All Australian Troops Now Withdrawn From Afghanistan

July 11, 2021 Updated: July 11, 2021

Australian Defence Minster Peter Dutton has confirmed that all of the nation’s defence troops have now been withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Dutton said there had been 1,500 troops in the country, which was recently reduced to 80, and now they have all been withdrawn under the advice of the chief of defence, earlier than the original September deadline.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t be a part of campaigns with the United States perhaps involving the SAS or special forces where we deem that to be in our national interest or in the interest of our allies,” the minister told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“For now though, that campaign has come to an end.”

He said the threat of terrorism hasn’t gone away and whether that manifests in Australia, in the middle east or elsewhere around the world, then Australia will be part of an effort to defeat that.

Dutton wants there to be a national day of commemoration for those 39,000 troops that served in Afghanistan in the past two decades that saw the loss of 41 lives.

“I want those diggers to hear very clearly the message that because of their efforts in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in the region, they have stopped terrorist attacks from taking place in our country,” he said.

“We are incredibly eternally grateful for that.”

He sees it as a similar story to other days of national significance in the military calendar, such as Anzac day and Vietnam Veterans day.

By Colin Brinsden