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German soldiers in Afghanistan with the German flag
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M.Gambarini

Bundeswehr in Afghanistan: What you need to know

Chloe Lyneham
March 25, 2018

The German government has extended the German armed forces' mission to Afghanistan until March 31, 2019. DW looks at the Bundeswehr's role in the country.

  • The Bundeswehr is in Afghanistan as part of NATO's "Resolute Support" mission, which began on January 1, 2015, after the alliance's previous operation in the country, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ended on December 28, 2014.

Read more: How does Germany contribute to NATO?

  • There are 39 countries involved, with more than 13,000 personnel. The Bundeswehr had previously sent 980 troops, but in March the German government decided to increase this number to 1,300.
  • Map of Afghanistan, showing Mazar-e-Sharif, where German forces are deployed
  • The goal of the mission is to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces in the ongoing conflict with groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani network and the regional division of the Islamic State group. This assistance is divided into eight key areas: multiyear budgeting; transparency, accountability and oversight; civilian oversight of the Afghan security institutions; force generation; sustenance of forces; strategy and policy planning, resourcing and execution; intelligence; and strategic communications. The Bundeswehr is mainly involved in implementing these goals in the north of the country.
  • By the end of the first year, the mission had cost Germany €315 million.
  • The German government views the international intervention in Afghanistan since 2001 as a success: The number of children attending school has increased eightfold, women hold a better position in Afghan society, and there have been improvements made to health care and general infrastructure.
  • By the end of 2017, one German soldier had been killed in Afghanistan.
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