In an interview with Hamburg weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Germany’s highest-ranking military officer, General Wolfgang Schneiderhan, discusses German military operations in Afghanistan and accusations that German soldiers are shirking responsibility.
“It is, of course, regrettable when there are casualties among innocent civilians, and we must do everything in our power to prevent this from happening. But we must distinguish between cause and effect. The cause is that the terrorists are attacking us, thereby forcing our troops to defend themselves. Furthermore, our enemies are civilians who wear no uniforms or national emblems. They deliberately misuse innocent people as shields in order to bring our soldiers into disrepute. And they are pleased to see that hardly anyone mentions the victims of their vicious attacks.”