Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


COMPLETE COVERAGE | FRONT LINES | AMERICA AT HOME | INTERACTIVES »

German troops to join terror war

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has offered up to 3,900 troops for the U.S.-led war on terrorism, backing up Germany's pledge of solidarity with the United States.

The offer includes help in combating nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; medical services; special forces; air transport, and naval forces to protect shipping lanes, Schroeder told a news conference.

VIDEO
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says his government is ready to deliver the help the U.S. has requested. CNN's Bettina Luscher reports. (November 6)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

The Pentagon seeks new ways to support anti-Taliban troops. CNN's Jamie Mcintyre reports (November 6)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 
MORE STORIES
Germany sending 'its best troops' 
Italy pledges troops to U.S. 
 
Attack on America
 CNN.COM SPECIAL REPORT
 CNN NewsPass Video 
Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
 MORE STORIES
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
 EXTRA INFORMATION
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
Most wanted terrorists
What looks suspicious?
In-Depth: America Remembers
In-Depth: Terror on Tape
In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
 RESOURCES
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

He said Germany was not asked to supply air or ground forces in Afghanistan.

"The German government is convinced that we will support the international fight against terror with these measures and we will fulfill our responsibilities," Schroeder said.

"We won't forget that military measures are only a part of this fight against international terrorism. It is just as important to remember that political and diplomatic measures should be followed through, especially the maintenance of the international campaign against terror," he said.

Schroeder declined to say where and at what stage of the campaign the German troops would be deployed. "A contribution to the air strikes or providing ground troops was not requested," he said

Participation in military action is a sensitive issue in Germany, which, mindful of the crimes of the Nazis, requires parliamentary approval of any deployment of troops outside the NATO area.

The contribution reflects Germany's ambition, 56 years after the end of World War Two, to take a more prominent role in world affairs that matches its economic might.

"This is a historic decision," said Schroeder.

The decision is likely to be approved in parliament. The main opposition parties, the conservative Christian Democrats and liberal Free Democrats, have said they would support a German contribution.

But the decision looks set to put added strain on Schroeder's coalition with the pacifist-leaning Greens party, several prominent members of which have called for a halt to the U.S. bombing raids on Afghanistan.

"You don't need to be a prophet to see that this won't be easy for the coalition," Richard Hilmer, managing director at the Infratest polling institute, told Reuters.

"Members of the Greens are calling for attacks to be suspended and this does not fit well with approving German troop deployment," he said.

"The dispute could worsen and it could prove to be the crack along which the coalition breaks."



 
 
 
 


RELATED STORIES:
• Blair: Never forget September 11
October 30, 2001
• Blair: bin Laden trial 'unlikely'
October 25, 2001
• Blair's battle in propaganda war
October 15, 2001

RELATED SITES:
• Foreign & Commonwealth Office
• The Times
• Number 10 Downing Street

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

WORLD TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top