October 15, 2013 By Christopher Alessi – Spiegel.de
In Afghanistan, dangerous combat has helped post-war Germany's reluctant armed forces gain self-confidence and expertise. But with the public and politicians loath to enter into new conflicts, what will the military's role be going forward?
The German military entered Afghanistan over a decade ago as a peacekeeping force tasked with aiding in the reconstruction and development of infrastructure and civil society. Today, it leaves the country as a combat force that engaged in deadly warfare.
The evolving role of the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, in the conflict has helped to dramatically reshape it as a more experienced and capable fighting operation. Yet the German public remains even more opposed to military engagement overseas than it was 10 years ago, calling into question what sort of role the Bundeswehr will play in supporting NATO and the United Nations in future international conflicts.