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The German politics of war: Kunduz and the war in Afghanistan

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This article analyses the way in which Germany's participation in the international intervention in Afghanistan has shaped and transformed the country's politics of defence and deriving policies. It argues that in the wake of operational challenges posed by the insurgency in northern Afghanistan since 2007, and in particular the increasing rate of German combat fatalities, established post-Cold War dogmas of German politics are becoming subject to erosion. Developments in the Kunduz region of northern Afghanistan, with the tanker bombing of 4 September 2009 as its apex, have had a catalyst function in this process. In particular, strategic, operational and tactical requirements for counterinsurgency operations have had significant politico-strategic repercussions for the country's defence and security policy more generally. As a result, in recent years the Bundeswehr has begun to undergo a far-reaching structural process of military adaptation and innovation. The article explains and analyses this phenomenon of political change and military learning in the context of political paralysis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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