German Special Forces, KSK, are deployed in northern Afghanistan and are tasked with capturing the terrorist known as the "Baghlan Bomber." On Nov.6, 2007, the Taliban commander attacked a sugar factory in Baghlan Provence, killing 79 people - scores of children, many parliamentarians and other politicians who were celebrating the reopening of the factory. (Spiegel Online)
The German elite soldiers were able to uncover the Taliban commander's location. They spent weeks studying his behavior and habits: when he left his house and with whom, how many men he had around him and what weapons they carried, the color of his turban and what vehicles he drove.The Baghlan Bomber escaped. International relief workers, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), 2,500 Germans, along with troopers from Hungary, Norway, and Sweden are all in greater danger because the Taliban commander has sworn vengeance for being targeted.
At the end of March, they decided to act to seize the commander. Under the protection of darkness, the KSK, together with Afghan forces, advanced toward their target. Wearing black and equipped with night-vision goggles, the team came within just a few hundred meters of their target before they were discovered by Taliban forces.
Had it been any other national Special Forces, the bad guy would be dead as are nearly one-third of his compatriots. About 150 Taliban commanders have been "neutralized" - dead or captured in capture-or-kill missions. Most of the missions are carried out by British or American SOF teams. Germany is unwilling to take part in these missions, even in their own control zones.
The Berlin government clings to the "principle of proportionality". Berlin has issued instructions to their uniformed contingent: "The use of lethal force is prohibited unless an attack is taking place or is imminent." The instruction effectively ties the hands of the German soldiers and any other group working with them.
Because of the German "no shoot" policy, the Taliban influence is increasing in all nine Provinces under German jurisdiction on the northern border. Taliban influence in other provinces is declining even on the southern border with Pakistan where the Taliban has taken refuge.
The policy, say the critics, is having the opposite effect than the stated goal of subdueing the Taliban insurgency. It is emboldening the enemy.
And the extremists appear to be confident of victory. Maulawi Bashir Haqqani, 40, the Taliban's military commander in Kunduz, told SPIEGEL: "The Germans are the most important enemy in the north. If they leave their base, they will find booby traps and bombs waiting for them on every road. They will have to carry many more bodies in coffins on their shoulders if they don't come to the realistic conclusion that their forces must withdraw from our country."German forces are supposed to be participating in an operation with Afghanis and the Norwegian Quick Reaction Force to fight Taliban in Badghlis province where bad guys number some 150 hardliners and 500 irregular bad guys. However, because the operational area borders an Italian sector, the Germans have hesitated to deploy reconnaissance, logistics, and KSK forces the regional German commander had promised would be there on time. After a week of bloody fighting by the Afghans and Norwegians, the Germans finally showed up with permission from Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung.
That's not all. On July 1st, an armored infantry battalion from Augustdorf, Germany will relieve the Norwegian Quick Reaction Force on the front lines in northern Afghanistan.
DAMN IT, GERMANY! YOU'RE THE GOOD GUYS NOW! ACT LIKE IT!
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.