Afghanistan's Brigadier-General Mohammed Zafar Khan's call for Australian troops to give their equipment to the Afghan National Army and go home is a thunderous statement being met with remarkable indifference by both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
If the chief of Afghan forces dependent on Australian personnel effectively says "go home" there is a real need for that to be debated in Australia, Senator Brown told the Senate.
"Brigadier-General Khan's statement that the Australians should not stay until 2014 undermines repeated assertions by our government that Australia's troops are both welcome and essential in the eyes of Afghan authorities."
"The valid question arises: is it not better to have the Afghan forces take Australia's equipment so we can return our soldiers safely home? Why should Australia keep our soldiers in Uruzgan to oversee Afghan forces unable to take control only because they lack the equipment?"