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Owning up: Australia must admit its involvement in Afghanistan has been an abject failure

By Kevin Foster, Associate Professor, Media Studies, Monash University
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Twenty years ago, Australian forces followed the US into Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks with a simple mission: to hunt down Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership and remove the Taliban government that had sheltered them. That mission has ended in abject failure.

Its costs have been significant: 41 combat-related deaths, 260 wounded, more than 500 veteran suicides, thousands afflicted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and around A$10 billion expended with precious little to show for it.

Uruzgan Province, the centre of Australian operations…


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