Australian's ask to send more, even now
TONY Abbott is rethinking the Coalition's call for more Australian troops to be sent to Afghanistan amid a plunge in his public support.

The drop came after his refusal to visit the war zone with Julia Gillard.
A Newspoll conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend has revealed a drop of nine percentage points in approval for the Opposition Leader since the last poll a month ago.
The poll - which also showed support for parties almost identical to the result at the August 21 election, with the major parties locked on two-party-preferred support of 50 per cent - was conducted in the days after Mr Abbott was criticised for rejecting an invitation by the Prime Minister for him to join her on a visit to troops earlier this month.
Mr Abbott instead visited a Conservative Party conference in Britain where, confronted about turning down the invitation and anxious not to break a security blackout over his plans for a visit a week later, he attributed his rejection of Ms Gillard's invitation to fear of jet lag.
After visiting the war zone at the weekend, Mr Abbott accused Ms Gillard of an act of "low bastardry", claiming her office told reporters about his refusal to join her trip when she knew his plans had already been locked in by Defence officials.
Speaking in Sydney yesterday, Ms Gillard said: "All I've got to say about that is I think sometimes Tony Abbott runs to harsh words before he bothers to check the facts. I think Tony's colourful phrase is not warranted and it's probably best before you use such harsh language to find out what the facts are."
The Newspoll found that although most figures had not changed since the last survey, conducted on September 10-12, voter satisfaction with the Opposition Leader fell from 48 per cent to 39 per cent. The percentage of voters dissatisfied with Mr Abbott's performance increased from 38 per cent to 47 per cent over the same period.
While the furore over Mr Abbott's travel to Afghanistan was the biggest political issue in the days leading up to the collection of the Newspoll data, the previous weeks had seen the first sittings of the 43rd parliament, during which Ms Gillard painted Mr Abbott as a "wrecker" who was unwilling to work with other political parties to make the best of the hung parliament.
Mr Abbott insisted he would not embrace a false consensus and that his job as Opposition Leader was to hold the government to account.
As the debate continued over the Opposition Leader's trip to Afghanistan, his return underlined the mixed messages being sent from the Coalition about its attitude to troop levels in the country.
Last week, in a hard-hitting speech to parliament, opposition defence spokesman David Johnston called for the deployment of 360 more combat troops backed by tanks, attack helicopters and artillery.
Opposition defence science spokesman Stuart Robert, who visited the Australian base at Tarin Kowt with Mr Abbott, yesterday told The Australian there was no demand for more troops.
"Major General (John) Cantwell, the commander on the ground, and Lieutenant General (David) Hurley made it very clear to us they're very happy with the resources they have to accomplish the mission," Mr Robert said.
"They are the military professionals and I absolutely take and accept their advice. I have come away from there assured by the commanders that the resources they've got are sufficient to accomplish their mission."
Mr Abbott said it was clear Australia's troops were stretched but indicated he was reconsidering the Coalition's position.
"It's clear that they are doing more now than they were doing just a few months ago, but they are coping because of the professionalism and the commitment that they've got," he said.
"I don't want to go into detailed policy at this point. I want to digest what I was told by our senior commanders on the spot and by the troops on the ground.
"The important thing is that our troops understand that there is bipartisan support for their mission and I think there should be bipartisan determination to give them what they reasonably need to make their mission effective."
Yesterday, Mr Abbott continued to hit out at Ms Gillard's willingness to discuss his rejection of her invitation to join her Afghanistan trip when, he said, she knew he had already organised his own trip and could not discuss it publicly for security reasons.
"I won't cop any suggestion that I'm uninterested in the welfare of our troops or indifferent to the success of their mission," he said.
Ms Gillard, speaking in Sydney, said: "All I've got to say about that is I think sometimes Tony Abbott runs to harsh words before he bothers to check the facts. I think Tony's colourful phrase is not warranted and it's probably best before you use such harsh language to find out what the facts are."