“The NZ Government’s decision to extend the deployments of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan is a demonstration of the disgusting and uncritical support of US aggressive war-making across the Middle East,” said Valerie Morse, member of Auckland Peace Action.
“This government claims to be about building a different future – but they are actively supporting Trump’s aggressive military posture in the region. The government is also dishonest about the role the NZDF has been taking in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Claims that these are just ‘advisors’ is patently false.”
“The NZDF has been in Afghanistan for 17 years. It has been in Iraq for 15 years. These are endless wars of occupation to secure US dominance in the region, set up US client states and deny the rights of ordinary people to self-determination. The whole region has been completely destabilised by the US wars, and NZ has been a consistent supporter of those wars. Frankly, it is unconscionable and inconsistent with any government claiming to be interested in peacemaking.”
“Moreover, the NZDF is embroiled in an ongoing investigation of its conduct in Afghanistan including allegations of war crimes. This could have been an opportunity to extract the troops and move towards a just outcome for those affected by the NZDF’s actions in Afghanistan.”
“Instead this government has decided to continue being a part of these wars, to side with Trump’s empire, and with the murderous activities of the US military that has been attacking the Middle East and Central Asia for more than a decade seeking to destabilise governments and secure access to oil and other resources.”
“This is beyond a missed opportunity. This decision – along with the recent military spending announcements – signal that this is a war government committed to fighting future US wars of aggression. Let us be very clear about the situation. NZ is no neutral peacemaker in the world, it is an active participant in illegal and unjust wars of aggression.”