Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 01:31 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 01:31 | SYDNEY

Afghanistan quid pro quo?


Sam Roggeveen


16 April 2010 11:52

Peter Hartcher's front page story ('We've got your back in Afghan province') in today's SMH reveals that the US will replace Dutch forces in Oruzgan.

It seems that the confidence displayed by our Washington Ambassador Kim Beazley in his interview on Wednesday was not misplaced. When he said that the ball was in America's court to replace those Dutch troops, he presumably knew a decision had already been made.

I would also go back to Beazley's comment on the Obama Administration that, '(t)hey fully comprehend that we're engaged elsewhere, and that the heavy focus in Australian Defence spending in the long term is sort of maritime, not counter-insurgency'. 

Has a deal been struck, in which America will live with Australia's relatively modest contribution to Afghanistan so long as we meet the commitments made in our Defence White Paper to beef up our maritime forces?

 Photo, of Australia's first Air Warfare Destroyer under construction in Adelaide, courtesy of the Department of Defence.