In a tattoo, German politicians would like to thank the soldiers of the Bundeswehr for their mission in Afghanistan. Frank-Walter Steinmeier also warns.
Munich / Berlin – The leaders of the state solemnly paid tribute to the achievements of the soldiers deployed in Afghanistan on Wednesday. However, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier drew an ambiguous assessment of the 20-year mission. Members of the Bundestag urged cross-party for a fundamental reappraisal of the operation. The highlight of the memory of the Afghanistan mission was a big tattoo by the Bundeswehr in front of the Reichstag building in the evening.
The highest military ceremony was held on the Platz der Republik with torchbearers and several pieces of music – and accompanied live by ARD *. In the afternoon, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) * took part in a closing roll call on the parade ground of the Federal Ministry of Defense.
Zapfenstreich: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel there
After the fall of Kabul, many people asked “questions about the meaning of this mission”, Steinmeier said at the event. He expressed his conviction that the mission was originally correct.
“We have achieved our military goal of defeating those who, twenty years ago, brought terrible terror to our allies from Afghanistan,” said the Federal President. “But we did not achieve our ambitious goal of building stable state structures in Afghanistan.”
The Federal President expressly praised the achievements of the more than 150,000 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan – and the sacrifices they made. He particularly remembered the 59 German soldiers who died in the Afghanistan mission. “We are deeply indebted to them,” said the Federal President.
Zapfenstreich: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls for German protection obligations
He also referred to those who are still struggling today with the consequences of their efforts – physically or mentally. Steinmeier also warned that the German duty to protect the Afghan aid workers should be honored, most of whom were left behind in the hasty withdrawal of troops and many of whom “today fear for their lives”.
“Today is the day to say thanks and show respect,” said Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU). However, she called for the deployment to be discussed “with the necessary degree of self-criticism”. In the future, operations would have to be “based on clear mandates and realistic goals”. However, it would also not do justice to the achievements of the soldiers “if we condemn 20 years of commitment as a disaster and catastrophe”.
In the video: Big tattoo in front of the German Bundestag
Before the roll call, Steinmeier, Kramp-Karrenbauer and other state representatives took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Bundeswehr Memorial on the premises of the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the Federal President spoke to survivors and disabled people.
Zapfenstreich: Wolfgang Schäuble thanks soldiers of the Bundeswehr
Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) thanked the soldiers at an event before the tattoo on behalf of Parliament. “The assignment we placed could not be fulfilled as we had hoped,” he said. “It wasn’t up to you. Parliament must also look for and name the reasons for this. And it has to draw conclusions from it. “
The Greens, the FDP and the Left are calling for an investigative committee of the Bundestag to come to terms with the Afghanistan mission. Criticism in parliament was met by the fact that Federal Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer held an event to start accounting for the operation at the beginning of October and thus before the constituent session of the new Bundestag. MPs and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) stayed away from the debate, pointing out that it was a bad time. (AFP)