Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Aussie Troops Want to Stay in Afghanistan.

"DIGGERS have warned they will be needed in Afghanistan beyond the Government's 2014 withdrawal date."

Adelaide Now

One thing I have to say about Australian soldiers is that they are brave; extremely brave. This reputation has been developed from two world wars, and also the Korean and Vietnam wars. Australian soldiers often volunteered to fight “other peoples’ wars” in foreign lands far from their native soil. I’ve been dubious about this (especially a war started by America), but recent commentary has made me think twice.

In July this year, the death of the 28th Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan was reported:

His loss takes the death toll of Australian Diggers in the Afghanistan war to 28.
The deadly mission was a deliberate operation by about 30 Australians and 50 Afghans against a known insurgent stronghold.
They were backed by close air support from coalition fast jet fighters and Apache attack helicopters, which hit the enemy several times with bombs and cannon fire.

A second Australian commando was shot in the upper body about 10 minutes later and 1km from where Sgt Langley was killed. It is understood that more than 10 insurgents died and many more were wounded……

General Hurley said he often asked himself how frequently soldiers could be sent to Afghanistan.
"I don't think you can actually relate this to the number of tours; it is the difficulty of the operation," he said.
Australia plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2014.
Another senior officer said the army was vigilant and alert to the risk of battle fatigue, and was closely monitoring the troops.
"We have people who understand the organisation and its people who can stand back and keep an eye on things, watching out for tell-tale signs such as medical or mental health problems," the officer said.
One commando, who asked not to be named, said that the job involved multiple deployments and they loved it.
"They have the fire in the belly to go back again and again," he said.
Australia has the third largest special-forces task group in Afghanistan.
Its troops have killed dozens of senior Taliban leaders and hundreds of enemy fighters.

Source: Another of our best has fallen in Australia's worst year yet.

Of course I can’t verify the accuracy of the following comment to SBS, but someone claiming to be a ex-soldier (ADF) wrote:

The public have no clue what is going on in Afghanistan. All they see is the bad news that comes out from the injurys and deaths, they never haere any of the good news like how a medic saved a baby. This is what soldiers do! this is what we are treained for. Since we have been in Afghanistan a huge difference has been made. Majority of the locals love us there, we have helped them in so many ways and if we were to pull out now they would back to square one. I boost a massive NO to pullong out.

Prime Minister Gillard appears intent on staying ground (until 2014, so far anyway):

Sapper Robinson, who was on his second tour of Afghanistan, had been taken to Tarin Kowt hospital for treatment but died "despite the rapid application of first aid and his evacuation ... the soldier succumbed to his wounds".
Air Chief Marshal Houston paid tribute to the popular soldier.
"Though nothing will ease sense of loss I want this soldier's family to know that their loved one, his mates and their Afghan national partners were undertaking vital work in Afghanistan yesterday," he said.
"I know our soldiers on the ground are incredible and incredibly resistant, they believe they are making a substantial difference. They believe they are winning."
Speaking from Alice Springs, Ms Gillard said the soldier was a brave man doing important work.
"It is with a great sense of sadness that I offer my condolences to the family of the young man killed in Afghanistan," she said.
The death of Sapper Robinson comes a week after the deaths of Lance Corporal Andrew Jones, 25, and Lieutenant Marcus Case, 27, and two weeks after Sergeant Brett Wood, 32….

"It's very important that all Australians grieve with the families of all of our soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan," he said.
"We need to understand though that there is no such thing as casualty-free combat.
"What our troops are doing in Afghanistan is important for our nation, it's important for the whole world."

Julia Gillard and defence chief stand firm on Afghan mission after another Digger killed

World opinion, 2011: Wiki

Australian Army Battle of Derapet (Helmet cam):

Can't see the enemy? Forty Australian and Afghan soldiers were up against 100 Taliban, and one Australian soldier was killed.

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