As the last Danish soldiers return home from Afghanistan, Martin Lidegaard, the foreign minister, wants to look into what politicians, generals and officials can learn from the 13-year war.
The War in Afghanistan cost the lives of 43 Danish soldiers, while hundreds more were wounded and returned home with psychological issues in the form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
“We must learn from what we have done well and the things we have not done so well,” Lidegaard told Politiken newspaper.
“We owe that to our soldiers, their families and the Danes in general.”
Learning from experience
The minister said he wouldn’t reveal who would evaluate the war effort or how they would proceed until the issue had been discussed with the parties behind the war effort. Denmark spent about 20 billion kroner in Afghanistan on military and civilian efforts.
“I won’t personally question whether it was necessary to step in, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from good and bad experiences,” Lidegaard said.
There is already one commission looking into the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, including issues relating to the law of war, prisoner handovers and the reasons for joining the wars.
General Peter Bartram, the head of Danish Defence, told Politiken newspaper the military would gladly contribute to any further information that leads to an evaluation of the conflict, should the politicians’ desire it.