Brief thoughts on our troops in Afghanistan.
Start with the conclusion - bring them back to New Zealand as soon as is feasibly possible, and with as many as possible alive and unwounded.
We are lucky to have armed forces that respect the direction of the government, and do not overthrow the government every few years. As an institution, they know that their role is to defend the country, and do this by doing the government's bidding as best they can. And they are very good at their job. I supported the deployment of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, and its mission is nearly complete. Any concerns I have over the rights and wrongs of the deployment are best directed to the government, because the armed forces work at the government's behest.
The suggestion we need to stay the course is not justified. As I see it, there is a flipside to the idea that the troops are there to protect us. That flipside is that we, in return, must protect the troops. Our ability to do so lies in the ability to appeal to the government. When continuing a deployment is likely to result in more death and injury in return for very little, the course of action is obvious and our duty is to avoid more losses. It is time to protect our soldiers.
The Clean - Great Sounds EP, 1982