After John Howard took Australia to war in Iraq, he was scarcely held to account. Instead, he was re-elected | Paul Daley

On the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Paul Daley maps out the events leading up to Australia’s involvement and the consequent fallout

Two decades after the US-led “coalition of the willing” invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein, Australia seems to have drawn few lessons from the folly of its participation.

The preservation of the US-Australia alliance, the primary reason for the conservative Howard government’s participation, still largely impels Australia’s foreign and defence policies. If evidence of this was needed exactly 20 years after the invasion, witness this week’s $368bn commitment to the Aukus submarine deal which consequently provokes China into greater potential adversarialism against Australia alongside its joined-at-the-hip ally, the US.

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Australia urged to help Afghan allies under threat from Taliban – video

After 20 years on the ground, Australian and allied forces have rapidly exited Afghanistan – ending Australia’s longest war. The Taliban has launched a nationwide offensive and violently acquired territory from the Afghan government, leaving local workers who once assisted the Australian defence force fearing for their lives. In this  extract from Guardian Australia's Full Story podcast, Laura Murphy-Oates speaks to Afghan interpreter Naser Ahmadi about how aiding Australian forces put him and his family in danger, and reporter Ben Doherty explores the situation in Afghanistan and why some Afghan workers have been left behind

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