October 20, 2009

Enough already, it's a war...

You think there is tension between the U.S. military and its civilian leaders? I wouldn't want to be in charge of political-military relations in the Bundestag:

Yet politicians in Berlin, including Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, dispute that Germany is fighting a "war" in Afghanistan.


They paint the troop presence as a "stabilization" mission and stress that the focus is on civilian reconstruction. This description is meant to reassure a public that remains deeply uncomfortable with the idea of German troops in combat, almost 65 years after the end of World War Two.


But the situation in Kunduz tells a very different story.


"All the soldiers in my company agree that this is war," said Captain Thomas K., 31, who faulted politicians for not discussing the mission and its dangers more openly with the German public.


"Fighting is always bad and one should avoid it if at all possible. But here, in this case, it can't be avoided. Definitely not."