At the cost of 40 soldiers, words are cheap

OPINION: It is almost 12 years since Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked aeroplanes and flew them into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the US.

The Australian Defence Force entered the fray in Afghanistan soon after, joining the US in the invasion of the nation that harboured the terrorist organisation.

Even the most peace-loving people had a hard time arguing against this, with the terrible images of September 11, 2001 fresh in everyone's mind.

Taking down Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were clear objectives, yet it took another decade before Bin Laden was shot.

Last week, the 40th Australian soldier was killed in Afghanistan during a battle with insurgents.

As the war in that country stretched beyond 10 years, it was hard not to think about whether the job could have been done in Afghanistan much sooner, and more Australian soldiers' lives saved.

The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with September 11.

George Bush branded the country part of the Axis of Evil, and for years soldiers from the Coalition of the Willing were taken away from what should have been their main focus - Afghanistan.

As the ADF spoke to the media last week about the latest death, and assured the public the transition of soldiers out of the country was on track, the mind kept returning to the weasel words of politicians the world over, who started a secondary war in Iraq for their own purposes, and left the conflict in Afghanistan to linger on.

Topics:  afghanistan deaths opinion roderick makim soldiers terrorism war

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