April 28th, 2010
08:21 AM ET

German support of Afghan war waning

A recent poll found 70 percent of Germans want to pull their troops out of Afghanistan. A majority of Germans favor their army, but outright support of military action is lukewarm, making Germany's Afghanistan policy a political minefield. And so earlier this year, the country leading NATO in Northern Afghanistan pledged only 500 additional soldiers — far fewer than allies have hoped.

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Filed under: Troops
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Onesmallvoice

    I hope that the Germans will finally come to their senses and realize their moral obligations and get out of Afghanistan.But Chancellor Angie Merkel is too busy pandering to the United States and doing everything Washington tells her to do that she has no sense of right or wrong like the other current European leaders.So many moral pygmies.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Murgen

    I'm surprised the Germans wouldn't support the operation in Afghanistan. If the Taliban win, and Afghanistan again becomes an Al Qeada pseudo-state, you can bet there will be more spectacular attacks in Europe like the attacks in the London and Spanish subways.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd rather our soldiers fight them in Afghanistan, then my mother or daughters have to fight for their lives after a terrorist bombing.

    Even if the German people don't support you. This German-American Texan supports what the German troops are doing over there. Your better men than I am.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. der schvaben

    Ich glaube das ist nicht richtig fur alles das euch nur deutsch gespriht haben.Sprechen sie in Afgan dershalb! danke

    April 29, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Daniel-2

    Da tut mir krank,das viele Amerikanische leute lieben diesen schweinische Krieg wo viele ortliche Leute taglich und notloslich sterben mussen.Das ekelt mich schrecklich.Und was wird Jesus davon denken?Ich hoffe das die deutsche Leute ihre Liebe fur diesen schmutzige Krieg bald verlieren werden.Auch hoffe ich,das es in Deutschland Sittlichkeit noch immer gibt!

    April 29, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. SM Hussain

    Es ist erstaunlich, dass auch die Supermaechte in Afghanistan gegen die Taliban allem Anschein nach, machtlos sind.
    Je schneller die Taliban wirksam entwaffnet wird, desto besser.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. james101

    If the US really needs more troups in Afghanistan why not round up all the illegal aliens in Arizona and other US states give them guns and uniforms then order them to hunt al qaida, taliban and bin laden. whoever survive wins a US Citizenship!

    April 29, 2010 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Daniel-2

    When will these right-wing thugs in Washington ever agree to pull out of Afghanistan like the Russians did back in 1989? Not in the near future,I know.Just like Adolf Hitler would never surrender to the Allies during WW2 I guess we're going to be in Afghanistan until these thugs are voted out of office.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. james roberts

    it's just a matter of time before US pulls out of Afghanistian. We're broke, in debt, and going deeper in debt each day paying for the Wars, oops- invasions.

    When the money runs out, USA's options will be limited to one choice... pull out.

    Soviets did in 1990's, USA is experiencing same today.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Terry

    As an American living in Germany, I definitely understand the reservations of the german people. German casualities have recently increased quite dramatically. Every dead soldier is a tragedy, whether they are American,German, British, etc.. However, the germans need to pull their weight within the NATO community. The alliance should not be divided between those nations that fight, and those that do not (as is now the case). America cannot afford to be the worlds sole policeman. We need help. If Germany suddenly withdrew from Afghanistan, the U.S. should take a hard look as to why 60,000 of our troops (12 times the amount of german troops presently stationed in Afghanistan) are still stationed in Germany itself, over twenty years after the fall of the iron curtain.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Phil

    "And there would be peace" he says.
    Isn't that what we hoped before 2001?

    April 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel-2

    In fact what Germany needs to do is to stop supporting this idiotic war and start to operate on moral principles and try to get other European countries to do likewise and maybe the United States,Great Britain and France will abandon their quest to conquer the Middle East altogether and then there could be peace.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Phil

    Poster 1 (Martina)commented on how sad it makes her to see falling Soldiers, regardless of nationality.
    Poster 2 (Nathan), I'm an American Soldier and a German-American. Growing up, while I still had an accent, I was called a Nazi all the time. I sympathize. I'm shocked that all of you are disregarding his experience so off-handedly. I'm not saying it happens a lot now, but I get comments, and the only "actions" required on my part are mentioning I'm from Germany, speaking it on the phone, or taking off my head-gear and showing off my very blonde hair. This while in uniform as well. Oftentimes it's in jest, while sometimes it is most certainly from ignorant individuals. It happens; don't doubt.
    Poster 11 (sic "Bush), very intelligent. Thanks.
    SSG Woolford, that would require the US to accept that it is not an internationally-needed war and that we don't need the NATO Article-5 imposed on our allies. While I agree to a certain extent about twisting Europe's arm to be there, I don't think Washington would be willing to fight the war alone. No way.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    With all due respect, kick the international troops out of Afghanistan. Tell em' to go home and hide, and let the United State's fight this war. I don't feel a lot of support from the international community, and they should really just go home.

    I don't mean to be jerk or any kind, but the United State's has helped Western Europe from oppression from the Soviet Union in the Cold War, helped the Europeans with ethnic cleansing going on in their backyard, and they are not willing to commit to fighting terrorism. If you don't don't finish the job in Afghanistan it will become another al-Qaeda launching point.

    I shouldn't be looking at it this way, but it really ticks me off how Europe is towards the United States.

    SSG James Woolford (MAR 1999 – JUNE 2008)
    B. CO 1-9 INF 2nd BCT, 2ID

    April 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. scott

    Don't forget V2s and Zeppelin technology.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Her Stiglitz

    Vat haus happened to ze fighting spirit auf zei German people? Ve should send Rammstien albums and hardcore german pornography to break ze veel auf ze Taliban.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  16. harry

    George, Grenada and Panama were tipping over a fruit stand. Iraq was not a war, it was a military operation, and it's success is questionable, given the current 7 year mess. Are you claiming victory in the current Iraq war? Too soon to tell, lets see where Iraq is in 18 months. I have doubts. I love America, just saying it like it is.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Daniel-2

    It's high time that the German people came to their senses and stop supporting this obscene war and their soldiers are not dying for Germany but the United States,Great Britain and France,instead.What the Germans need is a Chancellor who will put Germany first and foremost ahead of NATO and stop doing whatever Washington and London tells them to.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  18. A. Rojas

    As a former GI stationed in Ansbach, and an admirer of many things German, I feel I have some understanding of Germany's post-war aversion to any direct military involvement by Germany's sons and daughters. However, America and Germany are not just allies but friends. If Germany could use a little bit of help from the US, don't you think we would help you? So when the US could use a little bit of help from Germany, why would you be so opposed to supporting the long term goals of peace, freedom and democracyin Afghanistan alongside your friend? Friends help friends, nicht wahr?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Glockenspiel

    As a German born American and US citizen, having lived most of my life in the US, my feelings are mixed on this subject. America is a right-wing nation, and our militarism we accept along with large troop casualties. Germans are only in Afghanistan because they were sent in with NATO, otherwise they wouldn't be there at all. Germans are reluctant for war, and when the German soldiers talk about public criticism, I think of American soldiers, and those that hear the criticism coming from their own American countrymen. The reactions of German and American soldiers are the same, so it appears, although the forces that cause their reactions are completely divergent. Germans aren't afraid of their history, they just interpret it and hold onto it in a different way. Germans look at every conflict through the magnifying glass of a conceptual 1945, and judge based on those standards. Nationalism for military purposes is hard to stir in Germany, but you can bet with near certainty, Germany is less likely to be scared into unnecessary warfare, be exclusive to public opinion, and at the beck and call of an ignorant chief executive, Frieden, Freiheit, Gleichheit, und Stoltz.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  20. George

    Harry, u must be nuts. the US won the first Iraq war, not to mention Grenada, Panama, and the present Iraq war! U must be dellusional as Harry Reid, or another one of those hate America first nuts!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Adolph (Bush) Hitler

    Ve haf our vays zu end deise var, BlitzKrieg!

    Hiel Me! DWI Bush, der Konig of Morons.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  22. harry

    but on the other hand, America hasn't won a war since 1945.
    Except on TV, where America always wins.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  23. derek

    german soldiers need to learn from indian soldier??? omg...no way. im american and i find this statement ridiculous.!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Manmohan Lal

    German soldiers need to learn from India how to fight.

    Only then they will perform better against the taleban terrorists and their country will be proud of them and will want them to stay and help India and USA achieve their goals.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Matt B.

    I can understand Germans wanting to pull their troops out of there. Heck, isn't that what most Americans want of their troops? I think its high time that the world sees that there is no way to intervene in the Middle East. We need a way to get over our thirst for oil and leave. The people over there obviously like the way they are governed. Who are we to tell them what is right and wrong for them.

    And to post number 2. What are you trying to say? I have lived all across America from major cities to rural areas and never once have I seen anyone call a German American a nazi unless they were doing or saying something that warrants it... maybe you should look at your actions.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Tim L.

    wow, at post 1 no idea what she is saying, post 2 really people call you a nazi. Do you have a tatto that say WP. I have never known any germans or american\germans call nazi. my wife family that is full blooded germans that lived here during ww2 wasnt called nazi's post 3 col get back to the war and yes marine semper fi, post 4 spot on old chap. people we are at warn with taliban al queda and other groups. Yes it is not a popular war but what war is popular, especially to civilians that would rather bash it than support it. To win or at least get an 90% to 10% ratio that the afgan army and police can control. Guess what germany, majority of americans dont like this war either but we still send troops to get the job done and we dont give into public opion. We all need to stay the course and finish this the best we can plain and simple. To all the brave soldiers of the multi-nations that are on the ground and air, God's speed to all of you and return home safe.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Roger

    German politicians have failed their young men and women in uniform for decades. Now, by not calling this war a war, they have lulled the German public into thinking that the mission was to dig wells, pave roads, and paint schools in order to secure their area of responsibility. Sadly, the German politicians came to believe this themselves, with deadly consequences. Now the unpleasant reality is starting to sink in, but Germans were never confronted with the question of how to apply force in defeating the Taliban, and how Germany might contribute to that end. Little wonder then that Germans still believe this is not what they signed up for, and do not see how their freedom is affected by who wins in Afghanistan.

    It is painfully obvious that German politicians are incapable of treating their electorate as an informed citizenry.

    I would like to express my sympathy and gratitude to those Germans serving in theatre, and my heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones. Know that their sacrifice is being recognized and honored, if not in Germany, then at least here in the US.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Commandant Wilhelm Klink

    Wow I’m a German American and I can’t recall once in my entire life where anyone held any ill will or predigest towards me because I’m German. I’m shocked to hear you say that.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Col Gregory Breazile, USMC

    I am currently serving in Afghanistan with the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (www.ntm-a.com) and want all German's to know their troops are doing an amazing job in Afghanistan. As a U.S. Marine I am proud to serve with them because they are outstanding troops. We would not be able to accomplish our mission of training the Afghan Army and Police without our German contributions. Thanks to all Germans for your support!

    Semper Fidelis,


    April 28, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  30. Nathan von Counts

    Coming from a military familly I wish that die dons und policy makers ein washington realize the fact germany is the 3rd largest military presence ein afghanistan in present tense. I no longer want to be referred to as a nazi because I'm proud to be german american. Textbooks are written by the victors and I would bleed blue for america as the country that welcomes all that are righteous, however the fact is german americans are the largest europeon ethnic group and should be praised not belittled because average joes cant not see the big picture. Love for all who know, respect for those who know, but remain annymous. German-Americans are fighting for the (us), but Nationalized germans (R) shedding blood sweat und tears also. God bless all ameican und Nato troops you (R) all patriots in my book. 1516, Hey check out that sam adams, now that's american. USA#1. USA#1 USA#1. P.s. I am happy to report a new hire today: let's make sure these troops have jobs to go to when they come home to support their families. Let's make sure they know that true german americans and nationalized germans support them in their endevours to spread democracy throughout the world. May god bless are troops. May god bless america.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  31. Martina

    Ich persönlich weiss Euren Jpb wirklich zu schätzen,den Ihr dort leistet,aber es macht mich sehr traurig, wenn ich sehe,wieviele Soldaten In Aghanistan oder im Iraq gefallen sind, egal ob Deutsche oder von anderen Nationalitäten! Kommt gesund wieder heim1 God schütze Euch! Martina

    April 28, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |