Berlin to limit anti-terrorist cooperation
The US led anti-terrorist campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom, will have to cope with reduced assistance from Berlin.Berlin -- The German cabinet agreed on Wednesday to limit the country's future contribution to the US led anti-terrorism campaign known as Operation Enduring Freedom (O.E.F), reducing forces from 1,400 to 800, the Defence Ministry said.
These personnel are sailors and naval aviators who have been posted to the Horn of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.
The authorization, expected to be passed by the German parliament on Nov. 13, will no longer extend to a contingent of German commandoes assigned to Afghanistan.
The elite KSK Special Forces, who are tasked to act against terrorists on Afghan soil, were instead authorized by parliament earlier this month to deploy 4,500 German military personnel in Afghanistan.
When O.E.F. began in 2001, Germany had offered nearly 4,000 in forces, mainly aboard warships blocking Islamist radicals from crossing the Gulf of Aden to Somalia.
The ministry said 90 Germans were currently deployed to the Horn of the Africa, while another 24 sailors were operating a German submarine in the Mediterranean as part of Operation Active Endeavour.
German naval operations to cut off arms smugglers along the Lebanese coast are subject to a different authorization.
According to the Defence Ministry, German assistance to O.E.F is likely to be extended until Dec. 15, 2009.