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well, its really not the germans duty to move in and clean up after the US has invaded some other country and lost interest in true nation-building - just after everyone who looked suspiciously like a terrorist was flown out to some camp and named "unlawful combatant" ;)

I asked my son after his tour of Afghanistan what the Germans were doing. His response was: "What Germans?"

Moracus - Thank you for the People's Democratic Republic point of view. How's that latest 5-year plan going? Oh, wait...

With respect to Germany's commitment to NATO, I guess President Kennedy's words in June 1963 don't mean too much these days: "So let me ask you as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind." Nice to know that all the American and other NATO soldiers who put themselves in harm's way to protect Germany, and specifically West Berlin, from Communist aggression over those many years could ultimately "count on" Germany when the chips are down.

As American Tom Paine said in December 1776, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated."

Thanks for the post moracus. You prove what I always knew which is that NATO is a sham.. envoke article 5 afer several thousand people are mass-murdered and then do nothing. Flounder, whine, make gestures and then utilize a simple request (ie. pull your weight) for interal political theater.

Never again.

Many of our soldiers aren't satisfied with the situation themselves. All they do is sit in their base. The politicans and high ranking officers in the Bundeswehr don't want it to be different. That's the problem.
But I have heard that we will send some combat troops to replace the Norwegians in a Quick Reaction Force. This is the first time I believe that Germany sends dedicated combat troops (as opposed to stabilization etc.) Maybe it is a trend. At least I hope so.

The Germans have yet to fight a war for the freedom of other people and have never stood nationally for this principle. They have fought wars to enslave other people; there seems to be no consensus and no history for the liberation of other peoples as a living tradition within the German population. A national debate in Germany is needed as to why it would be okay to allow Afghanistan to become a failed state, a harbor and safe refuge for terrorist training camps, because this was what it was seven years ago. This smug contempt for Americans and Canadians and other soldiers losing their lives -- or the incomprehension on the part of many glib-talking Germans as to why such a sacrifice and commitment might be necessary -- can be frustrating. So the debate should become about what it means to safeguard German freedom WITHOUT REFERENCES TO AMERICA, which has certainly done enough to protect and defend this Central European country of eighty million since 1945 ... let's say until at least 1989. Let Chancelor Merkel say what the stakes are; let the SPD and the German left, which is for the most part mainstream German opinion, apply demagogery and anti-American arguments about the special case of Germany. What does the German polity stand for? One asks this. Why would it would be in their interest to defend their freedom from these Islamists in Afghanistan; let 'em talk on. We'll say what the debate brings.

Sorry! The last sentence should read: We'll SEE what the debate brings, not "we'll say."

I think svetov got it exactly right. Great post!

Wouldn't the German attitude be akin to the Slave master who excerts the moral high road and let his underlings, in this casr the North Americans do the dirty work so he can keep his hands clean?
His whip seems to be the excuse of never ending rhetoric and denegration of his underlings. The master(race) knows best and everyone better obey. These self proclaimed aristocrats will never stoop so low as to actually actively help those perceived Savages of a foreign Country. It may get them dirty?


SREW THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a no-win situation for Germany. Nothing long-term is being accomplished in Afghanistan...and the public has begun to realize that. They have to send troops to make contribution...but neither the politians or the military commanders care to explain any deaths amongst the troops who deploy. The media and the public want answers each time this occurs. When anyone (either American or German) asks the Afghans when the troop contribution can begin to decrease....there is no answer.

I think if we all opened our eyes...and pondered just how and when this can come to an end...we'd grasp that currently...there is no end in sight...and probably never will be. Aristocrats, patriots, and savages aside....our willpower is the lives of GIs (American, British, German, etc)...and little else. I rarely come to agree with Germans...but on this vision of reality....they are correct. You fight for something and either win or lose....you don't conduct "police-actions" and expect anything beyond the sun coming up tomorrow.

Especially Germany has profited from our membership in NATO, arguably the most effective and successful alliance of all times. This effectiveness and success however was obviously to a large extent thanks to the commitment of few nations, especially of course from the US. Had the American people not spent virtually billions of dollars and shed the blood of many of their children, Europe would most certainly be in a much worse condition than it is. For that, the US will forever deserve the gratitude of all free nations in Europe. Unfortunately, people forget easily. :-(

That said, unfortunately all good things seem to come to an end some time. Maybe NATO was indeed too successful in the way that many people take our security and liberty for granted. On the other hand, there hasn't really been the necessary discussions about the future role of the alliance after the single threat from the Soviet Union was gone. Today, we are facing Islamofascism as the main threat (although there are clearly visible writings on the wall that there also might lie more conventional conflicts ahead). Anyway, left-wing ideology, political correctness, Anti-Americanism and BDS prevent much of Europe including Germany from seriously discussing the potential of danger that Islamofascism presents to their nations. You can't expect them to commit much resources to a fight against an enemy they don't (want to) see.

Another impression that may be politically incorrect, but nevertheless: People are against "war", against American "occupation", and for "peace". But no one who promotes leaving a young nation alone to once again fall in the hands of the enemies of all civilisation can tell me that (s)he truly cares for the people and the wellbeing of that nation.

In the long term, I fear that the (factual) end of NATO might not be far away, which of course be especially bad for exactly those nations that do have a weak defense. The US will then need to form a new alliance with willing nations. Poland allowing to install the missile defense system seems a sign of hope in this regard.

Finally: I hope our American friends will come to their senses end elect a conservative president. It is essential that the US continues to be a beacon of freedom, liberty and free speech and that it continues to be a strong leader of the free world.

Let's keep this all in perspective. We must recognized and respect Germany's decision. Let us also recognize that the 1948 Secretary of State Marshall looks real foolish today. Like most Americans I've always been baffled with this so-called "alliance" with Germany and granting them the "Most Favored Nation" status.

We now see the total waste of the decisions to spend $1 trillion, protect in dozens of Courts of Laws around the world from 50 plus nations and ethnics groups who demanded reparations, but worst of all: station 16 million US troops on German soil over the course of 50 years. Their sole and embarrassing purpose was to ensure that the European would not do what they are predisposed to do throughout its past three thousand year history -- fight and slaughter each over.

This isn't about the US needing help, its about the 26 million people of Afghanistan needing help -- we don't need any German (or French) help.

Just last decade in 1999 the EU was screeched and pulled its hair out over Kosovo -- the US stepped forward and provided 90 percent all the combat missions.

Now on behalf of the Afghan people, an "ally" asks for help.

heh! I am delighted they said no.

One day soon, in an ever changing and hostile world a panicked EU will ask for assistance from NATO and the UN, and next time as a voter I will do my part to ensure that Congress will just send a supply ship and.....maybe some engineers.

This all good for American people, after all we're just "allies".

Not good.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer joined the debate on Afghanistan and has increased pressure on Germany to deploy troops in the hostile south of the country where Taliban insurgency is strongest.

De Hoop Scheffer told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Germany should expand its military activities in Afghanistan. Germany should "stick to its guns".

Jaap de Hoop is a little too pro-American for my liking. I understand his mandate is up soon and hopefully NATO (and the USA) will get a Secretary-General that's a little more hostile to the US.

While Germany's decision is not good for the Afghan people - but it is good for the American people.

Let's respect it Mr. De Hoop Scheffer

best regards

I read the last few comments and don't know what to think. NATO should be dissolved; Germans are being somehow prescient in their wisdom about the alleged hopelessness of Afghanistan? Meanwhile, the truth is staring everyone in the face: if the Afghani state fails, you get the terrorist camps, crazy Islamist oppression of the people and an alliance with all the nutcases in Pakistan, who are a problem FOR THE WEST as well as for Pakistan and its neighbors. Multilateralism counts for a lot of empty talk when it comes to NATO, it seems; U.S. unilateralism was decried by the Germans, but in NATO it seems to be de rigueur, for it means the United States military has to do most of the heavy lifting. Maybe it is a good idea not to have the Germans as allies. That is a mighty big step, however! The American military is now dependent on troop deployment from bases in Germany, not to speak of the medical facilities in Landstuhl. The German public and the politicians and media do not seem to be easy to convince of the fact that there is a threat emanating from Afghanistan, not to speak of Pakistan -- threats not from the Afghani and Pakistani governments but emanating from the multitude of madrassas and volunteers who are dying to wage jihad. I chalk some of it up to German feuilleton writers, a mainstream leftist climate of opinion plus Germany has a long tradition of "understanding" Middle Eastern and South Asian lands and their traditions. The anti-Semitism, respect for "old and tried and true" ties (see the Mufti, Iraq coup d'etat in 1941, RAF and leftist "sleepwalkingly accurate" alliances with the Palestinians and so on), plus a virulent anti-capitalist and anti-American ideology, which is inherent in jihadist ideology, are .. what? What is going on? What is brewing in the German population? Or are we all selling the German polity short? Perhaps the American military should use the advantages it has in Germany and forgot the rest of the story. The problem is, it seems, that once America makes out the Germans to be no longer allies, then a visceral enmity occurs ... I think this is being half-consciously and unconsciously averted on the part of the U.S. government and media with regard to Germany. I never understood how Schröder got away with what he did in the American press some years back. Is Steinmeier a friend?

Of course, Merkel's gut instincts and a man like Hans-Ulrich Klose are rays of hope, nevertheless!

The German government (a.k.a. Feudal Masters) not only lies to the rest of the world, it lies to its own population about American aims, and about their own aims. They deliberately thwart American objectives in the world, particularly in the Middle East. German money supports terrorists, tyrants, and rogue states. German ransom payments keep the insurgents and terrorists in business in both Afghanistan and Iraq. German firms have done business with countries contrary to US interests, and continue to do so in Iran and Syria with explicit government encouragement and support. Germany appeases, attempts to pay off Islamofascists, kowtows to them at home, and fails to confront them in hopes that the crockodile will eat them last. Germany snuggles up to Russia, making themselves dependent on Russian energy while warning the world of being too dependent on American products or services. Germany and Europe do not follow fair free trade practices, but expect the US to do so. Similarly, they demonize the US for alleged environmental sins and hypocritically conclude agreements that can never be fulfilled, and that they have no intention of fulfilling. They are long on talk and very, very short on action.
German State-sponsored media doesn’t miss an opportunity to bash the Americans, but is kind to dictators, tyrants and Mullahs. Similarly, Israel can do nothing right, and militant Palastinians can do nothing wrong. German schools indoctrinate the population from the earliest ages to become sheep in the feudal system while loathing American freedoms and American emphasis on individual empowerment. Meanwhile, individual Germans requre a daily fix of anti-Americanism just to make it through the day.
German so-called "news" is carefully filtered – or failing that, completely fabricated – to present the USA in the worst possible light.
Germans at the individual level, the collective, and the nation-state level consider the USA to be their number-one Class Enemy, and behave accordingly.

And these people are supposed to be our allies?

Unfortunately, Merkel has lost courage. She is looking to win elections. What do you do when the population thinks like the Left Party? Afghanistan is a small, strange place whose name most Germans cannot pronounce without thinking of America ... it's hopeless. Who makes foreign policy while looking at polls every week?

I'd have to agree with Scout! Maybe not "class enemy" ... just enemy.

Mir writes "Finally: I hope our American friends will come to their senses end elect a conservative president. It is essential that the US continues to be a beacon of freedom, liberty and free speech and that it continues to be a strong leader of the free world."

Sorry to break the news to you, buddy, but there are no conservatives still in the running for the office. In other words, don't expect too much freedom, liberty or free speech from America for the next four years.

Bizzare.

I just found out that Germany and the USA has an unsual amount of commerce & trade, police, education, airline & shipping, cultural and military agreements. Much more so than normal nations.

We treat Germany as a normal country (like Chile or Ghana) and they will treat us normally -- weird that we have such a unique "special relationship" with such a country. Thus absolutely no need to send soldiers and treasure to help in each other's conflicts or crisis.

Diplomatic sympathy at the UN is ok, fighting for each other when there are few shared values is not ok.

best regards

but there are no conservatives still in the running for the office

That's not true. You've still got a few hours to choose Romney as the Republican nomination. While he may be no Ronald Reagan, he's still by far the best of the remaining choices and I do think that he would be a good President for America and the rest of the world (although the latter may once again be unable and / or unwilling to recognize it).

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