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No plan for bringing troops home from Afghanistan

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Wednesday 31 October 2012 No plan for bringing troops home from Afghanistan The Prime Minister’s statement on Afghanistan failed to commit to withdraw Australian combat troops in a specified timeframe, the Australian Greens said today "It's well past time to bring our troops home as swiftly and safely as possible.” Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said. “We have not had a time frame for withdrawal of the SAS, our brave soldiers in the most dangerous roles. It is high time we had an explicit withdrawal strategy from the Prime Minister. "The Prime Minister has said this morning that withdrawal starting this year will not be the end of combat operations for Australian troops, and the SAS may be there indefinitely. "This is bad for Australia, bad for our troops and bad for Afghanistan. As Major John Cantwell said “But the fundamental question has continued to gnaw at me: is what we have achieved in Afghanistan worth the lives lost and damaged? Today, I know the answer - it is no. It's not worth it. I cannot justify any one of the Australian lives lost in Afghanistan." "Our continued presence does not solve the problem of terrorism, which since our involvement in the war has intensified violent extremism spilling across the Afghan border into Pakistan where it terrorises the Pakistani people.” Senator Milne said. “We have lost 39 Australian soldiers in this war, and since 2007 13,000 Afghan civilians have died. How many more lives will be lost until the Government admits it is time to come home? “It’s time we brought our troops home as swiftly and safely as possible.” Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562