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PM Abbott should level with Aussie troops

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says Tony Abbott should level with the men and women of Australia's Defence Force when he farewells them tomorrow on an open-ended mission to Iraq.

"When you ask young men and women to put their lives on the line, you should be honest enough to tell them that you're committing them to war," said Senator Milne.

"This has been mission creep from the start. Australia is getting itself into an open-ended war.

"Tony Abbott can't tell anyone in the Australian community how long our military mission in Iraq will be, or what success would look like.

"The Prime Minister is no longer even pretending he's determining the strategy or extent of engagement. All he's done is say he is here for Australia to be a servant of the United States and will go along with whatever the US asks us to do.

"The United States has got their military chiefs in front of a Senate committee, asking them what the strategy is. Before that question has been answered, Australia is the first cab off the rank saying we are there with you, with a fighting force. Other countries have been much more measured.

"The Prime Minister initially said we were going to hunt down and destroy ISIL, then he pulled back and said we are not into nation-building in Iraq, we're going to help them control their own cities and towns.

"That is something, in theory, that the Iraqi government is supposed to have been doing for the last decade, so what does ‘control' mean? What is the exit strategy for Australian troops?

"We have entered into completely ill-defined territory," said Senator Milne.


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