Germany To Extend Military Mission In Afghanistan

The mission was set to expire by the end of March, but is now expected to continue until the end of January 2022.

Germany is extending its military mission in Afghanistan by 10 months, as peace talks in the country continue.

Troops from Germany will now see their operation run until 31 January 2022, rather than April this year.

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer made the announcement, stating that a premature withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan could undermine strained efforts towards peace.

A 2020 peace deal brokered by the US-Trump administration had committed NATO to a full troop withdrawal by May this year.

However, the Taliban's failure to reduce violence against local forces and civilians, part of its side of the deal, has been widely criticised by the West and the Biden administration is currently reviewing the agreement.

The German army has been supporting NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan since 2015.

Currently, about 1,300 German troops are deployed on the mission.

Sunset behind Gardez mountains in Afghanistan 150618 CREDIT NATO
NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan began in 2015, which sees alliance forces support long-term security in the country (Picture: NATO).

Germany takes on training roles to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, as well as providing its own security in the area, humanitarian aid and air reconnaissance.

About 750 British troops are currently operating alongside them, on Operation Toral.

The number of US personnel in the country is 2,500 – the lowest since 2001.

Last week, NATO defence ministers put off a decision on whether to withdraw all alliance troops from the country.

Following the virtual meeting with her alliance counterparts, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer has now warned NATO troops need to prepare for Taliban violence if they remain in Afghanistan beyond the end of April.

Cover image: File photo of German troops (Picture: PA).