‘Afghanistan scares the hell out of’ Rudd: WikileaksBy ANI
Friday, December 10, 2010
SYDNEY - Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was deeply pessimistic about the country’s progress in the Afghanistan war, according to classified US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website Wikileaks.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the cables also include embarrassing revelations about Rudd’s conduct.
A cable sent to Washington in October 2008 by the US Embassy in Canberra records what Rudd told a group of visiting US congressmen.
“He (Rudd) concluded by noting that the national security establishment in Australia was very pessimistic about the long-term prognosis for Afghanistan,” the cable said.
Rudd also told US politicians that “he supported the Afghan war ‘from day one’, but confided that ‘Afghanistan scares the hell out of me’”.
The former Prime Minister was also critical of Australia’s European allies, accusing them of having “no common strategy for winning the war or winning the peace”.
“In the south-east, the US, Canada, British, Australia and Dutch were doing the ‘hard stuff’, while in the relatively peaceful north-west, the Germans and French were ‘organising folk-dancing festivals’,” the cable reported on Rudd’s comments.
A separate cable records the Australian Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ric Smith delivering a bleak assessment of the international community’s Afghan strategy.
“Smith had just returned from a visit to Oruzgan and described the mission in Afghanistan and Afghan government presence as a ‘wobbly three-legged stool’,” the cable said. (ANI)