First, Andrew Little was against the Iraq deployment:
In his reply to the Prime Minister’s statement, Labour leader Andrew Little said Labour could see no case for sending troops to Iraq.
He said it was clear Islamic State was brutal. “There wouldn’t be a New Zealander who has seen those images whose stomachs have not been turned. But let’s be clear what we’re dealing with. They call themselves, Islamic State, but they are not a state. They run across borders, they are cultural, ethnic, religious and driven by a number of motivations.”
He said it was a “depository of the dispossessed, the extreme and yes, the evil, but it is not a conventional enemy”.
Mr Little said it was clear the Government had made its decision some time ago “and I venture to suggest it was taken for a range of reasons that have not been outlined today.”
He doubted Mr Key’s assurances the training forces would be “behind the wire”. He said there was little doubt the troops would be exposed to the wider combat and there was little to gain.
“After 10 years of training of the Iraq Army by the US Army, what impact will we have? What can we hope to achieve? We think be sending a very modest force, we are going to achieve what the US Army has not been able to achieve in 10 years? We will not fix the Iraqi Army. It is broken, it is corrupt.”