The truth about German troops
This letter is in response to Mr. Annal's writing about the German military involvement in Afghanistan. I wish he would have done his homework.
Let's look at the population of the country: a little over 82 million. That is roughly the population of California, Texas and New York combined. Currently the German Armed Forces consist of 250,000 active duty and 355,000 reserve troops.
After WWII Germany was completely demilitarized as per Allied Forces regulations. Germany was not allowed to rearm until the mid 1950s. At its highest, it numbered 500,000 troops. Since the end of the Cold War that number was greatly reduced.
The Allied Forces demanded that the German constitution describe the role of the military as defense of German soil only. Since 1990 that role has changed and Germany is now allowed to participate in conflicts as sanctioned by the EU, UN and NATO.
Germany has backed the war in Afghanistan from the beginning and as of this writing still has the mandated 4,500 troops deployed there. In fact, the mandate originally was 3,500 however the German Minister of Defense announced the additional deployment of 1,000 troops last July.
Furthermore there are troops in Kosovo (2,700), Horn of Africa/Indian Ocean as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (1,400), and a total of 2,000 serving in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Coast of Lebanon.
Let's give credit where credit is due. Germany has been a reliable NATO ally for many years and has shouldered its share of the military burden to the best of their ability and resources.
Anne Crawford, Barstow
On religion in Afghanistan
It appears that our liberal sage, Carol Jensen, who voted for President Obama is very unhappy with his apparent endorsement of a modified version of Sharia Law in Afghanistan.
Now we see our far left pundit attacking a sovereign countries religious choices.
If Afghanistan believes their religious teachings is the best choice in determining their system of laws, then we have no right to impose our beliefs upon them. It's their country. It's their religion.
The far left is targeting the Muslim religion, the same way they have targeted Christians here in the United States.
Muslims be warned!
They should remember the words of President Obama when he gave a speech in Turkey. He stated, "the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam." The negative side of this statement is that Israel is now given notice, if you attack Iran or any Muslim country the United States will not come to your aid.
Israel be warned!
Steven Beavers, Barstow