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ADF Afghan role must be revealed.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

ADF Afghan role must be revealed

Senator Nettle, 8th December 2006

The Chief of Defence Force has admitted that he misled the Senate about ADF Operations in Afghanistan in a letter to the Senate Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee. (attached)

Answering questions by Senator Nettle about Australian involvement in the controversial Operation Mountain Thrust, CDF Angus Huston denied to the Senate Foreign Affairs and Trade committee that Australians were involved in the operation. His letter released today now states that the Australian Special Forces Task did participate in the operation.

Senator Nettle has called the Defence Minister Brendan Nelson to clarify exactly what Australian troops have been doing in Afghanistan.

"The Chief of Defence Force's misleading answer to my questions about Operation Mountain Thrust closed off any further inquiry into this controversial operation."

"This operation was the bloodiest of all the fighting since the Coalition invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. There have been allegations of wrongful killings including by Australians that need to be examined."

"The New York Times has reported one such claim by an Afghan MP who said that American and Australian forces fired upon his family's car killing his brother in law and injury his wife and children."

"The Greens want to know and the Australian people have a right to know what our troops have been doing in Afghanistan."

"Now the Chief of Defence has admitted our troops were part of Operation Mountain Thrust the Defence Minister Brendan Nelson needs to clarify exactly what they were doing." Senator Nettle will purse these questions again in Senate Estimate hearings in February. Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146