Interesting story in the Sunday Star Times today, quoting among others former Afghan Foreign Minister and now Otago University lectuer Najib Lafraie.
Revelations about the SAS in Afghanistan last week suggest Prime Minister John Key broke his promise that the elite force would not fight alongside Afghan commandos, says political scientist Najib Lafraie.
Last year Key said that the SAS would not fight alongside the Afghan soldiers that the SAS would be training. Giving this information was part of Key’s “half-open approach” on the SAS, which he continued this week. Now he has gone silent, but Wayne Mapp has waded on in
“The actions that took place were essentially the domain of the Afghan national army, which, you can see from the photos, were the people actually engaged in the fighting.” The CRU was not directly involved in the action, he said, and neither were the SAS.
The CRU is the part of the Afghan army that the SAS has been training. However those on the ground have a different view
However, Norwegian defence correspondent and author of a book on the Norwegian special forces, Tom Bakkeli, said the CRU “absolutely were involved in the fighting” and “the CRU got a lot of acclaim for their counter-action against the attacking Taliban and suicide bombers”.
The National Government handling of the deployment, and recent events in Afghanistan has been a shambles. Both Key and Mapp on one hand seem to want to tell the world about where the SAS are and what they are doing, but are now regretting the consequences. I do not believe the SAS should be in Afghanistan at the moment, but if they are, surely we need some kind of consistent approach to ensuring their safety.