September 30, 2005:
Germany is expanding its troops strength in Afghanistan from 750 to 3,000. While Germany made a big deal of their opposition to the removal of Saddam Hussein, they have always been enthusiastic about their peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan. German troops have been there since 2001, when German commandoes were sent in. These troops were the first Germans to experience combat in over half a century. That’s the longest Germany has ever gone with out its soldiers getting into a battle with someone. The German commandoes were followed, in 2002 by regular German troops, who were part of a peacekeeping force stationed in Kabul. But starting in 2004, the NATO force began to send detachments to other Afghan cities. That effort has been successful in aiding the reconstruction effort, and Germany will supply more troops to expand the effort further. The NATO troops have not seen much combat, but their presence not only discourages Taliban gunmen, but also al Qaeda terrorists, warlord militiamen and bandits. Germany has also been quietly providing training for Iraqi officers.