Under the title "A Mission Impossible? The West's Intervention in Afghanistan and the Role of the Intelligence Services, 2001-2014", a workshop on the history of the Bundeswehr's deployment in Afghanistan was held on 17 May 2023 at the Federal Police Headquarters 11 at Schöneberger Ufer in Berlin. The event was jointly organised by Prof. Dr. Sönke Neitzel from the University of Potsdam and Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Bergien from the Federal University of Applied Sciences and, in addition to academic input, was primarily intended to give contemporary witnesses from the Bundeswehr, the Federal Intelligence Service and the Federal Police the opportunity to report on their practical experiences during the Afghanistan mission. The participants were welcomed by the President of the BPolD 11 Olaf Lindner.
The workshop revealed details of the operational reality in Afghanistan, some of which differed greatly from those of the discourse community in political Berlin: The communication channels between the actors in the PRTs in charge of reconstruction did not always work well, although much of the mission improved over time. There were deficits in operational reconnaissance and hardly any common situation pictures between the actors involved. Last but not least, a general lack of political strategy was criticised. The Enquete Commission of the Bundestag will confirm and reveal much of this. The workshop showed that the explosive nature of the Afghanistan mission has not diminished and that it is of eminent importance what lessons the German government will draw from the mission.