From Spiegel: The air strike the German army ordered on two hijacked fuel tankers stuck in a river bed in the Kunduz region of northern Afghanistan in the early hours of last Friday appears to have claimed considerable civilian casualties and has led to criticism from Germany’s NATO allies in Afghanistan. It has also put the German government, and especially Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, under pressure, and has placed the unpopular Afghan mission at the forefront of the German election campaign ahead of the Sept. 27 vote.

There’s an element of Schadenfreude in the criticism of Germany from its allies, write German media commentators. Germany, whose troops are based mainly in the less dangerous north of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency has been less powerful and deadly than in the south, has consistently lectured its NATO allies about how to conduct the campaign and criticized them whenever military operations resulted in civilian casualties. So it’s not surprising that they are now on the receiving end of criticism following an attack that the Washington Post reports claimed 125 lives, including at least two dozen people who were not Taliban insurgents.

The criticism of the German handling of the attack seems justified, the commentators add. But internal divisions within NATO at this point would only benefit the Taliban, as would setting a date for a troop withdrawal, they add. (photo: DPA)