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Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 18:10 | SYDNEY
Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 18:10 | SYDNEY

Afghanistan parliamentary debate

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8 October 2010 17:21

My thanks to John Birmingham for recommending our Afghanistan debate to his blog readers. That specific Interpreter debate is a few months old now, though we should see the subject revived very soon, with the announcement from the Greens today that a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan is likely to happen in November.

But I think the tone of the debate will be different to when we last discussed it in earnest on The Interpreter, largely because of the latest Bob Woodward book. Whereas the Greens would probably be anticipating a full-throated 'we should leave' vs 'we should stay' debate, the Woodward book (or at least, the extracts I have seen) puts Obama pretty squarely in the 'we should leave' camp, even if it is likely to be a slow retreat.

Notwithstanding Senator David Johnston's comments calling for a bigger commitment, the Woodward book ought to at least plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the major parties that a too-vigorous endorsement of the war might leave them looking 'holier than the pope'.

The Greens could find themselves with some very unenthusiastic debating opponents, which presumably is just what they don't want.

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