From The German armed forces are undergoing its biggest operation yet in Afghanistan. The Bundeswehr is supporting the Afghan Army with around 300 members of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in operation “Eagle” against insurgents near Kundus. For the first time, infantry fighting vehicles with heavy firepower have been deployed.

German Army Inspector General Wolfgang Schneiderhan stated in a press conferences that “now is the time to carry out this escalation” because of the upcoming Afghan elections and the increase in attacks against the Bundeswehr. He also announced that the rules of engagement are currently being revised, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German).

These changes in policy and language are quite remarkable considering Germany’s history and previous Afghanistan engagement. Spiegel Online International explains:

“For Germans, having their military on the offensive for the first time since World War II involves passing over a major psychological threshold. And it takes place in the context of a war that has grown more unpopular over the years, after having initially received widespread support. It’s also a war that Jung — to the consternation of many — has refused to call a war.” (photo: