BONN — Contrary to its reports last year, the German Defense Ministry now says that security-related incidents in Afghanistan in 2012 did not decline from the previous year.
Late Jan. 11, the ministry reported the actual numbers for 2012 were about 10 percent higher than stated in its earlier briefings to the German parliament and its public progress reports on Afghanistan.
The ministry blamed reporting by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) for the discrepancy. As more responsibility for security is shifted to the ANSF, that also includes recording and reporting such incidents.
“As a consequence, this resulted in increasing delays of the reports of the SRI [security-related incidents] by the ANSF,” the German Defense Ministry said. Therefore, some incidents had been included in the regular reports too late or not at all.
The ministry adds that the Afghans would also include incidents that would be judged as general crime by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
The German government says the statements about a decline in security-related incidents for northern Afghanistan since 2010 are still correct. However, while there had been a significant drop in 2011 the message for 2012 has changed.
“Compared to the year 2011, there has now to be assessed a stagnation instead of a decline for the year 2012,” the Defense Ministry writes in its public first briefing for 2013 about the Bundeswehr’s theater of operations.
The Defense Ministry says these new numbers do not change the general assessment that the security situation in 2012 is improved. It was the first year that the Bundeswehr did not mourn any fallen soldiers. Since the beginning of the ISAF mission, 52 German soldiers have died in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr is responsible for the Regional Command North with its headquarter in Masar-i Scharif. Currently, Germany has about 4,300 troops stationed in different bases in the country, but this number is supposed to fall as part of ISAF troop reduction.