Germany plans to boost its military presence in Afghanistan. Markus Potzel, Germany's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks about the challenges lying ahead, emphasizing that the Bundeswehr is "not on a combat mission any more."
The German government has opted to extend the Bundeswehr's mission in Afghanistan for another year. The move defies concerns that the US is preparing to pull out of the country, rendering Germany's contribution futile.
The US defense secretary has vowed to coordinate with NATO allies if Washington decides to withdraw from the war-torn country. Germany has welcomed the pledge, saying the next steps will be discussed by NATO ministers.
The Bundeswehr provides Catholic and Protestant clergy for soldiers, but no spiritual counsel for Muslims. According to the government, key questions must be answered before the Bundeswehr's religious ranks are expanded.
Seventeen years of war, tens of thousands dead, millions in need of humanitarian assistance — the call has long sounded for peace in Afghanistan. But can talks with the Taliban succeed without the Afghan government?
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