Security examined: after Afghanistan bomb attack
Speaking on June 10 in reference to the bomb attack carried out against German ISAF soldiers in Kabul on June 7, Defense Minister Peter Struck noted that he does not consider the use of tanks to be an appropriate means of promoting peace in Afghanistan. "We will not build confidence if we start acting like an occupying power," he said, observing that it is simply not possible to provide absolute security against suicide attacks. Four soldiers were killed and twenty-nine injured when a car bomb exploded next to a convoy of military vehicles that had left Camp Warehouse and was headed for Kabul Airport. The dead and wounded have since been flown back to Germany.
Struck reaffirmed that all appropriate security precautions had been taken and stepped up in connection with the movement of the convoy. He noted that active and passive security measures had been taken, including technical reconnaissance measures, in an effort to defend against all possible threats. Security regulations are laid down by ISAF and subject to daily assessment and revision, particularly when information is received on possible attacks. Struck said efforts would be made to continue to improve security in the future.
Hope for a peaceful future
On June 10 an advance team will fly to Afghanistan to gather information for the deployment of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in the province of Herat, the city of Herat, and Charikar (near Kabul). The advance team will also assess potentials for supporting reconstruction efforts in other parts of the country. It is estimated that the team will need about fourteen days to complete its mission. One British and three American PRTs have been established thus far.
Defense Minister Struck will discuss experience gathered with PRTs at a meeting with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on June 11 during the observance of tenth anniversary of the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The advance team's report will be evaluated on its return and will likely be dealt with by the cabinet at the end of June. After that it will have to be approved by parliament. The deployment of a German PRT cannot be expected before September. "Our involvement will help to give the country hope for a peaceful future," Struck said.
He told the press that the parliamentary defense committee has called upon the cabinet to make new provisions to ensure financial security for the families of servicemen killed on peacekeeping missions.