A majority of MPs in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, voted to approve a bill increasing the maximum number of German troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission by one-third to 1,300, Germany’s dpa reported.
Earlier this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved plans to expand Germany’s military missions abroad, including in Afghanistan, Mali and Iraq.
The decision also includes a plan to add 100 more troops to Germany’s 1,000-strong deployment to a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali in order to meet increased maintenance needs and Germany’s new responsibility for a military base in Gao.
The decision to increase German military presence in Afghanistan comes against a backdrop of increased violence and a new peace initiative launched by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Germany has carried out limited engagements abroad since World War Two, focusing mainly on training, surveillance, medical rescue and peacekeeping, although it participated in the 1999 air offensive on what was then Yugoslavia.