Feature

Germany: Afghanistan is Obama’s war, not ours

The fact that Obama felt he could unilaterally decide Afghan war strategy underscores what everyone has always known, &ldquo;that Afghanistan is an American war,&rdquo; said Martin Winter in <em>S&uuml;ddeutsche Zeitung.</

Martin Winter
Süddeutsche Zeitung

In all those months of meetings and deliberations on Afghanistan, there’s one group that President Obama failed to consult, said Martin Winter. That would be us Europeans, his NATO allies. Making his grand announcement of a troop surge in Afghanistan, Obama noted that Europe, too, must add more troops. Oh, really? “That is no partnership, but a demand for allegiance.”

Of course, Germany and other countries are partly to blame for the sorry state of the alliance. Instead of robustly debating our own Afghan strategy, we “abandoned the topic to the Americans.” Now, though, it’s time to “start asking questions.” In a democracy, you need a very good justification to send soldiers into battle. “Because the Americans want it” is simply not adequate. The fact that Obama felt he could unilaterally decide Afghan war strategy underscores what everyone has always known, “that Afghanistan is an American war.”

Germany will soon decide whether to send more military or civilian units to bolster our 4,400 troops already there. Unless we hear “more clarification” on just what the mission is and how it will end, the answer is likely to be no.

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