Until now, Afghanistan has not played a big part in the run-up to Germany’s elections but Friday’s NATO bombing changed all that. With three weeks to go, Chancellor Angela Merkel could find herself paying a heavy political price for German involvement in the civilian deaths in Kunduz.
The national press is full of headlines reflecting the fact that it was the German military that ordered a US warplane to carry out the deadly air-strike. That is hardly likely to boost support for Germany’s mission in Afghanistan which is already deeply unpopular at home.
The Greens are calling for a major re-think of the campaign, urging greater emphasis on a civilian rather than a military strategy.
German Green Party Co-Leader Claudia Roth slammed the government and Defence Ministry. According to Roth,NATO has criticised the government’s unwillingness to clarify the situation surrounding the bombing.
German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung has defended the air-strike, stressing the danger posed by fuel tankers in Taliban hands.
Today, in Kunduz province, four German soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were hurt in a suicide attack