Afghanistan's ambassador has warned that the withdrawal of Australian troops from Oruzgan does not mean reliance on Australian Defence Force resources will end.
Nasir Ahmad Andisha said yesterday that the focus was already on what logistical and technical support Australia would be providing the Afghan security forces in the province.
The ADF finished its drawdown from Oruzgan on Sunday, with the last of its troops leaving the Tarin Kowt base after eight years.
About 400 defence personnel will remain in Afghanistan, based at Kabul and Kandahar, mostly to advise and train the Afghan National Army and police units.
Australian special forces will also stay, though their operations will be defined by a bilateral security agreement still being negotiated between President Hamid Karzai and the US.
The agreement will be needed to ensure foreign troops in active combat have immunity from prosecution under Afghan law.
Mr Andisha said that although ADF troops had left Tarin Kowt, Australian involvement in Oruzgan would be critical to the success of the ANA's 4th Brigade and the local police.
"If anyone in Australia thinks that the Afghan security forces in Oruzgan will be able to maintain security at the level before departure of the Australian forces, without logistical, air transportation and medical evacuation support to the 4th Brigade, they should rethink," he said.
"These forces are still in need of Australian support. We don't need 1550 troops on the ground but we need equipment and enablers for us to keep security at the same level."
The deployment to Afghanistan has been Australia's longest, with more than 25,000 having served in the country since prime minister John Howard evoked the ANZUS treaty in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia had paid a high price with the death of 40 soldiers. "As I said a month or so back in Tarin Kowt, this war is ending not with victory, not with defeat, but with hope that Afghanistan is a better place and that Oruzgan in particular is a better place for our presence," he said.
"So while it is a bittersweet moment when our soldiers leave - bitter, particularly for the families who have lost their loved ones - nevertheless it is an episode in the long and proud martial story of our country that we can look back on with pride."
Asked if the war had been worth it, Mr Abbott said: "I accept that 40 families have paid an almost unbearable price but nevertheless if you look at the benefits for our country, for Afghanistan and for the wider world, my conclusion is, yes, it has."