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America’s troop pullout plans worry Australia

14 Jan 2019 Pajhwok Afghan News

KABUL (Pajhwok): Australian has cautioned the Trump administration against an abrupt troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, where a renewed peace push is underway.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne issued the warning in an interview with Indian media during her recent visit to attend that country for participation in a conference on geopolitics.

According to IANS, Payne voiced apprehension about a cut in US troops in Afghanistan. “Although there is more to do, I think it would be of great concern to Australia if key partners were to change directions at this point of time.”

Last month’s announcement by President Donald Trump of troop withdrawals and resignation of defence secretary Jim Mattis sparked concerns in Australia and among other US allies.

Peter Leahy, former chief of the Australian Army, said uncertainty over the future of the US commitment to the Middle East should prompt a rethink in Canberra on its alliance with Washington.

Speaking to News Corp Australia, Leahy said: "It makes it considerably more difficult in that going with the Trump gut reaction is no way to build and sustain a strategy.

“If we find ourselves in a situation where we make a commitment and the US change their strategy almost at. Trump`s will, what are we to do? The other issue is that Australia needs to think about the long-term viability of the US as an ally."

PAN Monitor/mud

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