Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 10:46 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 10:46 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: More on Afghanistan


Sam Roggeveen


13 March 2009 10:13

Crispin Rovere has further thoughts on our discussion about why Australia is in Afghanistan:

If Australia wants to distinguish itself by the special nature of ‘our’ relationship then we need to demonstrate this. That means taking the lead role in Oruzgan province. If the Aus/US alliance is still Australia’s number one security priority then the reason for making the contribution is obvious. The calculation is especially simple since the political capital used at this point would be minimal. 

If we are looking for a more independent defence structure, however, then those troops should be redirected to our own region. It seems clear which road the Rudd Government is taking. On that basis I’m not so sure much explanation is needed, or indeed will ever be demanded.

I'll grant that alliance considerations were critical to our decision to send and keep troops in Afghanistan, but I can't see how Obama's popularity somehow forces us to up the ante. As for Crispin's last point, well, I'm certainly demanding an explanation, as are others. But more importantly, the Opposition probably won't demand one and the Press Gallery would rather write about Peter Costello, meaning the Government will likely get it's way without much fuss.