Tony Abbott sought military advice on go-it-alone invasion of Iraq
TONY Abbott suggested a unilateral invasion of Iraq, with 3500 Australian ground troops to confront the Islamic State terrorist group.
Flanked by his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, in a meeting in Canberra on November 25, the Prime Minister said the move would help halt the surge of Islamic State in northern Iraq.
After receiving no resistance from Ms Credlin or his other staff in the room, Mr Abbott then raised the idea with Australia’s leading military planners. The military officials were stunned, telling Mr Abbott that sending 3500 Australian soldiers without any US or NATO cover would be disastrous for the Australians.
They argued that even the US was not prepared to put ground troops into Iraq and it would make Australia the only Western country with troops on the ground.
Asked this week about the suggestion by the Prime Minister of sending Australian ground troops to Iraq, a spokesman for Mr Abbott said: “The Prime Minister has consistently said that the Australian government will continue to talk to the government of Iraq and to our coalition partners about what Australia can usefully do to make the world a safer place and to make Australia a safer country.”
The suggestion by Mr Abbott has been uncovered during an investigation by The Weekend Australian into how the Abbott government is working and why it has been hit with problems on several flanks.
One minister said the partyroom would not permit the management style of Mr Abbott’s office, under Ms Credlin, to continue. He said: “If the management style continues this way, Tony Abbott will not take us to the next election — Malcolm Turnbull will.”
That minister had publicly supported Mr Abbott in the lead-up to the motion for a leadership spill.
The proposal to invade Iraq raises the issue of Mr Abbott’s judgment — it was made two months before his decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip. The knighthood triggered a motion for a leadership spill against Mr Abbott.
Yes, he really did! Secretly too! Sheesh
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