Abbott government writes blank cheque to US
Greens Leader Christine Milne says Australia is witnessing mission creep in action, as the Foreign Minister says 'no boots on the ground,' but commits to joining an expanded military engagement in Iraq as soon as a formal request is made.
"Julie Bishop has written a blank cheque, telling the US it only needs to say the word and Australia will join in. But join in what?
"How long will military engagement in Iraq go on? What is the objective? Do we have any hope of achieving it?
"A comprehensive plan is what's sorely lacking here. The only foreign policy the Abbott government has managed to articulate is: ‘All the way with the USA.'
"The Abbott government is saying yes, before finding out what the ramifications of the question are," said Senator Milne.
"At this week's NATO meeting President Obama acknowledged there needs to be a regional solution that is not entirely dependent on western intervention.
"The UK Prime Minister talked about non-military options that the Greens have been advocating, like exerting political and diplomatic pressure for a unity government in Iraq, but he also warned this could be a multi-year engagement.
"If Tony Abbott is committing Australia to a multi year military engagement, he should tell Australians that now. If there is a limit, what is it?"