Afghan peace possible: Aust military chief

The Taliban is winning back territory in Afghanistan but Australia’s chief of military operations says there is hope for peace in the war-torn nation.

Australia’s mission in Afghanistan is to train and advise the local military, which is fighting to hold territory from the Taliban.

When asked if the coalition forces in Afghanistan should admit the war is lost, chief of joint operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld told a briefing: “That’s a really good question.”

“That’s one question we’ll have to have with our government, as we look forward to it,” he told reporters on Friday.

“But I can assure you that we’re nowhere near that point.”

Air Marshall Hupfeld said the war would not be over in the short term, and there was still a “highly complex” situation in Afghanistan.

“The determination of the Afghan government, the Afghan people and the security forces is that they will stay and hold,” he said.

“The Taliban, they have their military objectives, they also have their political objectives. But they’re all getting very tired.”

“There’s opportunities here for reconciliation, that’s one thing that we shouldn’t forget about.”

About 300 ADF members from the Army, Navy and RAAF and defence civilians are deployed in Afghanistan, with 20 personnel due to help the Afghan Air Force establish a Black Hawk capability.

© AAP 2018

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