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“There is No Justification for Risking Australian Lives in Afghanistan”


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As each name is added to the growing list of Australians killed serving in Afghanistan, the government assures the nation that the sacrifice in lives has been for a good cause and in the national interest. But what is the national interest that justifies such a terrible cost? Is this the price of our alliance with the United States? Is this the price of helping to curb the terrorist threat? Is this the price of national honour? Some believe that the price must be paid in the service of such causes. Yet others find no consolation in claims of national interest; condemning the loss of Australian lives far from home.

Arguing for the proposition will be Kellie Tranter, Raoul Heinrichs and Eva Cox. Arguing against the proposition will be Sonia Ziaee, Jim Molan and Peter Singer.


Kellie Tranter

Kellie Tranter is a lawyer and commentator who ran as an Independent candidate for the NSW seat of Maitland. Kellie has practiced as lawyer for more than a decade and established a legal practice in her home town of Maitland in 2003. She stood as an Independent candidate for Maitland at the 2011 NSW... Read more

Peter Singer

Australian philosopher Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and the recipient of the Berggruen Prize for ideas that shape human self-understanding. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason) and The Mo... Read more

Raoul Heinrichs

Raoul Heinrichs is a scholar, editor of the Lowy Institute’s Strategic Snapshots and former foreign and security adviser to Kevin Rudd while in opposition. Raoul is a Sir Arthur Tange doctoral scholar at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. Raoul edits the L... Read more

Eva Cox

Eva Cox has been an academic, political adviser, public servant, and runs a small research and policy consultancy. A sociologist by trade, she promotes ideas widely and eclectically in books, on line, in journals and other media. Eva was born Eva Hauser in Vienna in 1938, and was soon declared state... Read more

Sonia Ziaee

Sonia Ziaee is an Afghani businesswoman, Flinders University student, and Afghani student community activist. Sonia was born in 1984 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Due to the war in her country, she and her family had to flee to Pakistan twice, where she completed her schooling. Sonia is the only female dir... Read more

Jim Molan

Jim Molan is a retired major-general of the Australian armed forces who, from 2004, oversaw a multinational force of some 300,000 troops in Iraq as the country undertook the first democratic elections after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Jim is the best-selling author of Running the War in Iraq. In 200... Read more


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