It is a historic moment: with the withdrawal of the last German soldiers from Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr mission in the Hindu Kush ended after almost 20 years.
It is a historic moment: with the withdrawal of the last German soldiers from Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr mission in the Hindu Kush ended after almost 20 years. The Federal Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday evening that the last Bundeswehr soldiers had left the country. The USA and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – and are currently withdrawing their last troops.
In December, the Bundestag passed the first mandate for German participation in the International Protection Force for Afghanistan (ISAF) with a large majority.
The UN Security Council decides to expand the ISAF mandate beyond Kabul. The Bundestag decides to deploy Bundeswehr soldiers in the northern Kunduz region. In 2006, Germany took over command of the ISAF troops in the nine provinces in the north of the country.
On the orders of the German Colonel Georg Klein, US fighter planes bomb two tankers hijacked by the Taliban in September. More than a hundred people are killed, including numerous civilians.
The Afghan security forces assume security responsibility for the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, in which the largest military camp of the German armed forces is located.
In October, the Bundeswehr hands over its camp in Kunduz to the Afghan security forces.
After 13 years, the international combat mission in Afghanistan ends in December. Thousands of foreign soldiers remain in the country as part of the “Resolute Support” mission to advise and train the local armed forces. The Bundestag resolves the mandate for participation in the follow-up mission with initially up to 850 Bundeswehr soldiers.
NATO and its partner states in Afghanistan undertake to continue the “Resolute Support” mission until the situation in the crisis state improves.
After negotiations with the radical Islamic Taliban, the US has promised a full withdrawal of its troops by May 2021. In return, the Taliban give security guarantees.
The US administration of President Donald Trump has announced that it will withdraw 2,500 of the roughly 4,500 soldiers in Afghanistan. The announcement will be implemented by January.
February 18, 2021
The NATO defense ministers are discussing how to proceed, but will not make a decision. First of all, the administration of the new US President Joe Biden should have the opportunity to review the agreements made by Trump and to develop its own position.
February 24, 2021
The Federal Cabinet decides to extend the Bundeswehr mandate, which runs until March 31, 2021, to the end of January 2022. The Bundestag approves the extension.
March 17, 2021
In an interview, Biden said that a complete withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan by May 1 would be “difficult”.
March 18, 2021
An international Afghanistan conference is taking place in Moscow with the participation of the Afghan government and the Taliban. The USA, China and Pakistan are also there.
April 14, 2021
US President Biden officially proclaims September 11th – the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks – as the end of the US troop withdrawal. The US mission in Afghanistan had “achieved” its original goal of combating terrorism. The foreign and defense ministers of the 30 NATO countries decide for their part to begin the withdrawal of their soldiers on May 1 “in an orderly, coordinated and deliberate manner”. All NATO troops are supposed to leave Afghanistan “within a few months”.
April 29, 2021
A NATO representative announced that the withdrawal of troops had begun. In the meantime, July 4th – the national holiday of the USA – is also being discussed as a complete withdrawal date.
June 29, 2021
Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) announces the withdrawal of the last Bundeswehr soldiers from Afghanistan: “After almost 20 years of service, the last soldiers in our Bundeswehr left Afghanistan tonight,” said the minister. “A historical chapter comes to an end.”
fs / noe / pw