Papakura Military Camp is the training base for the Special Air Services (SAS) troops who will be deployed to fight in Afghanistan in three rotations over the next 18 months.
John Key announced this week that New Zealand will be sending SAS soldiers into Afghanistan to join US and British troops in the devastating quagmire that continues to lay waste to one of the world's poorest countries. On a day when British troops faced their highest casualties ever in a 24 hour period, even the most foolhardy warmongers must question this decision.
Key admits in absurdly understated fashion that “there's no getting away from the fact that Afghanistan is a dangerous place”. It is certainly dangerous for foreign troops, but far more so for innocent Afghan civilians. According to a mid-year report released by the United Nations last week, the number of civilians who have been killed has risen by 24 percent on the same period last year.
The past week has seen some horrendous atrocities carried out in the name of 'liberation', including three children wrongly identified as militants killed in a US airstrike on Kowak village.
That a government intent on pushing through cuts to domestic education and public sector services has $40m to spare on destruction in another country must come as a shock to all New Zealanders.
We should mobilise the broadest possible campaign to stop the deployment of New Zealand troops and call on our government to put pressure on the US and Britain to end this unwinnable occupation.
This article describing a speech by Anti-war Afghan MP Malalai Joya gives a really clear analysis of what is wrong with the current strategy of the West in Afghanistan