Afghanistan War: Knowing what we do now, Australia never should have gone
Australian Greens Peace and Disarmament spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said Australia should never have got involved in the Afghanistan War and the decision today to follow the US lead, and return our 80 remaining troops by September, had come two decades too late.
"The Afghanistan War has been an absolute disaster," Senator Steele-John said, "Knowing what we know now, Australia never should have taken part."
"The complete lack of any overarching strategic objective from the very beginning meant that troops on the ground were left to their own devices.
"Furthermore, the lack of oversight from chain of command meant that individual patrol commanders were enabled to set their own objectives which, as we have seen from the horrific allegations in the Brereton Inquiry report, fell far outside the behaviour Australians expect from our troops.
"The war has had a terrible and lasting impact on the Afghani people, whose country we occupied for two decades. Innocent people, including children, are dead, families have been torn apart and villages have been left in ruin.
"On top of the dreadful cost that we also have paid dearly in the lives of our own, and in resources, Australia must acknowledge the terrible legacy that we have left in Afghanistan and compensate the families, and the communities, affected by our occupation."