The NZ Herald has become a left-wing rag in the past decade. They’ve run hit job after hit job on anyone and everyone who is right of centre.
But today, bless, they basically told Labour they are wrong to want to pull out of Iraq.
The Government’s decision to extend the service of New Zealand soldiers in Iraq beyond next February’s deadline is the right one, even though the Prime Minister had previously indicated the troops were on two-year deployment due to end next May. The extension means 143 men and women from the Defence Force will be rotated through Iraq until November 2018.
It is a significant commitment, and was forecast to cost about $57 million by the time it was due to wind up next year. The longer stay will probably double the bill. A heavily-censored review of the deployment considered by the Cabinet in March said the work undertaken by New Zealand Defence Force personnel had been successful.
Since May last year, NZDF soldiers at the Taji Military Base near Baghdad, where they work with Australian forces, had trained some 4000 Iraqi troops. Instruction included weapons training, conflict first aid, human rights and planning for combat operations. Three junior leadership courses were completed and Iraqi medics attended a six-day course.
The review said the military training was having a “tangible and positive impact” on the ability of Iraqi Army units to wage war against the Islamic State or Isis. Groups which had completed training performed better than those which had not been through a programme. Read more »