German general warned in April 2021 that Kabul would fall to the Taliban

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Major General Ansgar Mayer told a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday that he informed then-Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that the chances of maintaining stability in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops were slim to none.

The last commander of the German force in Afghanistan warned Berlin four months before the chaotic operation to withdraw foreign troops from the country that the Western-backed authorities would collapse very quickly.

Major General Ansgar Mayer told a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday that he informed then-Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that the chances of maintaining stability in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops were slim to none.

In his report on the situation to Mr Maas during his visit to Afghanistan in April 2021, Lt Gen Mayer underlined that it was “very critical” and that the Afghan security forces did not have the required strength, he confirmed yesterday .

“The Taliban were putting enormous pressure on the security forces” of the ousted government, he explained.

His estimates were based on the experience of the previous months. Afghan forces were facing serious operational and logistical problems, explained the top officer, now head of the German military’s Bundeswehr special forces command (KSK).

He had pointed out in particular that the Afghan air force was “interfering with every mission” and expending large amounts of ammunition in a short period of time.

The Bundeswehr withdrew its last troops from Afghan territory in June 2021, earlier than originally planned, in coordination with the US. It moved thousands of people out of the country, but many others who were slated to move out of it were left behind.

Lt. Gen. Mayer told the committee that then-Chancellor Angela Merkel had told him personally that she did not want to see a “new Saigon” unfold, referring to the chaotic withdrawal of American troops from the capital of what was once South Vietnam in the spring of 1975, with the which ended the Vietnam War.

As far as the German army was concerned, danger was averted, the officer said.

“We were able to do that, as far as the military side is concerned,” he said. But a few weeks later, he was watching the “new Saigon” on TV. “I was upset,” he admitted.

In August 2021, when the Taliban took over Kabul, practically without resistance, Germany actively participated in the international military operation to remove military personnel, diplomats and citizens of foreign countries and Afghanistan.

The parliamentary inquiry committee aims to shed more light on the withdrawal of the German army and the evacuation operation in August 2021. It is looking into the events after February 29, 2020, when the Doha agreement was signed.

Under the text, the Taliban pledged to hold peace talks with the then-government and join a government of national unity after the withdrawal of US and allied troops.

The agreement remained on paper.

RES-EMP

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