NZDF

New Zealand troops could be out of Afghanistan next year – but are we stumbling out of one ill-considered international military commitment straight into another, and what happens to our reconstruction and development commitment to the country our troops are leaving?

As New Zealand prepared for ANZAC Day, Prime Minister John Key made a surprise announcement: New Zealand could end its military commitment to Afghanistan as early as next year. The previous timetable – affirmed only a fortnight ago by Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman – had us leaving some time in 2014. So, what’s changed?

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp flunked his final Afghan Torture Test last Friday when he slid the long awaited New Zealand Defence Force Report on detainee treatment into the public domain under the cover of the Grand Final of the Rugby World Cup.

If you want to try and bury bad news around Parliament, release it on the Friday before a holiday weekend.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp faces his final torture test this week, when UNAMA releases a critical report on mistreatment of prisoners in Afghan detention centres.

Top of Wayne Mapp’s things-to-do list before he turns in his Ministerial ticket and leaves Parliament should be the release of the findings of inquiries he instigated in August last year into the possibility that prisoners arreste

Extracting information on military operations in Afghanistan from the New Zealand Defence Force is difficult at the best of times. The Christmas Eve NZSAS raid on the business premises of the Afghan Tiger Group in Kabul last year was not one of NZDF’s best times...

The so-called “combined forces” Christmas raid on the head quarters of the Kabul company that supplies vehicles to the U.S. military seems to have been a messy operation from start to finish. It went something like this.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp’s categoric denial that there were civilian casualties when New Zealand SAS troops took part in a night raid in Baghlan province is wearing thin as more evidence comes to hand from Afghanistan.

The first news of the Baghlan raid came from the governor of the Tala Wa Barfak district, Mohammad Ismael. On 22 August 2010, he told Agence France Presse: