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Most Germany think Afghan mission 'not worthwhile'

Richard ConnorDecember 28, 2014

The majority of Germans don't believe the Bundeswehr's 13-year mission in Afghanistan has paid off, a survey has revealed. Only one in five thought sending troops was the right thing to do.

Bundeswehr in Afghanistan
Image: AFP/Getty Images/J. Eisele

Some 60 percent of the Germans questioned said their country's 13-year mission in Afghanistan had not been worth it, according to the poll carried out by YouGov.

Only about a fifth said that the mission - the official combat phase of which is set to end with an official ceremony in Kabul on Sunday - had been justified. Flags have already been lowered at some bases, including the combat command center at Kabul airport.

Answering the more general question of whether Germany should get involved in combat missions abroad, about 51 percent said it should not. Only 31 percent were in favor of such deployments, according to the poll commissioned by the German news agency dpa.

A total of 1,027 Germans were surveyed for the poll between December 17 and 19.

The NATO-led military alliance is set to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, although some 13,000 soldiers - mostly from the US - will remain to help train and advise Afghan security forces.

Germany will leave behind some 850 troops in the country on training duties, down from more than 5,000 when the country's deployment was at its height. Germany has lost 55 soldiers in Afghanistan.

Although the combat mission is being wound down, there are fears that a resurgent Taliban could prove too strong for Afghanistan's homegrown security forces.

Germany currently has some 2,700 soldiers deployed around the world, the fewest it has had in more than 15 years.