Prime Minister Gillard yesterday outlined plans to bring Australian forces home from Afghanistan early, in an address to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Australian personnel were previously expected to withdraw at the end of 2014, on a NATO timetable, but PM Gillard’s announcement says plans are for Australians return by the end of 2013.
This is a war with a purpose, this is a war with an end. We have a strategy, a mission and a timeframe for achieving it, PM Gillard said. Then proceeded to make her address where she did not state what that purpose was, or whether the war can ever end, but, there is a timeframe.
Afghanistan is known as
destroyer of empires or
graveyard of empires, and perhaps not enough thought was put into it, in the first instance, by John Howard when he sent other people’s children off to die in the name of bolstering our standing in the eyes of the USA, or in the eyes of his good friend George Bush.
But regimes change, and it is time to bring the troops home. Why are we waiting?
The price paid has been high, 33 Australians killed, however, as ABC Asia said
Ms Gillard said she did not share the view that they had died in vain.
Prime Minister Gillard described the deaths of these military personnel as a
I believe in engaging in Afghanistan our mission has been clear, our purposes has been clear, our sacrifice has been great … But the families of the men we have lost are able to say to themselves in a time of shocking grief and desperation that their loved ones were out there doing something clearly in Australia’s national interest. the Prime Minister said.
However, it appears that withdrawal doesn’t mean complete withdrawal. According to Fairfax, some special forces may remain and some training of Afghan forces will continue.
Continuing to stay in a war that can never be won, does not honour those lives already sacrificed. It is not
our sacrifice. It is the lives of the men who were taken in the name of national interest. Surely there are more worthy things to die for than so-called national interest. I thought we were liberating Afghanistan, or freeing them from the Taliban, or protecting the women and girls, or perhaps making the world safe for democracy.
National interest – isn’t that why the country has diplomats?
However, this was a war Australia got itself into, some believe, to stroke John Howards… er, his ego, when ever GW Bush praised him. And finally, an Australian Prime Minister has the strength to say that no more lives will be taken for a pointless war.
So, what does Tony Abbott say?
Before PM Gillard made her address, Tony said that he wanted the Australian military home once their job was completed. Abbott who was a member of the Howard Government that committed Australians to participate in this foolish war, really should not pass judgement on other politicians who inherited the mess that is Afghanistan.
I have not reason to think that it shouldn’t be possible to finish the job sooner rather than later, Tony Abbott said.
Although, 10 years later, does anyone even know what that job was?
And in other news, about 150 high schools girls in Afghanistan were poisoned after drinking water which had been contaminated. Blame for the incident was placed on conservative radicals who oppose the education of women and girls
Girls have only begun returning to school in 2001, when the Taliban, who had banned educating girls, was overthrown.
As our leaders tell us, our job in Afghanistan is
Sources: Australian PM outlines plan for Afghanistan exit