NZ withdraws PRT from Afghanistan

April 5th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Vernon Small at Stuff reports:

The New Zealand flag has been lowered for the final time at Kiwibase in Bamiyan marking the official close of the Provincial Reconstruction Team and this country’s 10-year involvement with it.

The United States and Malaysian flag, representing other nations in the PRT, were also lowered leaving the Afghan flag flying alone. …

At the flag-lowering ceremony Governor-General Jerry Mateparae said the final “crib 21″ rotation could now start the 13,000km trip home.

“You leave a legacy of which you can be proud.”

Sir Jerry read out the names of the 10 Kiwi soldiers who died in : Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell, Private Kirifi Mila, Corporal Dougie Grant, Lance Corporal Leon Smith, Corporal Dougie Hughes, Lance Corporal Rory Malone, Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer, Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris.

He said they had come to resists tyranny, promote democratic values and bring peace to troubled lands. …

Nato’s deputy senior civilian Andrew Steinfeld, who arrived with other official in a fleet of Black Hawk helicopters just before the event, thanked the PRT for its effectiveness. It had helped make big improvements in health outcomes, especially for children and had lifted the number of girls going to school.

He said it was appropriate Afghanistan now take the lead, but it would not have to do so alone.

Bamiyan Governor Habiba Sarabi thanked Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman for the PRT’s “remarkable service” and said the withdrawal should not indicate the end of the friendship and support of New Zealand but expected “a more sustainable friendship and … continued humanitarian support”.

New Zealand will continue to support two “legacy” aid projects including agriculture and the establishment of three solar powered generators that will start coming on stream in May and provide power for 2500 users in business, government buildings and residents.

Afghanistan is never going to turn into a post-war Germany or Japan. But life is way way better for the ordinary Afghani since the fall of Taliban, especially for women.

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8 Responses to “NZ withdraws PRT from Afghanistan”

  1. Redbaiter (8,234 comments) says:

    ” He said they had come to resists tyranny, promote democratic values and bring peace to troubled lands. ”

    An heroic set of objectives, and full respect and honour to these brave men, especially the fallen.

    The shame is that they were constantly white anted in their honourable mission by cowards here in NZ seeking political advantage.

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  2. tvb (4,311 comments) says:

    History will say this mission has been totally pointless karzi’s corrupt Government will be swept away by the Taliban. . But Al Queda has probably been largely eliminated. I assume the US will continue to send in drone missions from time to time.

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  3. kowtow (8,114 comments) says:

    A very sad loss of life of our service men there.Not to mention the financial cost.

    Let’s not pretend anything will be better there at all.It will be worse as many peoples’ expectations have been raised for a better life only to be dashed when the current regime collapses.

    The wests’ involvement will only encourage more illegal immigrants to our indebted shores.

    The Israelis have the best solution. Identify your enemy and then take him out. You can’t do nation building in these corrupt medieval shit holes.

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  4. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    The shame is that they were constantly white anted in their honourable mission by cowards here in NZ seeking political advantage.

    Oh nonsense.

    Every once in a while, someone would question our role there.

    It’s a shame the first comment on this thread about the NZ soldiers had to be you whining about your progressive enemies as always..

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  5. kowtow (8,114 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in Herat the Taliban use 9 suicide bombers to free 10 captives and 44 others are killed.

    Afghanistan ,where “progress” can be measured by the numbers who sign up to kill themselves.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/03/uk-afghanistan-blast-idUKBRE9320OF20130403

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  6. Dennis Horne (2,305 comments) says:

    “The only difference the NZ Army made was political”, said Uncle Sam.

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  7. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Afghanistan will always be a backward country, firmly rooted in the 11th century.
    Under the catastrophically nefarious influence of the religion of peace it can only slip further.

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  8. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    I wonder how much the Australians spent on Iraqi Freedom? :-)

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