Australian Defense Minister John Faulkner stated that the government was about to make a decision about the withdrawal of Australian military men from Afghanistan.
This initiative shows that the international military contingent, which the United States attracted for its Enduring Freedom Operation, is about to end its existence. It seems that there is no unity in the coalition.
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said in August 2009 that Ottawa was not going to leave its contingent in Afghanistan after 2011, even if other NATO allies asked the nation to do so. The Canadian authorities, the minister said, were concerned about the losses of its servicemen in the war-torn nation.
Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi said in September of this year that he would like his men to return back home from Afghanistan. The majority of Italians strictly condemn their nation’s military presence in Afghanistan.
As for Australian military men, there are over 1,500 of them in Afghanistan at the moment. The Australian Special Air Service conducted many successful operations against the Taliban movement. However, the renowned military unit had to pay a big price for that.
Australia has lost eleven men in Afghanistan during Enduring Freedom Operation. The criticism of the government began to grow in the nation. Many Australians were saying that the government was too much involved in helping its British and American colleagues.
“I don't want to see Australian troops in Afghanistan a day longer than is necessary,” Faulkner said in his recent interview.
About a third of the Australian military contingent – 450 people – will return home already on November 7.
Why did the nation send its troops to Afghanistan at all?
Mikhail Ovsyannikov, a man of Russian origin, who lives and works Down Under for a long time already, said in his interview with Pravda.Ru that Australia was not an internationally isolated nation.
“In spite of the fact that Australia is geographically distanced from all centers of world politics, it is not going to live in this self-isolation. The country tries to play an important role on the international arena. As a matter of fact, Australia is a regional superpower, and its ambitions touch upon not only Oceania, but Asia as well.
“Its foreign political course is connected with that of Britain, since Australia is a member of the British Community. The British Queen still reigns in Australia.
“In addition, Canberra has many areas of common interest with the United States. The ties became especially close after the end of WWII, when communists took China under control. Afterwards, the Australian military contingent joined the US army in Korea and Vietnam.
“Australia needs support of the USA because of its complicated relations with Indonesia and because of China’s growing activities in the Pacific region. This is the reason why Australia participates in all US-led military operations, including the war in Iraq. The Australians are sick and tired of the war in Afghanistan, and now the government intends to withdraw its troops from there as soon as possible.
“Australia does not risk to ruin its relations with the United States – the two countries have been friendly with each other for too long already,” Mr. Ovsyannikov said.
Those who said that Canada’s decision to pull out from Afghanistan would trigger a chain reaction were right.