Dear German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas,
I hope this will be the last open letter I write to you. Let’s sum it up briefly: while the German chancellor talks about 10,000-40,000 alleged local employees left by the Federal Republic – so it remains unclear to this day how many Afghans actually work in the Bundeswehr, NGOs and the embassy worked and had the right to Evacuation – travel in the area to negotiate in any way.
The main objective is to rescue these people because your ministry and your colleagues have failed miserably to get them to safety in time. Up to 500 alleged local workers are said to have been airlifted. Describing this utter failure would be another euphemism: to be honest, one lacks words these days to adequately describe the entire catastrophe.
So now you are in Pakistan, a country that has long given shelter to the Taliban and without its active help, all experts agree that a quick Taliban victory would not have been possible.
There, of all places explain itMilitary operations are not appropriate to export a form of long-term governance. The attempt in Afghanistan failed and Western democracies must learn lessons from it.
At least, the Vice President of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, who was himself in charge of local intelligence and is by no means the only one, has repeatedly emphasized since the Taliban invaded Kabul that this would not have been possible without Pakistani help. . The attempt in Afghanistan failed, among other things, because a supposed ally of the West, Pakistan, had done everything for years to help the Taliban reorganize itself, give them shelter and eventually help them win.
So, if there is currently a country where you should not utter such sentences, it is definitely Pakistan. If there are politicians in a country who should generally not utter such judgments, then German politicians are.
Just a reminder: The Federal Republic of Germany exists because the United Nations, as the Anti-Nazi Alliance was then called, forced Germany to surrender militarily in 1945 at incredible sacrifices. Then the Western Allies, led, albeit tepidly, by the United States and the United Kingdom, began a re-education program and established the FRG in their occupied territories in 1949.
So, if there is a country in the world that was created through military action, it is the country to which you are currently traveling around the world as Secretary of State.
In the end, the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” – as the name says it all – was never intended to be a model for Western export, but at the time its predecessor Joseph Fischer invited all manner of dubious warlords to Petersburg, and negotiations took place, all of them – As long as they were only there was no Taliban – if possible, to participate in a process that was supposed to lead to a new Afghan state.
In this state religion, tribal affiliation and the like should play an important role, the Federal Republic insisted. So it’s probably true that the export didn’t work. In light of this, however, to talk about “Western democracies” that have failed to export and from which you should learn is simply wrong.
Even at that time, there was enough criticism of the Petersburg concept, which later turned out to be correct. This does not diminish the successes that Afghanistan has experienced over the past twenty years. In short, Mr. Maas, the complete failure in Afghanistan depends in large part on German foreign policy and not only on the United States or on the fact that forms of government cannot be exported.
Perhaps the question is too much even after the total disaster in Kabul, but instead of making such statements in Pakistan, it might be more appropriate for at least a few days to appear more modest. You can’t ask for much more than that, but even that sounds arrogant.
In other words, can you be so kind as to spare the world at least such an education until the end of your tenure?
Thomas V. oriental sack
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