980 Australian Soldiers in Iraq

Why are we still in Iraq?

This is an excerpt, the text below is a reducted transcript. 

Please read the original article in the SMH.

Why are Australian Forces still in Iraq? SMH 

by Alison Broinowski

The War on Terror that began in 2001 has been Australia’s longest ... 

for little benefit.


We have a window of opportunity to do as Canada has done, and suspend military operations in Iraq. The government should keep Australia out of a proxy war between the US and Iran in Iraq, and refuse to commit to an illegal war of aggression against Iran.


Yet, as always, our government will do what the Americans want. It will presumably keep the Australian Defence Force in Iraq, including special forces, in defiance of Iraq's Parliament - until the US, not Iraq, says they can leave. 

Or until Trump can make up his mind. It was he, as a presidential candidate, who promised an end to useless wars the US couldn't win.


To say he and the US are unreliable allies, as Malcolm Fraser did in 2014, is a diplomatic understatement. Our unquestioning collaboration with them is increasingly making Australia an international pariah.


We have been given no decent explanation as to why Australian forces remain in Iraq, at great taxpayer expense, after 17 years. 


Australia has no interests requiring military intervention in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran, or Iraq, where IS has all but collapsed. Former Army chief Peter Leahy argues that Australia's priorities should be far closer to home. He warned last year before the current crisis that the Hormuz deployment poses a "severe chance" of mission creep.


The government should state in Parliament what its intentions are for our troops in Iraq and for our naval mission in the Strait. Such information should not continue to be withheld from the Australian public.


The Prime Minister should make clear to President Trump that Australia, which respects international law, will not join any illegal war against Iran - and that we do not regard the current situation as having anything to do with the "war on terror".


The US always needs a coalition for war: if its allies refuse to join, war may be avoided.