the last German soldiers returned from Afghanistan at the beginning of July, hardly anyone had expected that the Bundeswehr would have to return to the Hindu Kush for a dangerous mission just a few weeks later. But the lightning victory of the Taliban left the federal government and the Bundestag no choice but to send paratroopers and other special forces to rescue German nationals and Afghan aid workers in Kabul.
Under the most difficult of conditions and at the risk of their lives – thirteen American soldiers were killed in the bomb attacks – they took more than five thousand people out of the Taliban state. So it was only right that the Defense Minister, the Defense Commissioner and the Inspector General should now collect the rescuers in Tashkent. German politics still had to make amends after the “silent arrival” eight weeks ago, when the commanding general alone received the returnees from Afghanistan on the airfield.
Nobody wanted to talk about war
At least at the bitter end of the Afghanistan campaign, the troops get audible and visible recognition that they have more than earned in the twenty years of this mission. He was often not properly appreciated because German politics did not want to look reality in the Hindu Kush in the eye. A war raged there, which at first Berlin was just as reluctant to talk about as it was about the fallen. For a long time, therefore, it was reluctant to equip the soldiers with heavy weapons.
Hopefully, however, the following applies: Reserve has peace. After withdrawing from the Hindu Kush, the Bundeswehr will not be sent to a new assignment abroad anytime soon; America is not the only one tired of intervention. After two decades at the edge of their resilience, the troops need time to breathe deeply. And the decision-makers in government and parliament have to thoroughly work through the lessons they were given in Afghanistan. The most important: When it comes to war, politicians are not allowed to lie to anyone, especially not to themselves.