Peace, Security, and Counter-Terrorism

Australia and Australians abroad have been the victim of a number of horrific terrorist attacks.

 

This loss of life has been terrible and has deeply shaped Kevin’s zero-tolerance approach to terrorism, and his work understanding the type of practical intelligence, security and social intervention strategies that are most effective in dealing with this threat to the entire international community.

 

That's why as PM he led a re-definition of Australia's role in Afghanistan, including Australia's particular responsibility for Uruzgan Province. In Afghanistan, the Australian presence not only trained the 4th Brigade of the Afghan National Army, but also undertook large scale programs in the education of women and girls, the building of mosques with schools attached, basic health care and the extension of the road network.

 

As Shadow Foreign Minister, Kevin helped lead the Australian Opposition Government's campaign against Australian participation in the invasion of Iraq. He stated explicitly in the Australian parliament at the time that the US decision to invade Iraq was in violation of the UN Security Council and created dangerous precedents for the future. He also argued that the Iraq invasion could not be justified on the grounds of "counter-terrorism." In fact it has spawned terrorism.

 

When elected, he withdrew Australian forces from Iraq.

 

Kevin has also argued repeatedly that terrorism must be condemned wherever it occurs and without qualification: whether it's in the US, Russia, China, France, the UK, in the Middle East, South or South East Asia or Africa.

 

"We will take all necessary and practical measures to combat the threat of terrorism." - Australian Government Counter-Terrorism White Paper, 2010

 

 

He believes the UN can and must become more effective in supporting global efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms. The recent UN resolution on Combatting Violent Extremism is a useful start. But the resolution needs institutional teeth, particularly in international terrorist financing. There is also a crying need to fill the employment gap across the Middle East and North Africa.

 

"If you don't have sustainable growth, you don't have jobs, particularly for a whole bunch of emerging young males who don't have stuff to do - then frankly the path to militant Islamism is a very short one indeed." Asia Society New York 15 December 2015

 

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