The newly elected government of Kevin Rudd has announced a change in Australian policy regarding the Iraq war. Australian troops will begin withdrawing from that nation in the coming months. Former Prime Minister John Howard, a close ally of President Bush, repeatedly said the troops would stay until the job was done and criticised Labor’s plan to “cut and run” as galvanizing terrorists. Apparently, his party has decided to change this stance and the Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson, Andrew Robb, recanted the Howard position and announced support for troop withdrawal. He claimed Howard would have followed this policy if he had remained in office.
Last July, Prime Minister Howard denied a rumor that he had a secet plan to leave Iraq saying it was “absurd.” But, in politics, when the people speak with their vote, those who are defeated rethink what cost them the election. Prime Minister Rudd said he would leave it to the public to judge whether Howard would have changed course. The bottom line is that Australia’s troop commitment in Iraq will soon be concluded.