Minister Smith has chosen a NATO audience in Brussels, rather than a door-stop interview in Canberra, to announce that our troops will be out by December THIS YEAR. Well they say you should always check what the conjurer's other hand is doing. Apparently that withdrawal will not include our special forces, the S.A.S. and the Commando units, the ones who are at the sharp edge of this miserable little war. Why not? Well the Honourable Minister was not forthcoming on that.
This announcement comes only a week or so after the International Crisis Group and the Red Cross announced their assessments of the very real probability that Afghanistan would descend again into chaos and Taliban rule - interchangeable descriptions - once I.S.A.F. forces were withdrawn. So the question has to be asked. If the mission is really to put Afghan forces in a position to provide security in their own country without outside support, why are we leaving? If it is not that, why are we there at all?