Friday, February 22, 2008

Afstan: 2011? Aussies in for the long term

A pity our politics are so partisan that we set end-dates for our mission, regardless of what the on-the-ground situation may be in the future. But by then we'll simply have done our bit, right, and somebody else must take over. At least a future parliament (and guess of which stripe, sorry for the partisan note) could overturn any decision taken by this one. Meanwhile the Aussie position:
Australia on Friday stated that it will keep its troops in Afghanistan for a long term, despite its decision to withdraw forces from Iraq, according to Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

"We've made it very, very clear that our commitment in Afghanistan is a long-standing one [emphasis added]," the defense minister told reporters.

"I said in the parliament just this week what a tragedy it would be if all that we'd done in Afghanistan so far was in the end all for naught. So our commitment is a long-term one."

Australia has deployed about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, a former Taliban stronghold...

Canada [sic] Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday announced to pull its 2,500 troops out of southern Afghanistan by 2011...


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