Germany plans significant cuts in Afghan force

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere visiting German troops in Afghanistan, September 18, 2011

From Geir Moulson, the AP:  Germany’s government hopes to cut nearly 1,000 troops from the country’s contingent in Afghanistan by January 2013, the foreign and defense ministers said Thursday.

Germany has more than 5,200 troops in Afghanistan, mostly serving in the country’s north. They serve under a parliamentary mandate which expires at the end of January and allows for the deployment of up to 5,350 soldiers. . . .

In a letter to caucus leaders seen by The Associated Press, the ministers said they plan to reduce the contingent to 4,900 under the next mandate, which starts early next year.

By the end of January 2013, the government plans to cut the number of troops to 4,400, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere added.

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