Bundeswehr disputes New York Times account that liaison officer was leading "does not perform any tasks related to the targeting process"
Last Friday, we reported on the New York Times story that Swedish and German officers had been – and may continue to be – directly involved in the kill missions of suspected insurgents in Afghanistan, conducted mostly with armed drones (German officers reportedly directly involved in U.S. kill missions in Afghanistan).
The newspaper reported it received the information from two government employees, who remain anonymous, who had knowledge of the "Targeting"-Programm haben. Die deutsche Regierung und die Bundeswehr haben bislang abgestritten, dass Deutsche aktiv an dem Programm der gezielten Totungen von mutmablichen Aufstandischen beteiligt waren. It had also become known that not only alleged "hohere" Insurgents, but also normal fighters as well as people who are said to have been involved in drug trafficking, were released for killing.
According to whistleblower reports, decisions at the Joint Operations Center (C.J.O.C.) must have been met at the NATO headquarters in Kabul. There, the officers present are said to have watched on screens during the targeting process to avoid civilians being killed. If you see women and children, they should have the hand. The soldiers in the room, according to a Beswchreibung, "raised or lowered their thumbs like gladiators in a stadium". Especially the Germans did not feel comfortable with it.
From different sides, u.a. From According to the German Foreign Office, it was admitted to the NYT that German liaison officers were also working at the HQ. However, they had nothing to do with the anti-terrorism withdrawals of U.S. troops, which were not part of Resolute Support, and thus had nothing to do with the kill program. We had asked the press office of the Bundeswehr for a statement on Friday before the publication of the article. Today we received the answer of the Bundeswehr, in which the claim is also rejected as by the Foreign Office:
Since the start of the Resolute Support mission on 1. January 2015, Germany did not deploy any military personnel to the Combined Operations Center (CJOC) at Headquarters (HQ) Resolute Support (RS).
Only the German liaison officer of the Train Assist Advice Center North (TAAC-N) at HQ RS is regularly on site at the CJOC. However, he only carries out activities there as part of his duties as a liaison officer, without actively participating in the proceedings in the CJOC. His sole responsibility is to ensure a common picture of the situation between HQ RS and TAAC-N. The liaison officer of the TAAC-N does not carry out any tasks concerning the targeting procedure.
Statement of the Bundeswehr