No more Australian troops to Afghanistan unless NATO reforms

March 18th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by admin  

Canberra, March 18 (Xinhua) Australia Tuesday said it would not consider sending more troops to Afghanistan until NATO adopts a winning strategy. Speaking at a forum of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said he would continue to push for a new roadmap for success in Afghanistan and a greater commitment from NATO partners.

Australia is committed to a long-term strategy in Afghanistan, but it was not unconditional, he said.

A NATO summit meeting is scheduled next month in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Australia, a non-NATO nation, has 1,000 troops serving in south-central Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Fitzgibbon has been highly critical of the absence of an effective strategy for long-term victory and of some NATO member states that restrict their troops from serving in the more dangerous parts of the country.

“We will continue to review our commitment on a regular basis but as a matter of principle we are committed in the long term,” he added.

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