Germany turns down NATO request for more AWACS in Afghanistan

NATO E-3A patrolling over Alliance airspace

From Reuters:  Germany does not plan to support a request made by field commanders for more AWACS reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday.

Westerwelle said the decision would be no surprise for allies as he had informed the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, of it weeks ago during a visit to Berlin. 

"We made it clear to our partners early on that we will not take part, as our main focus is on local training," he said. 

Petraeus requested the additional aircraft from NATO late last year. German media have reported that increased AWACS capability would require Berlin to send about 100 additional troops to Afghanistan to man the flying radar stations.  (photo: Allied Command Operations)

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