German president Horst Kohler has resigned after defending German military deployments as crucial to free trade. Kohler is a former top official of the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. The move precipitated a deepening political crisis in Germany, and "will ignite a debate about the country's involvement in the Afghan war", according to reports from Berlin.
The resignation follows that of Defense Minister Franz Joseph Jung, who was slow to acknowledge civilian casualties after a German airstrike in Kunduz earlier this year. In defiance of the German constitution, which forbids foreign combat, the German government has begun calling Afghanistan a war; "none of this - nor the promise of a withdrawal next year - has soothed voters", according to the Times.