After Almost 20 Years, Last German Troops Leave Afghanistan

150K have served there since 2001
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2021 5:47 PM CDT
After Almost 20 Years, Last German Troops Leave Afghanistan
A German patrol in Fayzabad, Afghanistan in 2007.   (Cpl. John Scott Rafoss)

(Newser) – Germany's last troops left Afghanistan Tuesday after a nearly 20-year deployment in the country, the defense minister said. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer tweeted that the last Bundeswehr soldiers “left Afghanistan safely” Tuesday evening. She thanked the more than 150,000 troops who have served there since 2001 and said that “they can be proud of this mission." The German military said that the last troops were on their way home via Tbilisi, Georgia, and that Brig. Gen. Ansgar Meyer, the last commander of the German contingent, was on board an Airbus A400M aircraft bringing them home, the AP reports.

NATO agreed in April to withdraw its roughly 7,000 non-American forces from Afghanistan to match President Biden’s decision to pull all American troops from the country starting May 1. At the time, Germany had around 1,100 troops there. Germany’s contingent, which focused on northern Afghanistan, was the second biggest in the current Resolute Support mission after the United States'. Its last bases were in Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul. Fifty-nine German troops died in Afghan missions over the years. American officials have said the entire pullout of US troops will most likely be completed by July 4.

(Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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