Australia 'would follow Dutch withdrawal' from Afghanistan

AUSTRALIA would most likely follow should Dutch troops withdraw from southern Afghanistan, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson says.

Mr Nelson gave the warning to 12 Dutch parliamentarians in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul this week, The Australian newspaper reported.

The Dutch Parliament is considering whether to pull its troops out
of the Oruzgan province following a series of casualties and the
turning tide of public opinion in the Netherlands about the conflict.

Australian engineers and special forces are based alongside the
Dutch troops and have had increased contact with Taliban fighters in
recent weeks.

The Dutch forces provide vital helicopter air cover for the
Australians working to build checkpoints and patrolling around the
Oruzgan town of Tarin Kowt.

Australian commanders fear their forces would not be able to operate without that cover, the paper reported.

“We are not in a position to increase our numbers in Afghanistan and
we won't and we can't take the lead position in Tarin Kowt,” Mr Nelson

“There are Australian soldiers who owe their lives to the Dutch Apache helicopters and they play a critical role.

“The consequences of a Dutch withdrawal, if we can't find another partner, is that we would be far too exposed to continue.”

The Dutch have 2,200 troops at the Camp Holland base at Tarin Kowt and have suffered the deaths of six soldiers.


Time for parliament to discuss bringing UK troops home.


About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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