...we need to breathe, says Nazir Peroz. He visits the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif, built in the 15th century and known for its magnificently decorated blue tiles. It's one of Afghanistan's most important pilgrimage sites.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has told Bundeswehr troops in Afghanistan they should prepare to stay in the country for the foreseeable future. This follows the Bundestag's decision to raise troop numbers.
A new government report on military and civilian engagement in Afghanistan makes no mention of progress. According to Berlin, the worsening security situation is severely hampering Germany's commitment to reconstruction.
Ursula von der Leyen is fighting on many fronts. Her Christmas visit to German troops stationed in Afghanistan highlighted her tension with the military and Berlin. DW's Udo Bauer reports from Mazar-i-Sharif.
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