This NY Times piece, “No Parade for Hans,” is a great illustration of how Afghanistan has remilitarized European militaries, but not European opinion. Apparently, that goes double for Germany. There’s been increasing pressure on Germany to assume a higher military profile globally. This article gives a good idea of what that pressure is up against.
The same popular opposition to the Afghanistan war exists here in France, as does the indifference to those serving. But anecdotally, I haven’t sensed any hostility toward French soldiers themselves for their involvement in Afghanistan. Of course, France has a less complex relationship to its military. And my understanding is that the French soldiers in Afghanistan, who just began a campaign in eastern Kapisa province, are pretty well-regarded, operationally speaking. The problem is that there just aren’t enough of them.