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After the dust settles in Afghanistan, there’s a real question for Australia: do we continue to follow the US blindly, or forge our own way forward?

A military plane leaves Kabul (Image: AP)

Our “great and powerful friend” the United States has suffered another humiliating defeat, this time in Afghanistan. In fact, in the more than 75 years since victory over Japan, the US has rarely won a clear victory.

Since the 1940s, in conflict after conflict, the US has had to withdraw bruised and bleeding — despite its apparently overwhelming superior force.

We are reminded of the wisdom of late PM Malcolm Fraser: “Our great and powerful friend can be a dangerous ally.” Why? Because we can be lockstep with the US without considering the chances of success, let alone whether the ends justify the means. Then, as has happened too often, we are burdened with consequences we had never really considered, let alone prepared for.

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