Thursday, December 9

Germany blames intelligence services for misjudging the situation in Afghanistan


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The German Government is being subjected to harsh criticism for its false assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, which has undoubtedly contributed to aggravating the consequences of the departure of international troops. The German Foreign Minister, however, transfers this responsibility to the incorrect assessment of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), from which German foreign policy has been drawing. The former head of the BND, Gerhard Schindler, he rejects the ball for his part and alleges that the German judiciary hinders the intelligence service and makes it impossible for it to fulfill its mission.

The Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has pointed to the BND as the source responsible for its incorrect assessments. “The BND has obviously made an incorrect assessment of the situation, like other services,” he pointed out in an interview, “the decisions that were made based on these erroneous reports have been made to the best of our knowledge and belief. There is no doubt that the result was wrong, with disastrous consequences. The secret services had in turn assumed incorrect evaluations of others and that has to change ”, demanded Maas. “In the future, the findings from other services should be reviewed again very intensively,” he suggested.

While German intelligence services are disciplined silence after these criticisms, former BND chief Gerhard Schindler has come out in defense of the agency and complained of legal and bureaucratic obstacles that made the work difficult. “If you put one legal stone after another in the path of the BND when it comes to obtaining information, it should not be surprised by the suboptimal results in the evaluation,” he told the weekly Focus. For example, according to Schindler, the BND is not authorized to “smuggle recruited informants into a terrorist organization because, under our legal system, they would be subject to prosecution for incitement or complicity.” And deduces that, yes the German foreign secret service is no longer allowed to infiltrate In the inner circle of the Taliban through your own sources, you will also not receive any important inside information. Due to a failure of the Federal Constitutional Court From the past, the Taliban are even protected by the German Basic Law, because Article 10, which contains the so-called secrecy of telecommunications, must apply to all people in this world, including foreign terrorists in Afghanistan. In May 2020, through this ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court prohibited BND from certain practices abroad. The Karlsruhe judges decided that in places like Afghanistan the secrecy of telecommunications and freedom of the press must also be preserved.

The fact is that, when questioned by the Bundestag, the Federal Intelligence Service admits that it misjudged the situation in Kabul. Still on August 13 he assumed that It would be weeks before the Taliban invaded the Afghan capital. “According to a situation report, Islamists are currently not interested in a breakthrough, they also lack the military means to do so. An acquisition of Kabul in the near future is quite unlikely, ”was the information received by the Foreign Minister. The next day, the Taliban surrounded Kabul and only 24 hours later launched the successful attack on the capital. They broke into the presidential palace and posted photos of the victory on social media. Behind closed doors, representatives of the BND and the government yesterday had to answer questions from members of a Parliamentary Control Commission (PKGr). As reported by the newspaper ‘Die Welt’, in that session it was clear that it was not just a failure of the Federal Intelligence Service. “Obviously, serious mistakes were also made when evaluating the information collected and choosing the next measures.” According to information from ‘Die Welt’, representatives of the Federal Intelligence Service openly admit their participation in the misjudgment of the situation in several meetings with parliamentarians this week. “We did not see it”, is what they recognize, in an electoral campaign context in which the responsibility of the Social Democratic Minister Maas falls on the SPD and that of the BND on the CDU, because it falls within the competence of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Inside.

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