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Australia’s Extended Military Commitment

  • April 14th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

anzac-badge-reduced.gifAn Australian military authority has backed the increased troop strength being committed to Afghanistan, saying it was a good idea to ensure sufficient forces were available to do the job.

The Director of the Office of Australian War Graves, Major General (retd.) Paul Stevens, made the assessment while visiting World War One grave sites near Ieper, in Belgium.

He acknowledged there were concerns that sending an extra 300 soldiers to Afghanistan, with more forces to follow, would stretch Australia’s resources, already extended over Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.

“It probably does, but the Defence Chiefs would know what we can do, and I’m sure we can do it,” he said.

General Stevens said Australia had made a national commitment and should “give it a go”, by “trying to do the best it could to make it work.”

His visit to the Flanders battlefields foreshadowed commemorations in the area from July, to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Local Councils, museums and other organisations say that numbers of visitors for Anzac Day and similar anniversaries have been building over recent years.