Berlin (dpa) – A majority of Germans believe the Afghan debacle should have consequences for Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
In a poll by the opinion research institute YouGov, 24% were in favor of an immediate resignation of the politician from the SPD, 32% said he should no longer belong to a new federal government. Only 17 percent spoke out against any consequences for Maas. 27 percent did not provide any information.
However, Maas is not the only one responsible for the debacle. 38 percent say the five cabinet members dealing with Afghanistan should also be responsible for the mistakes. Besides Maas, there are Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU), Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU).
However, 13% think Maas is most likely to have primary responsibility, 12% say this about Merkel and 9% about Kramp-Karrenbauer. Seehofer and Müller consider that only 1% each is the main culprit. Of the five politicians, three have already announced that they no longer want to belong to the new federal government: Merkel, Seehofer and Müller.
Federal government error in judgment
After the Taliban Islamist militants came to power in Afghanistan, not only Maas but the federal government as a whole admitted to having misjudged the situation in this crisis-stricken Central Asian country. Maas, whose ministry is responsible for assessing the security situation in crisis areas, has come under particularly strong pressure. There have been isolated calls for resignation and strong criticism from the coalition partner. CSU President Markus Söder said Maas should no longer be in a new government.
Maas had told “Spiegel” two weeks ago that he hadn’t thought about resigning: “In recent days, I have only thought about one thing, namely to draw conclusions from the mistakes we all have. committed and accept them, make sure to get as many people out of Afghanistan as possible, ”he said.
But even with most of the SPD voters, according to the survey, Maas no longer has any support. 11% of them are in favor of the immediate resignation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 44% believe that he should no longer belong to a new government.
One in two Germans also supports the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the post-election debacle in Afghanistan. In the YouGov survey, 50 percent were in favor, 24 percent against and 26 percent provided no information. A committee of inquiry could be set up after the constitution of the new Bundestag from the end of October. Only 25 percent of the votes are needed for this. The Greens, the Left and the FDP have already spoken in favor of it.
Afghanistan is difficult terrain for politicians
Afghanistan risks remaining difficult terrain for politicians in the future, especially with regard to the possible generous reception of Afghan refugees. According to another Yougov survey commissioned by the dpa, the population is deeply divided here. Last week, 46% of the representative survey participants spoke out against accepting more Afghan refugees in Germany. In total, 47% of those questioned called for the protection of more Afghans in Germany.
However, some supporters of a generous welcome tie this to one condition: one in four wants Germany to allow more Afghan refugees into the country only if other EU countries do the same. Only 22% of Germans would be in favor of accepting many Afghans, even if other EU countries did not join them.
On August 15, Taliban Islamist militants captured the Afghan capital Kabul with virtually no fighting. On the night of August 31, the last American military machine left the country. The Taliban’s seizure of power after 20 years sparked a movement of refugees.