Australian diplomats may return to Kabul, but Afghan helpers in fog of war

Australia is considering re-establishing a diplomatic presence in Kabul, a disturbing indication that its rushed withdrawal was ‘a complete fiasco’.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Months after shutting its embassy in Afghanistan, Australia is considering re-establishing its diplomatic presence, the latest move in a quiet but muddled retreat from a country where we fought our longest military conflict.

In April, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne announced Australia’s embassy would temporarily close, right after following US President Joe Biden’s move of withdrawing troops by September. This morning the ABC reported Payne is looking at a tentative return, which may involve stationing intelligence officers in CIA headquarters — before possibly bringing back some diplomats.

And just weeks after Australia’s final troops left Afghanistan with a whimper, talk of a diplomatic return would mark another development in a withdrawal that has been too quick, ill thought out, and strategically confused.

Confusion reigns over the future for Afghans who helped Australia in the war. Read on.

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