Analysis, Europe, Side Feature
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The Extension of the German Army’s Mission in Afghanistan and Mali

After the German Parliament approved on 13/3/2020 to extend the mission of the German army in Afghanistan (Resolute Support Mission – RSM). Also, on 29/5/2020, the parliamentarians voted to extend its participation in the so-called United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and additionally to extend the participation in the “training mission of the European Union in Mali” (EUTM). Thus, the German foreign and security policy will remain dependent on the American or French initiatives without taking into account German‘s self-interests within the framework of a special and appropriate strategy to build positive relations with the Islamic countries.

Specifically, on Friday 13/3/2020, it was decided to extend the mission of the German Federal Army in Afghanistan for another year. The mission of the 1,300 German soldiers in Afghanistan is to “rehabilitate, support, train and provide advisory services to the Afghan national defence and security forces, with priority given to the ministerial sphere and the field of national institutions…” This was also stipulated in the government request submitted to the Parliament. On Friday, 29/5/2020, members of Parliament voted to extend the operations of the German army in Mali to 31/5/2021. It is worth noting that the decision to extend the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) provides for the expansion of the scope of its operations over the entire Malian territory as well as on all the five coastal countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad), and for an increase in the number of forces while shifting the heavy centre for their operations in the field of military training and providing military advice to places “closer to the places of clashes.” The aim of the United Nations Mission (MINUSMA), as stated in the text, “is to enable the Malian government, in the medium and long term, to ensure security throughout its entire territory, to create confidence among the people in government elements and accept their legitimacy”.

Thus, the Federal Republic of Germany is increasing its participation in military missions that are a failure in public consideration. By concluding a peace agreement with the Taliban movement recently, the United States of America recognized that its occupation of Afghanistan, which has passed since nineteen years, will not continue in its current form, and the “Waqf Foundation for Science and Politics” (SWP) mentioned in an analysis of it as: “Not least, given the upcoming US presidential elections, political indicators point towards a complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan”.  Although the United States of America will definitely seek to maintain its influence in Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of the bulk of its forces, German soldiers will have no choice but to withdraw with their American colleagues and return empty-handed, unless the decision-makers in the White House assign them some role for a while after the occupation. According to the opinion of experts, the mission of international forces in Afghanistan cannot be maintained in its current form if the American forces withdraw from there by April 2021. Whatever the case, the end result of this task is disappointing, as an official government report has proven (SIGAR) the US special envoy to Afghanistan states that several US presidents with their entire apparatus consisting of the government administration and the armed forces have failed to achieve their strategic goals in Afghanistan, whether in the field of combating terrorism or building and rehabilitating government institutions.

As for the mission of the German army in Mali, the indications are similarly bad. As is the case in Afghanistan, the German participation there is dependent on the initiatives of other countries. For MINUSMA is the resumption of the French army’s operation called Operation Serval, while the EUTM which was expanded over the five coastal countries, is an extension of the Operation Barkhane that the French forces also started. Both tasks enable France to maintain its influence in northwest Africa, a region in which Germany does not have any vital interests, whether in the current or historical perspective. Moreover, international missions in Mali – as in Afghanistan – are threatened with failure on all levels! The Waqf Foundation for Science and Politics (SWP) says in its recent report: “After the military attacks were confined to northern Mali, they gradually spread to other regions and to neighbouring countries”. The Malian government forces, the French forces, and the Joint International Forces (MINUSMA) were not able to cope with the policy of “needle pricks” that they are subjected to at the hands of the armed movements. They failed in the past and they fail now!

In light of this, we in Hizb ut Tahrir in German-speaking countries advise decision-makers in the German Foreign Ministry to think carefully about the feasibility of the current alliances in which Germany is involved with and the German foreign and security policy on which it is built and to ask themselves: Is continuing in the current course really in Germany’s interest? Rather, Germany, instead of walking as a junior partner in support of the strategic interests of other countries, should resume its positive historical relationship with the Islamic countries, to prepare its equipment for the inevitable conflict with its competitors in the arena of geopolitical conflict. In light of the collapse of the structures of international alliances, Germany will discover that its competitors are located in its immediate vicinity and in Washington and Moscow, and not in the near or Middle East as it is imagined. Any additional extension of those military missions and any association with the international powers whose economic, foreign and security policy in Islamic countries is colonial aggressive par excellence will limit Germany’s ability to build a positive strategic relationship with the Islamic countries.

 

Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in the German-Speaking Countries

Thursday, 13th Shawwal 1441 AH

04/06/2020 CE

Ref. 1441 AH / 05

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