The Australian government claims that the war in Afghanistan is finishing, with the bulk of Australia’s troop commitment being withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2013. Usually unstated though is the bipartisan commitment to continue the occupation indefinitely through the presence of SAS troops in active combat roles. But don’t take our word for it: you can hear it from both sides of politics and the military themselves in their own words:
“Australia has made clear that we expect to maintain a presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, potentially through training, military advisers, capacity-building and development assistance and a special forces presence.”
Stephen Smith, Defence Minister, Feb 2012.
ABC Report, April 2012
Julia Gillard, Nov 2010
”Washing our hands of Afghanistan and its problems once two to four years are up would hardly be a sign of friendship. A commitment to Afghanistan that lasts longer than this would hardly be excessive if it continued to deny sanctuary to an imperialistic version of Islamic extremism.”
Tony Abbott, Oct 2010
ADF chief General David Hurley, June 2013