Redeploying SAS not the answer – Key
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 12:20p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Prime Minister John Key says the Defence Force’s withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t be affected by the latest deaths of three New Zealand soldiers.
The Government has been discussing whether to pull its troops out in the earlier or later part of next year.
“It is possible that it will be an early 2013 date but that hasn’t changed as a result of this great tragedy that we’ve suffered overnight,” Mr Key told Firstline. “It is a significant logistical exercise to withdraw and also they are effectively providing support services for our humanitarian aid effort.”
Mr Key says he is aware that insurgent activity has been increasing in Bamiyan province for some time. But it’s unlikely that members of the elite SAS would be redeployed there, because of the lack of intelligence and logistical support available.
“In the end I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to try and provide safety and security for our people, but the advice I’ve had over the last few weeks is that sending the SAS back wouldn’t actually alter the situation at this point,” he says.
The troops were travelling in a humvee, a type of military vehicle that generally provides less protection than light armoured vehicles (LAVs). But the Prime Minister says the explosion was so large that even being in a LAV wouldn’t have prevented their deaths.
“In all probability the number [lost] would’ve been greater,” he says, “because there are generally seven or eight people in an LAV. So that gives you an idea of the size of its bomb and its capability.”
Mr Key says his heart sank when he was told about the deaths.
“Your heart just sinks. It’s an awful thing for those families and for the whole country who feel, to a degree, a sense of helplessness about the whole situation.”
“I think everyone understands what we’ve been doing and has got some sense of the gains but also now a very real sense of the risks.”
Watch the video for John Key’s full interview on Firstline.
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21/08/2012 9:16:52 a.m.
For reporters and the general public to suggest that the SAS should redeploy is a laughable! Needing to use special forces to 'protect' trained soldiers would insinuate that the army itself is joke and needs to be wrapped in a protective blanket every time they're deemed to be in danger. Do you see the British or Americans calling in their special forces whenever one of their thousands of casualties occur? No, of course you don't, as they are profession soldiers and they expect to be trusted with enough guts and skill to do what soldiers do best, fight. I may have only served in the NZDF for 3 years after 12 years in the British airborne forces, but I'm pretty sure kiwi soldiers would love to be given the chance to prove themselves as the allied troops fighting and dying in the Helmund Province are doing on a daily basis and no longer mollycoddled as if they were conscripts who were somewhere the didn't choose to be!
20/08/2012 8:37:53 p.m.
Sign agreements with the Yanks,just too keep face.Does he really care about our troops lives?And those who never come back too meet their love ones again.A world war is different,as a song goes why do they have too fight another mans dirty war,when they wont fight in it them selves. How many more need to die in this stupid fight,not even a war.
20/08/2012 8:12:49 p.m.
The problem with afghanistan is that it has been at war for the last 40 years.
First russia invaded and had to withdraw because the Afghan's drove them out... of course this was brought about by the CIA funding and training Osama Bin Laden in terrorist tactics.
But Anyone that actually believes that a war can be won in Afghanistan, really is truely deluded.
20/08/2012 6:28:18 p.m.
yes it is you cowered send every one we have and if every one follows suit and 50,000 troops arrive the war will be over much quicker and it will send a message that the world will not stand for any more of there BS walk out know and all the deaths will be for nothing and the TB will regroup and 9/11/will happen again
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