First they were accused of not wanting to fight. Then they were blamed for failing in their main mission to train the Afghan police.

Now Germany’s battered military reputation has received a further humiliating blow. According to official reports, the 3,500 troops in northern Afghanistan drink too much and are too fat to fight.

A German parliamentary report has revealed that in 2007 German forces in Afghanistan consumed about 1.7 million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine. During the first six months of this year 896,000 pints of beer were shipped to German forces in Afghanistan. British and U.S. bases in the country enforce a strict ban on alcohol.

The physical condition of the soldiers was already in question after a German armed forces report found that 40 percent of its soldiers aged 18-29 were overweight, compared to 35 percent of the civilian population of the same age.

The report, published in March, concluded that the Bundeswehr lived on beer and sausages while shunning fruit and vegetables. It said that an overdeveloped bureaucracy was also contributing to a “passive lifestyle” on the part of the soldiers.

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