Listen: Rev Tim Costello in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty
“We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists”.
With those words US President Donald Trump signalled a significant shift in the US approach to its longest ever war — the war in Afghanistan. It is also Australia’s longest conflict.
The position of the incoming President has been much anticipated, in particular as he had originally argued for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
What does the change in approach mean for Australia’s involvement, which to date has been in an advisory and training capacity?
What does it indicate about previous Allied operations aimed at regime change and nation building?
What does it mean for the millions of displaced persons and refugees who simply want to be able to return home and rebuild their lives, families and villages?
Open House spoke with Tim Costello, Ambassador for World Vision, about this shift in US policy.
We also took the opportunity to ask him about recent developments in public discourse in Australia, including the increasingly threatening nature of debate about controversial issues such as same sex marriage and the date of Australia Day.