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AFGHANISTAN: Daily stuff here please....

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bigron
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« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2010, 06:41:43 am »

We will stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 says Australian Chief of Defence


by Ian McPhedran

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/we-will-stay-in-afghanistan-beyond-2014-says-australian-chief-of-defence/story-e6frf7l6-1225910657710

August 26, 2010

AUSTRALIAN troops will stay in Afghanistan well beyond the 2014 deadline set by the Government, the nation's top military commander says.

Chief of Defence Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said Diggers would remain in Oruzgan Province after the two to four-year mission to train local Afghan security forces had expired.

"We will still be there supporting them beyond the two to four years, for a period of time," Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

He refused to be drawn on whether it was helpful for politicians to announce possible exit dates, after a US Marine Corps General criticised the US Administration for its plan to begin withdrawing forces next July.

"The coalition will continue to fight very, very hard for a long time to come, certainly beyond 2011 and certainly well into the future," said Air Chief Marshal Houston.

The military is waiting for guidance from a new federal government with the Abbott-led coalition already committed to a possible increase in troop numbers.

Greens leader Bob Brown has demanded that the troops be brought home immediately and he has won support from all sides for a fresh debate on the war.

The defence chief's comments yesterday came as a Melbourne mum told how her soldier son - a comrade of four Diggers killed in Afghanistan in recent weeks - tells her from the front line that morale remains strong in his regiment.

The soldiers of 6RAR, who along with special operations troops are the sharp end of Australia's force in Afghanistan, are paying a bloody price in the campaign against terrorism with four killed in the past few weeks and more than 20 wounded since February.

"(He) said last night morale is quite high among the troops, which I thought was good because they've lost quite a few. They are getting on with their job," said the mother, whom the Herald Sun will not identify.

She added: "We are quite stressed about it, but we are very proud.

"He and his colleagues all believe they are doing some good, they are the ones out among the children, the villages and the families who are thanking them," she said.

Five days ago, Privates Grant Kirby, 35, and Tomas Dale, 21 - part of 6RAR's mentoring and reconstruction taskforce - were killed and two mates wounded when a bomb exploded near their patrol vehicle.

On the same day two comrades were seriously wounded in a separate incident. Pte Nathan Bewes, 6RAR, was killed by a bomb on July 9.

On Tuesday, Lance-Cpl Jared MacKinney, 28, became the latest casualty when he was killed in action, leaving a wife, daughter and an unborn son.


 
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