Partial hand-over in Afghanistan just a first step
The Australian Greens welcomed the withdrawal of Australian troops from remaining Forward Operating Bases in Uruzgan province in Afghanistan today, but cautioned that deadly clashes would continue as long as foreign combat forces were deployed.
The Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said "this move is welcome but remains a long way off the goal of Afghan control of Afghan affairs".
"While Australian troops have withdrawn from the smaller bases in Uruzgan, we are still heavily invested in Tarin Kot and the Government has left open the indefinite deployment of Australian special forces troops.
"Ultimately only the Afghan people can end the war. The presence of foreign forces acts as a lightning rod for insurgents - including the Taliban and associated sects."