After a five year tour of duty assisting American forces in iraq, the Australian government has withdrawn all of its combat troops from Iraq and they will be returning home. There was not a single Australian fatality during their entire time in the war zone. As an American official told a Washington Post journalist, “except for th Brits, they weren’t there to fight.” Ironically, Australian SAS troops were involved in leading invasion forces during the initial entry into Iraq, but after that point, they were kept out of harm’s way during the ensuing conflict. In 2005, Australian troops were dispatched to southern Iraq to protect Japanese econstruction workers.
A contingent of about 110 soldiers will remain in Baghdad to provide security for Australian embassy workers.
The Australian troops during WWII earned the reputation as being among the finest in the Allied forces, but apparently Iraq never captured the same feeling of commitment to the Australian government.