August 11, 2006


Are our troops fighting a dirty Afghan war?
I was sitting in the office of Uruzgan's Governor, Abdul Munib, filming an interview with him in May this year when two Australian officers and an American walked in complete with body armour and weapons.

The Governor introduced me as an Australian journalist and the two Australian officers simply ran out of the room, leaving their American colleague to turn to the Governor stammering, "you must understand, we really have very strict rules with the press".
So what was this reporter doig in Afghanistan anyway?
My whole reason for being in Afghanistan was to report on the situation in the area where the Australians were to be based and where, as John Howard announced this week, a total of 600 Australians will be serving by the end of the year.

After all the difficulty in getting there, what I found was a town that was essentially cut off from the rest of the country by now very strong Taliban forces. The local police chief told me he could no longer send even heavily armed patrols more than 10 kilometres in any direction without facing certain attack. The doctors at the hospital told me they could not go more than 2 kilometres from the town centre for fear for their lives from Taliban.


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