– Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said…that the use of German soldiers in NATO operations is standard practice and does not require parliamentary approval.
More than 100 German soldiers have taken part in NATO’s Libya operation, 10 times more than previously thought, the government has admitted.
The German Defence Ministry made the admission on Friday in its reply to a request for information from Green parliamentarian Hans-Christian Ströbele. Up to now it had been assumed that only 11 German soldiers were involved in the NATO operation.
The ministry said that 103 German soldiers had taken part in the selection of bombing targets against the army of Libya…as well as issuing orders to AWACS, NATO’s airborne warning and control system aircraft.
Ströbele has argued that the German parliament should have been asked for permission to allow the soldiers to participate. The Green Party is now considering filing a constitutional complaint against the government.
The previous admission that 11 German soldiers were involved in the mission came in August in response to a request from Ströbele. Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said at the time that the use of German soldiers in NATO operations is standard practice and does not require parliamentary approval.
Ströbele accused the Berlin government of inconsistency.
“This practice contradicts every public declaration by the government of not wanting to be involved militarily in NATO’s Libya mission,” he said.
[A] representative for US President Barack Obama said earlier this month that the US was pleased with Germany’s current attitude toward helping Libya’s reconstruction.
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