Why are they saying Australia has failed in Afghanistan?


It has been two decades since Australia first followed the US into Afghanistan post 9/11 attack. With an objective not so complicated to hunt down Osama bin laden and clear out the resistance in between. Specially Taliban forces, who were sheltering Osama at the time.

Since then, 10 billion Australian dollars have been spent, 41 soldiers have lost their lives, 260 men have been wounded, and more than 500 veterans have committed suicides.
over a thousand have suffered severe PTSD. Weighing the recent outcome the world is seeing in Afghanistan, one can question, has Australia failed in Afghanistan?

Australia in Uruzgan Province

The Taliban captured Uruzgan Province without resistance. This province was the center of the Australian forces from July 2006. Australia withdrew its forces in December 2013. The money, sweat, and hard work in training the Afghan National Army to prepare them for the fight since 2001 had failed. But is it the only failure in the last 20 years? No,
there is a long list of loss of potential gains in the previous two decades.

Potential gains such as children born in the last two decades had improved access to education. We are afraid we can not say about the same for the next generation.
The health sector was improved. Comparatively, Huge foreign aid and investment poured into the country. The private sector had developed, even free media has been established.

All these improvements are on the verge of loss now as the new form of Taliban Rule is ready to push the country 20 years ago, when women could not have education or work. again They will be back to be just housemaids.

In 2012, Australian journalist Jeremy Kelly visited Uruzgan province, where, what he saw was enough to astonish him, he wrote, In 2006, there were only 34 schools in the province, now they have grown to 205. But the matter does not end here,
Out of 32 schools in Chora, only one was running. In all other schools, the teachers were just for the salary.

last year in the western district of Deh Rawood, the Afghan government and the foreign officials were astounded when they came to find out the vacant school’s premise, which was built by the international fund, was being used to grow opium and cannabis.”

An independent Afghan NGO assessed the situation after years of ADF’s Withdrawl in Uruzgan province in November 2020 and found out that despite the health care facilities available to the Afghan women, they face difficulties frequently accessing these facilities

Major roads in control of the Taliban and the clash with the armed forces limited access to education and health facilities. Internal displacement due to disease and the drought-affected agriculture badly.

With the strict prohibition of girl’s education, the Taliban allowed some of the schools to open. The faithful US allies, Australians, were just following the protocols of the Americans. Unlike the US, they came with few resources and did not have control over the strategy, so can they be held responsible for the fiasco of a bigger mission?

Undoubtedly, thousands of men and women served honorably and tried to do their best for the Afghan people. Unfortunately, it will all be forgotten soon, and the reports of Brereton will be remembered.

Brereton report 2016 is the inquiry report by the inspector general of the Australian defense force. It’s about the war crimes committed by the Australian defense force between 2005-2016.