On the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war, Prime Minister John Howard has been forced to clarify his position on the existence of a plan to cut and run.
The Opposition asked John Howard whether he was aware of reports the United States (US) has prepared a plan for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and whether he had a similar plans for Australian forces.
“The answer is yes, it’s normal for that contingency planning to be made,” Mr Howard said.
That piqued the interest of the Labor leader, Kevin Rudd.
“He stated for the first time that the Government has in place a contingency plan for the phased withdrawal of Australian forces from Iraq,” he said.
“What is that plan?”
The Prime Minister told Parliament he was referring to the US plan.
The Prime Minister is firm on this. It’s just a contingency plan to cut and run, not the main stay the course plan. And this cut and run plan is the US’s cut and run plan anyway, not our cut and run plan – In fact we don’t have a cut and run plan. Our plan is to stay the course by supporting the US. We are 100% behind the US with this. In this aspect we are not wavering in any way.