15 Jul 2003

Australia warned it needs an exit strategy for Solomons deployment

4:13 pm on 15 July 2003

An Australian defence expert says troops being sent to Solomon Islands risked becoming bogged down in the operation to help restore order.

Australia is to lead a contingent of more than 2,000 police and defence personnel to try and overcome the lawlessness and restore the effectiveness of the country's government.

Aldo Borgu from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says Australia needs an exit strategy to prevent the operation dragging out, and becoming a strain on defence resources.

Mr Borgu says Australian peacekeepers had ended up staying in Bougainville for five years, and were still in East Timor four years after they were first deployed there.

He says there is a risk the Solomons would become dependent on Australian troops to maintain law and order in the longer term.