AUSTRALIA TO FOLLOW TRUMP IN AFGHANISTAN?

Australia may once again take a combat role in Afghanistan, with sources telling Fairfax it is expected the US will request further assistance as part of its new strategy in the country. Australia currently has 300 training and advisory staff in place, but Defence Minister Marise Payne did not rule out a return to combat missions when asked.

In a much anticipated speech yesterday, President Donald Trump said the US would pivot away from its nation building mission in Afghanistan and pursue a military victory over the Taliban. While vague on details, Trump indicated this would involve putting more pressure on Pakistan and boosting the number US troops in the country, reportedly by around 4,000. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in US history.