German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sought to defend his nation’s involvement in the ISIS war today, insisting it was necessary for German national security to go abroad and fight, saying it wasn’t possible to just hope ISIS didn’t attack Germany.
At the same time, Steinmeier sought to downplay the significance of Germany’s military involvement, insisting none of the 1,200 troops they are deploying will be “boots on the ground” fighting ISIS directly in Syria or Iraq, nor would any of the planes deployed launch any strikes.
Germany had previously sought to avoid the ISIS war, but parliament approved joining it earlier this month, in the wake of the ISIS attacks in Paris. The vote was quickly passed through with comparatively little debate, despite reservations among opposition figures.
The big concerns weren’t so much the scope of the deployment, however, but rather the lack of any concrete end-game strategy. Some in the German military have also expressed this concern, saying the vague plan is a recipe for escalation.