The news today presents an article entitled "Labor Iraq Policy at risk as US considers downsizing Jordan base", the meat of the article is that the US training base in Jordan could be downsized or closed; and the Labor parties policy had been to pull-out of Iraq and send Australian troops to the Jordan training facility to train Iraqi security forces. Unfortunately there are many complications in this, travelling to Jordan from Iraq is not as easy as it sounds with new Visa restrictions; even if it is to train to become a security gaurd. More importantly there are already several hundred thousands Iraqi's displaced in Jordan; many of whome are there under expired visas.
I have a suggestion for Mr Rudd, and I say this not as an opponent to his policy but mearly as someone who truely wishes for a successfull policy for easing the strain on the already stressed Middle East. Especially the Iraqis.
I believe that some Australian forces should pull out, and in exchange have a humanitarian mission much like those we have sent around our own neighbours, after the Tsunami for instance, and to other places struck by misfortune. But not send them to Iraq. Send them to Jordan to proccess and transfer the displaced Iraqi's into secure living circumstances, where they can think about how to change Iraq's future and possibly bring some political solutions to the board.
This also brings some relief to Jordan's over-worked immigration and policing ministries, and to the UNHCR staff working there. The mission could quite easily obtain UN approval and as such possibly get emergency workers for UNHCR brought to Jordan.
On the other hand the Australian troops could be placed along the Jordanian border, where they could build high-quality temporary accomodation to host those refugee's who are refused entry, or deported from Jordan (they could possibly set a few of these up at other borders too?)
There are many low-risk jobs that need to be done. What we need is for the international community to step up and start taking responsiblity for not preventing the US invasion in the first place, and the only way to do that is to become part of the solution to this huge problem.