President Donald Trump addresses the nation on his strategy for the US to
President Donald Trump addresses the nation on his strategy for the US to "eventually declare victory” in Afghanistan. Carolyn Kaster

US expected to call on our troops

AUSTRALIA will not be making any "hasty” decisions about troop deployment to Afghanistan if US President Donald Trump requests aid for his revised plan for "killing terrorists”, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne says.

The Turnbull government had not yet received a request for assistance but would consider any request from the US when it came, Mr Pyne said yesterday.

"I heard what President Trump said yesterday. I'm sure that means he will be asking allies like Australia and others for assistance,” he told ABC radio.

"We'll always consider a request from the United States, our most important ally, for assistance, but we certainly wouldn't making a hasty decision.”

He said it was in Australia's interest to not allow the Taliban to regain control of Afghanistan.

"It was used as a basis for terrorist attacks on the West before 2001 and we don't want that to happen again,” he said.

Mr Pyne said Australia had already made a significant contribution in Afghanistan, and increased its troops there to 300 in May.

Those 300 are training local forces and do not face combat.

Any request for aid would be considered by the national security subcommittee.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said on Tuesday that Australia would discuss the matter with the US to see what its expectations were.

She did not rule out Australia returning to a combat role.

The potential call to arms comes just weeks after Mr Turnbull saying Australia will "stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States” if it is attacked by North Korea.

President Trump announced the US's new approach to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan in a televised address to troops near Washington.

Reports suggest the US is considering boosting its 8400 troops in Afghanistan by 4000, but the Administration has not confirmed that.

Mr Trump said the new approach was aimed at preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists such as the Taliban.



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