An Australian soldier, Trooper David Pearce, has been killed on active service in Afghanistan. This is distressing, if hardly surprising, news given the tenor of reports emerging from that benighted country. The ADF has released a statement on behalf of the soldier's family . I also offer my condolences to his family, friends and comrades.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the death has on Australian public opinion. While there is bipartisan support for the country's involvement in Afghanistan, the secrecy in which military operations have been shrouded together with the, until now, lack of fatalities have meant that most people know, and probably care, little about what is going on there. This may now change.
Jeff Sparrow in today's Crikey runs an eye over the situation and asks "just what do we hope to achieve?" Good question, and I wait for the government (and the opposition) to attempt an answer.