Somehow, the job that we’re doing in Afghanistan is so crucial that it is worth our SAS soldiers dying for
– but only until 31st March 2012.
Come the dawning of April 1st 2012 that sacrifice will somehow become no longer necessary.
( At which point Prime Minister John Key
will presumably be holding a press conference with a huge “Mission Accomplished” banner as a backdrop. )
In reality, the announcement yesterday of the latest New Zealander SAS soldier to die in Afghanistan
– and the utterly arbitrary time frame for our special forces involvement in that war
– is another example of the lives of soldiers being wasted for the convenience of politicians.
Oh, Key has made the usual noises :
“I don’t regret the decision that we made to commit the SAS to Afghanistan.
I think they are playing their critical part to free the world from global terrorism.”
That linkage between the SAS effort and the fight against “global terrorism”
is a case that Key has never made,
and never explained to the New Zealand public.
Other People’s Wars
Nicky Hager’s new book
Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq & the War on Terror
details the activities of the New Zealand military and intelligence agencies in the Middle East
In usual Hager style, it takes much evidence from with leaked classified military and intelligence documents,
supplemented by interviews with soldiers and senior military officials.
According to the book,
military decisions are often made without reference to the wishes of the elected government.
“People assume that politicians make decisions, but often they’re busy, ill-informed or actively excluded …
The worst decisions were made by senior officials and military officers,
often without [the ministers’] knowledge.”
—senior NZ government official.