Two killed in Afghanistan

August 5th, 2012 at 9:30 am by David Farrar

The has announced:

The New Zealand Defence Force can confirm that two personnel serving with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in have been killed during an incident in the North East of Bamyan Province.

At approximately 1900hrs (NZ time) yesterday, NZ Defence Force personnel came to the assistance of local security forces who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the North East.

A further six NZ Defence Force personnel were wounded during the incident, and they were evacuated to a military hospital.

Two local security personnel were also killed, and a further 11 personnel, including one civilian, were wounded.

The Defence Force is in the process of informing and supporting next of kin. The Defence Force will not release the name of the personnel for 24 hours to give the families time and space to grieve.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said, “We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the personnel involved.”

It sounds like a very nasty attack, with a total of 4 dead, and 17 wounded. Six kiwis wounded and two dead is, off memory, the largest number of causalities since maybe Vietnam? Anyone know?

As always thoughts are with the family, colleagues and friends of those killed and wounded.

Some have tried to suggest that the PRT presence in Afghanistan is just about building things, and that they are not there as soldiers. This is a sad reminder of how untrue that is.

28 Responses to “Two killed in Afghanistan”

  1. tvb (5,518 comments) says:

    I am glad we are getting out. Our men and women gave been very brave on this dangerous mission.

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  2. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Sometimes, words seem inadequate.

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  3. kowtow (13,237 comments) says:

    Nation building has to come from within. Sure external forces can help and often should.
    But Afghanistan is not a nation state as we would understand it,so is hopeless. Only they can sort out their own mess.

    Once NATO gets out the Taliban and their Paki backers will be running the shop again.

    Needless to say, condolences to the families of our military casualties.

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  4. Other_Andy (2,678 comments) says:


    I agree.

    While the intentions were good and while the work the Kiwis have done there has made some difference (Albeit temporarily), we should never have been there in the first place.
    You can’t change a culture without getting rid of the cause (religious extremism).
    What a sad waste of life.

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  5. iMP (2,665 comments) says:

    Afghanisatn is such a Solomon’s choice:

    1. Do we stay, try to help reconstruction, and die periodically? or
    2. Leave, and aid the Taleban to re-take Kabul and launch international terror on Westerners wherever they are?

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  6. kowtow (13,237 comments) says:


    The answer is not to get so involved in shit holes where we are not wanted.The Israelis know how to kill their enemies and aren’t too sentimental about it.
    Hind sight is a wonderful thing but going back to limp dick Jimmy Carter and human rights and the anti CIA intervention guilt trips and legislation passed on said account, meant the US couldn’t go round killing individuals anymore. Oh no ,you had to invade the whole fucking country instead. And having invaded you now had to justify your mandate and create democracy and civil instsitutions from scratch!

    The Brits used to do it well . Sultan or Emir gets uppity. Send gunboat,ultimatum,put a few shells in the palace. Emir exiled,on good package,amenable brother /relative put on throne ,no more problems. Sewers still full of shit,daughters still whipped but you have to respect local customs!and our boys don’t get killed and our treasure not seriously depleted!

    Along with tax breaks in wartime,Iraq and Afghanistan have gone a long way to breaking America.Hit squads are much cheaper.

    Human rights,equality,the modern UN what a clusterfuck.

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  7. iMP (2,665 comments) says:

    DPF, coNZervative blog has a list of NZ military service and casualties since Korea here:

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  8. Anthony (880 comments) says:

    Legalisation of at least some drugs to throttle the supply of money to the Teleban would probably do more to weaken them than the military activity.

    Ramping up oil exploration would help weaken the Russians and Arabs.

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  9. cha (6,210 comments) says:

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  10. Viking2 (14,376 comments) says:

    In evitable conseqeunce of going to war no matter how you describe it.
    Another Kiwi escapade bought upon us by our great and good friends the USA.

    And our reward. Have our legislation directed from Washington and enforced by the FBI.

    And our Govt. does what. Allows more of the followers of the evil to emigrate into our country.

    How long before we have more of the same issues and then we will need soldiers on our own streets( under the guise of police, which is what you are now seeing in Britain.).

    Respect for the guys and their families from one who has a VC in his family.
    No respect for the gutless people who sent them to this war.

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  11. Nostalgia-NZ (6,435 comments) says:

    Very tragic. Some others might know but it seems the PRT was a ‘safe’ compromise to keep our allies happy. I don’t think you can compromise in this way, a soldier in uniform in a country not his or her’s own, remains a soldier and therefore an enemy to those they are there to oppose. Just like ivy creeps back so do these lost armies that disappear in the face of invasion. I don’t think there is a half-pie or safe way to fight in these circumstances. Compromise may be a great political tool but not in circumstances like these. Tough and brave nzers over there, pity there bravery wasn’t matched by our leaders with a will to never compromise your own during warfare.

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  12. DJP6-25 (1,782 comments) says:

    kowtow 11:26 am. You hit the nail on the head.


    David Prosser

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  13. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Two more lives lost for no reason other than, well, what? A free trade deal with the USA, paid for with the blood our children? A hand shake with the POTUS before the next election? So the PM can score well with focus groups who think he looks good being serious at funerals? Surely not? But the alternative is they were killed defending the most corrupt and hopeless regime in Asia since South Vietnam. Afghanistan has been an unwinnable basket case for years now. But John Key is to much the MP for Hawaii to have the guts to do anything about bringing our troops home NOW. This National government has got blood on it’s hands.

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  14. kowtow (13,237 comments) says:

    This govt was not the one that sent them.That is a disgusting post.

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  15. niggly (964 comments) says:

    Too right, and not only that FB misrepresents why NZ is there (as part of the international community working under UN mandate).

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  16. mikenmild (23,665 comments) says:

    fish boy was reasonably on to it, except both governments have been complicit in the waste of NZ life in this futile mission. If there ever really was a rationale for invading Afghanistan, it surely ceased to apply many years ago.
    For anyone interested, I’d recommend Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Other People’s Wars’.

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  17. niggly (964 comments) says:

    I’ve read Nicky Hager’s book and alot of it is a load of misleading & manufactured crap!

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  18. Bob R (1,831 comments) says:

    Very sad, no more New Zealand blood should be spilt there – bring them home.

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  19. KH (707 comments) says:

    Two dead. David Clark MP thinks. “Another reason for ensuring the people have a holiday every year instead of just most years.”

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  20. Dave Mann (1,775 comments) says:

    Look, guys…. perhaps we can get some bloody perspective on this. Sad as it might be for individual families etc etc blah blah, how about if we remember that one source gives Allied casualties in the Gallipoli campaign, including deaths from drowning and accident, as about 265,000, of whom some 46,000 were killed in action or died of wounds or disease.

    If the people who are in charge of this idiotic Afghanistan adventure could get the idea of ‘reconstruction’ out of their tiny minds for a moment, they might come to a conclusion about whether they want to be there or not, and what they hope to achieve. If they want to be there, then the only real course of action is to bring every type of fire onto every man, woman or child who even farts in that country until the whole population is begging for mercy. This is called ‘conquering’, but it only works if there is some sort of will, or aim to achieve something. If they don’t want to do that, then they should jump into their choppers and humvees and piss off out of it and stop embarassing themselves.

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  21. niggly (964 comments) says:

    Believe it or not, I take my hat off to David Shearer today for not playing (typical Labour) partisan politics and doing well on articulating NZ’s position on Afghanistan.

    Labour Party leader David Shearer, who previously worked for the United Nations in Afghanistan, said the area the two soldiers were killed in was one of the most volatile in Bamyan Province.

    “We are very, very saddened to hear of the loss of two lives. Our first thoughts go out to the families of those that were killed and wounded.”

    The latest deaths did not make him reconsider whether New Zealand troops should remain in the country.

    “I think we’ve got a programme to withdraw over time and I think that’s probably the right way to go. Unfortunately it’s a dangerous place to work. It’s tragic that it’s happened towards the end of our programme.”

    Mr Shearer said the New Zealand contingent was seen as a “model” of how effective a reconstruction team could be.

    “We have to acknowledge the great work that our personnel have done in Afghanistan, and in Bamyan in particular. We have been able to improve the lives of people through health and education programmes and we’ve also been able to contribute to the stability and support of the local administration that can take over the running of the province.”

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  22. niggly (964 comments) says:

    Oh dear, looks like Labour are still undisciplined and off-message again. Shearer’s response yesterday has been undermined by Phil Goff on Morning Report this morning. In essence Goff wants NZ’s PRT to cut and run and abandon Bamyan Province & Afghanistan, all because the central authorities in Kabul are corrupt (like what’s new?), what a kick in the guts for Bamyan’s first women Governor, Habiba Sarabi and the majority of local inhabitants who were persecuted by the Taliban before (and whom support NZ being there). Interesting also that Caritas, also interviewed, want NZ to remain there to help provide a secure environment for the NGO’s and rebuilding efforts etc.

    Goff’s seems to be inflicted by the Nicky Hagar disease, in which the negative accentuates the positive, in which time and effort is spent looking at what is wrong rather than was is working and improving upon it.

    Goff also seems to be the wrong person for foreign affairs opposition spokesman, he seems too conflicted by his nephews tragic death there a few years ago and it seems to be clouding his judgement. He seems to raise it each time he is asked to comment on NZ deaths (as he did this morning) but he doesn’t seem to realise that he is coming across as a bit of a plonker – the story is about NZPRT deaths not his personal story.

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  23. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Anyone who takes Nicky Hagar’s drivel seriously is not playing with a full deck.

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  24. CharlieBrown (1,770 comments) says:

    I keep reading in the press questions to the politicians asking if the troops should withdraw because of this. Journalists must be complete cowards if they even consider that an option, i bet they wet their pants when they get the slightest fright. Whether you support the troops being there or not, a soldiers death should not be any reason for them to leave.

    I personally believe they shouldn’t be there unless they are part of an occupational force supporting an american run government. You will never bring democracy to the country unless it is ran by a religion free military government for ten to twenty years that violently quells any rebelion (forget the human rights bullshit) but also provides free education and the ability to rebuild the infrastructure. History shows democracy doesn’t work in uneducated, islamic populations whilst you have the niceties of some of our human rights laws.

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  25. mikenmild (23,665 comments) says:

    A couple of snipes above at Hager’s book, but of course no specific complaints.
    As for Shearer’s claim that the PRT is a model of how effective a reconstruction team could be, quite frankly that is complete rubbish.

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  26. tom hunter (7,726 comments) says:

    quite frankly that is complete rubbish.

    … but of course no specific complaints. 🙂

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  27. niggly (964 comments) says:

    Have you actually read Hagar’s book MM or simply followed the fawning media (of which the majority of whom never read his book when they gushed over it last year).

    This thread wasn’t about the book hence my one liner above. However as for specific complaints, let’s start with the title, “Other People’s Wars”, which is spin designed to subconsciously suggest NZ is being a lackey to some other “satanic” nation causing mayhem and destruction. Trouble is, NZ’s involvement in Afghanistan came about via the usual channels, the UN, of which the Clark Administration put above and beyond “unilateralism” and so called coalitions of the willing. Has Hagar forgotten all this? Of course not, so why is he such a spinner and deceiver? FFS Clark wouldn’t suck up to the Bush Administration and get involved with the invasion of Iraq. Iraq IMO is about the closest one could get in describing it as Other People’s Wars, however that isn’t necessarily the case because Iraq was under close scrutiny since GW1 in 1991, let’s not forget Iraq was nearly invaded in 1998 (inlcuding with NZ involvement).

    The book esseentially reads like a history of the “war on terror” (don’t get me wrong, Hagar’s book is interesting to read as a historical document) but the problem is he uses this WOT background and atrocities (such as the torture issues) and threads NZ into it, to read as if NZ was part of these wider atrocities (of course Hagar doesn’t say that as such, but like I say he weaves in and out to give another subconscious impression).

    Anyway the book goes on to dis the SAS (because they arrived in A’Stan after the fall of the Taliban) and mocked them for “sitting around” trying to “suck up” to the yanks to get involved. No shit sherlock! After being on the outer since the mid-80’s (Hagar played his part in this) and not working in with US special forces for near 20 years, of course they would view the NZSAS somewhat skeptically.

    Hagar saves most of his anger towards the RNZAF, for example blames them for deploying P-3 Orions to Op Enduring Freedom, somehow the RNZAF twists the arms of Helen Clark and the Defmin into finally upgrading their obsolent 1960-1980’s technology and blames the RNZAF for not redeploying them back into the Gulf. Hello! The Govt decides what to deploy and not the military! Surely Hagar, the expert, knows this, so again why is he spinning? The other thing is, NZ Govts (all of them) so badly fund personnel levels that there simply isn’t enough personnel and Orion airframes to deploy and upgrade at the same time. But he knows this of course, being an expert and all. Currently we’d be lucky to have one or two Orions available for tasking such as EEZ patrols and SAR etc. There’s more, but hey MM, gotta go, so tell me what you think or where I am wrong!

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  28. tom hunter (7,726 comments) says:


    That’s a very impressive explanatory argument as to why Hagar’s is “drivel”.

    But you should be aware that mikenmild is the queen of the one sentence contribution (usually in the form of a question), so I would not expect much in response. I once got three whole paragraphs out of him.

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