German Parliament Extends Afghan Troop Stay by a Year

7 February 2011 (Last Updated February 7th, 2011 18:30)

The German Parliament has approved a new mandate for the extension of approximately 4,900 German troops in Afghanistan by another year until 31 January 2012. The extension will cost an additional $1.43bn with the maximum force level set at 5,350 troops, 350 of those being a flexible reser

The German Parliament has approved a new mandate for the extension of approximately 4,900 German troops in Afghanistan by another year until 31 January 2012.

The extension will cost an additional $1.43bn with the maximum force level set at 5,350 troops, 350 of those being a flexible reserve, according to Defense News.

The new mandate also includes a schedule for the withdrawal of German troops, according to which the first German soldiers will leave the Hindu Kush by the end of 2011 and the last combat troops by 2014.

Head of the SPD, Germany's opposition party, Siegmar Gabriel, said for the first time during the ten-year history of the mission, there was a realistic chance for a trend reversal in Afghanistan.