Reading the following, please keep in mind it's from the German perspective.
First troops arrived in Afghanistan to attend UN Peacekeeping Mission
We had quite a long and heated discussion about this here in Germany:
Send troops to Afghanistan ?
Actually it is obvious that a peacekeeping force is needed. We supported all the other UN or NATO peacekeeping missions with either money or non-fighting forces. On the balkans, we sent armed forces for the first time since World War II. Well, even paramedics or helicopter pilots carry sidearms, but this time, it's a force of soldiers. No assistants, medics, chefs or staff. A fighting crew. This is the first time since the war that we send armed forces to a country outside NATO. Which means we are leaving the territory we acknowledge as our defensive position. We are sending our troops 'out'. Which the founders of the Federal Republic of Germany vowed never to do again. Never ever would we wage a war outside our borders again. Actually, fighting a war is illegal here. It's a law that Germany may never fight a war again. Not that laws apply to acts of state controlled murder anyway, but it clearly shows the intention.
We do have a military force that is perfect for smoking out terrorists, called the KSK. You'd call it special forces command. They are drilled to a point where they resemble the best the world has. I think it ........ed the military off quite a bit to have to ask Belgium for assistance to get out our diplomats of some african civil war last time. Mighty Belgium... please help us. I guess that stung. So now we have half a thousand guys clad in black ready to kick serious ass. Does that help ? Does it help to see dark, german soldiers marching again ? We are quite concerned about this. What is an outsiders oppinion on this ? What would you think if you saw armed forces with a German flag on CNN tomorrow ?