Australia’s PM considering early withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at RAAF Base Darwin, November 17, 2011

From Rod McGuirk, the AP:  Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Monday that the Australian military training mission in Afghanistan could be completed before the 2014 target date, after an Afghan army commander told a newspaper that Australian troops should be withdrawn immediately.

Gillard’s speech to Parliament raises the possibility that the Australian troop withdrawal could begin within the next three years.

Gillard said her government had no timetable for the Australian military’s primary objective of training an Afghan National Army brigade to take responsibility for security in Uruzgan province.

"But given the progress we now see, it may well be complete before the end of 2014," she said.  (photo: Getty)

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