Afghanistan was Germany's longest and largest military engagement in modern history. The 9/11 attacks in 2001 prompted the US to invoke NATO's Article 5 — the alliance's common defense clause — for the first time, and Germany met its treaty obligations.
Thousands of German soldiers served in the mission — 150,000 in all, according to the German Defense Ministry. It cost the country 59 lives and at least €12.5 billion ($14.6 billion) in combat and training operations. Germany was one of the alliance's biggest contributors of troops.
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