A former federal agent says it would be an "absolute travesty" for Australia and the United States to withdraw troops from Afghanistan so soon, and doing so could mean heroin makes a rampant international return.
David Healey, now the principal at Canberra's David Healey Solicitors, was deployed to Afghanistan with the Australian Federal Police for a year in 2010 to help train and mentor Afghan officers on "how to stay alive".
He also helped provide much needed security to the provinces.
More than a decade later and with Afghanistan on "the verge of collapse", he said the job's not done, and the international community needed to go back in and finish it.
He said by the time the AFP deployed to Afghanistan, some damage had already been done with really poor and uncoordinated training, and by time of the 2014 withdrawal, "the important jobs of state building and the rule of law rebuild had been left largely undone".
"It's just way too premature [to pull out forces]," Mr Healey said.
"As soon as they pull out anyway, the Taliban will just take over. They're already fairly prevalent in most provinces.
"Islamic State is in the same boat. Islamic State actually control a couple of prisons throughout some of the provinces."
As well as having trained national police in Afghanistan, Mr Healey did work for the AFP as a lawyer in Kabul on the rule of law.
He's been doing a PhD on post-conflict policing in Afghanistan at the Australian National University for the past nine years and has almost completed his research and thesis.
Mr Healey's paper will recommend that a police-led United Nations coalition go back into Afghanistan, along with a military force to provide security against insurgent forces like the Taliban, Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
It will also recommend that legal professionals like lawyers, ex-judges and prosecutors join the mission so the country has a hope of re-building its rule-of-law systems.
"The international community needs to go back in and actually finish the job," Mr Healey said.
"So, get the place secure again and train the Afghan National Police to actually do proper security and protect witnesses, so that the criminal justice system can operate and make decisions without repercussion or reprisals.
"There's no security, there's no justice system. Judges are being assassinated and complainants, witnesses and victims targeted by offenders."
Mr Healey said there needed to be higher level political agreements between Afghanistan and bordering countries like Pakistan to ensure that, once the Taliban, Islamic State and Al Qaeda were "flushed out", they didn't return.
"This will enable a UN police-led mission to get about properly training those in the criminal justice system to get Afghanistan back on its feet and to rebuild its economy," he said.
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Mr Healey said there would be transnational criminal ramifications if troops were totally withdrawn from Afghanistan, and those ramifications would undo much of the good work done over the past two decades.
"So you had drugs, you had illegal firearms, illegal immigrants coming out of Afghanistan and spreading to parts of the world including Australia," he said.
"It's dangerous to withdraw completely, because transnational crime is already largely unchecked in Afghanistan due to the issue of poor security.
"The Taliban relies on the profits of the heroin and the poppy field and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that heroin could make a large and unwelcome return to the streets of countries around the world including Australia if a re-deployment to Afghanistan by way of UN police-led mission is not contemplated."
Mr Healey expected his paper would be published by the end of 2021.
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