Greens MP Adam Bandt has called on the government to do better in this week's Afghanistan debate than Defence Minister Smith did in question time today.
Mr Bandt asked the Minister if the government agreed with the Pentagon's assessment that the Karzai government was a "criminal syndicate"? The Minister failed to give a direct answer.
"The character of the Karzai government is a key question for this week's debate", Mr Bandt said today.
"So the Defence Minister should not try and avoid this damning assessment reported to have been made by General Petraeus, the head of the US military in Afghanistan."
"I look forward to a more honest discussion over the coming days about what is at stake for our defence forces and the people of Afghanistan."
"The argument that we are there to protect democracy no longer stacks up."
Mr Bandt will make his contribution to the debate on Wednesday.