In a bold change of German policy in Afghanistan, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany’s denial to commit troops to help fight a Taliban insurgency in the southern half of that country.

“This is a fundamental change for us,” a cheerful Merkel announced following a NATO summit in Riga, Latvia. “Up until now we only said we would ‘most likely’ not commit troops down there. Now it’s a done deal. This bold new stance of ours clears things up for all parties involved.”

Some have of late criticized German forces for insisting upon remaining in the more tranquil, bird-tweeting and poppy-scented northern half of Afghanistan while other NATO troops bare the brunt of Taliban terror and risk their lives in military skirmishes in the notably less picturesque south. The German foreign ministry has vehemently denied these accusations however, and was quick to point out the many hardships German troops have been forced to endure down/up there; lack of German beer, Leberkäse and live “Wetten, Dass..?” broadcasts, just to name a few.

Merkel did however knuckle under on one point and concede to let German troops conduct “emergency rescue missions” in southern Afghanistan.

“We will provide support in case of an emergency, of course,” she said. “But as you all know, the only thing we Germans might consider to be an emergency in southern Afghanistan would be full-blown alien invasion from outer space. And we would also need a clear mandate from the United Nations before even acting on that one, too.”

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