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Australia is wasting resources in Afghanistan: experts


12:17, September 25, 2011

CANBERRA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Australia's military campaign in Afghanistan is a serious policy failure with no serious prospect of achieving, defense experts said in an interview with Xinhua recently, adding that the on-going spending on the war will constitute a drain on resource.

The comment came following the assassination of former Afghan president and Afghan peace negotiator, Burhanuddin Rabbani. The killing was the latest high-profile attack by insurgents, who are currently engaged in back-channel peace talks with the U.S. via Pakistani intermediaries.

An Australian foreign and defense policy expert at University of Newcastle, Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds, said the recent assassinations and the rising death toll among coalition soldiers indicated the insurgency is gathering pace and sophistication in Afghanistan.

He said it is possible that there is a much broader and uncoordinated insurgency then applying the Taliban label would suggest, and he expected the coalition force will continue to struggle with insurgents, who are motivated not only by opposition to North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) presence, but a plethora of local issues that have been long neglected in the strife-torn nation.

As of the prospects for peace in the country, Professor Reynolds casted a shadow over it, saying that it is considerable diminished by the uncertainty surrounding the profile of the Taliban leadership.

"It is also clear that there is considerable uncertainty about the negotiating framework for peace," he told Xinhua in an interview. "While the elimination by the U.S. and NATO of Taliban leaders suggests a hierarchy it does not seem to extend to intelligence about the chain of command with respect to negotiators."

Meanwhile, former senior Defense Department official and government advisor, Professor Hugh White, said the latest assassination showed that chances of Australian Defense Force completing its objectives in Afghanistan are "very low".

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