Australia on Tuesday abruptly announced the closure of its ambassador to Afghanistan this week, expressing fears over “unpredictable security” in Kabul following a US plan to withdraw its army from a war-torn country.
The shocking news comes a month after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the withdrawal of 80 Australian troops deployed as part of NATO Resolute Support, which is responsible for training and supporting Afghan troops. The country completed its military campaign in 2013.
On Tuesday, the Australian Prime Minister said the site was closed as a “long-term solution” on May 28 – in just three days – “given the fact that global military forces are approaching Afghanistan”.
The United States and military have begun withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, 20 years after defeating the then Taliban regime in the aftermath of the September 11 protests on US soil.
It is Australia’s hope that this will be temporary and that we will resume Kabul when things go well
The Taliban on Tuesday promised to provide a “safe haven” for foreign embassies after Australia announced it would close its embassy on security matters.
“The Afghan Emirate is reassuring all foreign diplomats and aid workers that [we] it does not threaten anything, “Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem told AFP.” We must provide them with a safe haven in their work. “
The Taliban, who have carried out war crimes against NATO forces led by the US, has become like a powerful force that controls many parts of the country. The US withdrawal is part of a deal Washington made last year with the Taliban to end the war.
The elected government in Kabul and Afghan security forces have remained fragile despite the support of foreigners for two decades, and their success cannot be determined without full US support.
In recent days, violence has escalated in the country and Afghan forces have been fighting Taliban militants near eastern Kabul.
The rebels have taken over 40km (24 miles) west of the city, a traditional route to the capital and a major offensive.
The US military is leaving
All U.S. troops are expected to depart by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 threat. The U.S. entered the country after criticizing the Taliban regime at the time for holding al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, who he blamed for severely damaging US soil.
Since joining the NATO-led force in Afghanistan in 2001, more than 25,000 Australian troops have been operating in the country for many years, costing the country billions of dollars.
Australian soldiers are accused of mistreating Afghan citizens. Last year the government inquiring found evidence of war crimes against his troops. That dismissal 13 Special Armed Forces to Kill Unarmed Men and Children
Morrison said there was “increased security” with no 80 Australian members and a large US military base behind. “The government has been advised that security cannot be provided to support our presence,” he said.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Australian officials are still expecting to travel to Afghanistan from abroad, while Morrison says his country is still “committed to unity security”.
“He hopes Australia will be temporary and that we will be back in Kabul once it is established,” Morrison said.
The sudden closure surprised some Australian experts.
“It’s an amazing decision,” said John Blaxland, an international professor of security at Australia National University.
“I can understand to some extent why they would want to close, but I think it’s a sad rejection that we have to leave after 20 years of selling, blood, sweat and tears,” Blaxland told AFP.
“It’s not Saigon 1975,” he added, referring to the mysterious release from the US embassy in South Vietnam when the Viet Cong and the Armed Forces regularly occupy the city.
Blaxland has expressed fears that Afghans working with the Australian government could resign.
“This is something that, if we don’t address it, shame will last for years,” he said.