The Bundestag has set up a committee of inquiry into the hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Bundeswehr and its allies. On Friday night, the deputies accepted a corresponding motion that had been submitted by the traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP and by the CDU/CSU.
The investigation will focus on the events that led to the dramatic evacuation campaign in August last year after the radical Islamic Taliban took power.
According to the decision, the committee should clarify “how the situation assessments and decisions by representatives of federal authorities regarding the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr came about”. The central question is whether German government agencies and authorities did not recognize the explosive nature of the situation in good time and ignored warnings – and whether the evacuation action for the staff of the German embassy and German citizens as well as the protection of local staff was initiated too late.
Cooperation with foreign intelligence services and at EU and NATO level will also be examined. The committee of inquiry should then make recommendations “whether and to what extent conclusions should be drawn from the subject of the investigation” for future deployments of the Bundeswehr and the work of German security authorities. The investigation period only covers the period from the end of February 2020 to the end of September 2021 – i.e. the final phase of the around 20-year mission in the Hindu Kush.
On Friday afternoon, the Bundestag is also to set up a commission of inquiry on “lessons learned” from the entire Afghanistan mission for future missions. This application is also supported by the traffic light parties and the Union. The commission is to present its results and recommendations after the 2024 summer break.