Tuesday, January 26, 2010

500 more Germans for ISAF/Update: But supposed NATO troop increase shortfall

Further to the Update here, a nice bit of incrementalism--not much prospect of serious combat value, looks rather like force protection, but at least they're increasing, not quitting:
Germany Pledges 500 Extra Troops Plus Big Aid Increase
The German government, facing pressure from its NATO partners to pledge more troops for Afghanistan, said on Tuesday it will offer to send an additional 500 troops, plus 350 soldiers as a "flexible reserve," and will double reconstruction aid.

Speaking two days ahead of the London Afghanistan conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin will also provide €50 million ($70 million) to a €350 million international fund to persuade Taliban insurgents to lay down their arms, and will almost double annual development aid to €430 million from the originally planned €220 million.

Merkel has to balance NATO demands for more German troops with the need to persuade a deeply skeptical German public that the mission is worthwhile [our government just gave up on persuading].

"This will be a new approach in the future, namely protecting the population and training Afghan soldiers in one go. This is a much more defensive approach, for which the German army's offensive capacities will be rearranged [emphasis added]," Merkel told a news conference.

Focus on Training

The additional troops will be used to help train the Afghan military and to protect the existing German force in Afghanistan. Germany currently has 4,300 troops in Afghanistan, the third-biggest contingent behind the United States and Britain.

The German parliament will have to vote on the troop increase because the government at present only has a mandate for 4,500 troops in Afghanistan. Merkel is scheduled to outline her new Afghan strategy in parliament on Wednesday [Jan. 27]...
Wonder if our marvelous media will give the increase any coverage. I mean should not the Canadian public know that some nice Eurofolks, like those Germans, are actually raising their troop commitment? You know, just so Canadians can have some, er, perspective.

Update: Could find almost nothing in our media. Meanwhile NATO once again not cracking up to all it might try to be:
NATO struggling to fulfill commitments for more troops in Afghanistan
Afstan: Less to any NATO surge than meets the eye


Blogger Positroll said...

"not much prospect of serious combat value"
Depends how you look at things. Good points over here:

"As for Kunduz, it could end up with a good pack of reinforcements: it would lose a combat company due to the QRFs assignment to different tasks, but effectively gain two others which will now be relieved from force protection tasks. That brings the number of combat companies in Kunduz from four to five - and eventually to eight, if the PRT requests so. And then add a German-led force of two Afghan mixed infantry Kandaks. If properly exploited, the German potential in Kunduz alone would rise from 400 troops to about 1.000, plus a now properly deployed joint Afghan-German force of about 1.100 men. Last but not least our American friends have decided to deploy an additional combat batallion to Kunduz, too.
So RC-N could have almost 3.000 combat troops in Kunduz soon, up from 400 today."

5:27 p.m., January 26, 2010  
Blogger Positroll said...

Talking about offensive potential:

about 600 coalition troops, of which roughly 500 are Germans infantrymen, have started another advance into the rebellious Chahar Dara district of Kunduz province.


Oh,and it seems like the US is sending up to 5000 men to the RC North, not 2500 as so fas assumed:
(in German)

11:40 a.m., January 29, 2010  

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