• July 21, 2021

Australian diplomats may return to Kabul, but Afghan aides amid the fog of war

Australia is considering reestablishing a diplomatic presence in Kabul, a disturbing indication that its hasty withdrawal was “a complete fiasco”.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne (Image: AAP / Lukas Coch)

Months after closing its embassy in Afghanistan, Australia is considering reestablishing its diplomatic presence, the latest move in a quiet but confused withdrawal from a country where we are waging our longest military conflict.

In April, Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced that the Australian embassy would be temporarily closed, just after US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops by September. This morning the ABC reported Payne is considering a tentative return, which may involve placing intelligence officers at CIA headquarters, before possibly bringing back some diplomats.

And just a few weeks after Australia’s last troops left Afghanistan with a groan, talk of a diplomatic comeback would mark another breakthrough in a withdrawal that has been too swift, ill-thought-out and strategically confusing.

Confusion reigns over the future of the Afghans who helped Australia in the war. Keep reading.

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