Complicated Withdrawal

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Visiting German troops in Afghanistan yesterday, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière described the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from the country as a "complicated undertaking". He said this would require forces to organize the withdrawal.

Photo ©Bundeswehr/PIZ Kundus

The Bundeswehr needs to withdraw up to 6,000 containers and 2,000 vehicles from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, according to German media reports. Troop levels have already been reduced to 4,800 from a ceiling of 5,350.

This is out of a total of 125,000 containers and up to 80,000 vehicles NATO estimates its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) must withdraw from Afghanistan. Mazar-e-Sharif in German-led Regional Command North will be a major transport hub for this withdrawal, according to the German Ministry of Defense.

Pakistan's agreement to stop blocking ISAF supply routes through its territory has made that task a little less complicated. De Maizière said before this news that most of the withdrawal would have to be by air or through the north.

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