Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Valley

I've been watching and reading The Valley, Stuff Circuit's documentary and stories on New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan, and it is disturbing. The SAS abusing civilians in order to provoke "insurgents" into combat. The Army secretly changing the focus of the Provincial Reconstruction Team from aid to killing people, without telling the public. Gung-ho ex-SAS officers getting their soldiers needlessly killed. A "very senior officer" giving illegal orders to set a booby-trap, then having their prosecution quashed and name suppressed by the top brass. And the usual NZDF secrecy and cover-up of all of this - including bullshitting their political masters. And that's what really stinks here: the NZDF is supposed to work for us, be subject to democratic control. Instead, it appears that they went entirely rogue, pursuing their own policy which endangered kiwi and Afghan lives, without any form of political consent.

They need to be held to account for this. We can not allow our military to undermine and ignore the principle of civilian control, simply as a matter of self-protection. As for how, I'd start with a full, independent and civilian inquiry into NZDF's actions in Afghanistan, to get to the bottom of who lied to us and investigate the crimes committed. NZDF will hate this, but at the end of the day either they work for us, or we're a military dictatorship. Its time to choose.