Archive for Joerg Vollmer

German general fully support airstrike

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy with tags , , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by admin

German general backs officer in Afghan airstrike

Germany’s top military commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday he stood “fully behind” the German commander who called in a U.S. airstrike on fuel trucks hijacked by Taliban that killed civilians as well as insurgents.

Brig. Gen. Joerg Vollmer insisted in a phone interview with The Associated Press that Germany’s relations remain good with its NATO allies, including the United States, even after the U.S. military criticized the German officer who requested the attack in northern Kunduz province.

An Afghan official appointed by President Hamid Karzai to examine Friday’s attack said his best estimate of the death toll was 82, including at least 45 armed militants. (Problem here: how to discover who are terrorists and who are civilians, when no terrorist wears an identification?).

The top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has pledged a full investigation.

…Insurgents have stepped up attacks in Kunduz, a province dominated by Pashtuns — the largest Afghan ethnic group from which the Taliban garner their support and recruits. Some analysts say that insurgents have been able to operate with relative freedom because of the German military’s policy to make the security of its own troops its top priority.

Vollmer hinted that operations like Friday’s airstrike — the first German-led action in seven years to cause significant militant deaths — could become more frequent in future.

Vollmer blamed the tense security situation in Kunduz on the lack of Afghan police, the influx of former refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran, and efforts by militant groups to protect lucrative smuggling and extortion rackets from government interference.

Advertisements