The President of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Nikolaus Schneider, calls for a "realistic exit scenario" for the Bundeswehr mission in Afghanistan. Such a plan must be developed together with representatives of the Afghan population, Schneider said in an interview with this site on Monday.
However, the deputy chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) added before the regional synod of the Rhenish church in Bad Neuenahr that withdrawing German soldiers from Afghanistan "head over heels" would not be justifiable.Schneider called for an open and honest debate throughout society on the role of the Bundeswehr at home and abroad. It was only after the bombing of hijacked tankers near Kunduz, ordered by a German colonel, that many became aware that war was being waged in the Hindu Kush in the name of the German people: "German soldiers are killing and dying in Afghanistan."Legitimacy questionable According to Schneider, the mission does not fundamentally contradict the criteria of the EKD peace memorandum, because in Afghanistan terrorists were raging against their own people. But the legitimacy of military force is in question because there is a lack of clear objectives, a comprehensive concept and an exit strategy, the 62-year-old theologian at the head of Germany's second-largest regional church contended. Schneider also criticized a "disproportion between the sums spent on military and those spent on civilian operations".On Monday morning, EKD Council President Margot Kabmann and Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) wanted to talk about the Bundeswehr mission in Berlin, for which confidentiality was agreed upon. The debate about Germany's commitment in the Hindu Kush was reignited by statements made by Kabmann at the turn of the year. In her New Year's sermon, the EKD council chairwoman had, among other things, called for the Afghanistan conflict to be dealt with primarily by civilian means. Their statements had provoked sometimes fierce opposition from politicians.