Second SAS death

September 28, 2011

The SAS has lost a second soldier in Afghanistan.

The biggest loss will be felt by his family and friends.

The death is also a loss for the SAS, the defence force and New Zealand and a reminder of the ever-present danger our troops face over there.

Tragedy not an excuse

August 21, 2011

The death of a New Zealand SAS soldier in Afghanistan is a tragedy but it should not be used as an excuse for withdrawing our troops from that troubled country.

Mr Key said he was “deeply saddened” by the death. But he stood firm on his
decision to have a New Zealand presence in Afghanistan.

“I believe passionately in the work that they are doing. They are ensuring
that the innocent lives of thousands in Afghanistan are preserved, and giving
Afghanistan hope for their country.

“They are working to make the world a safer place from global terrorism. It
is not my view that due to the death of our soldier, we should reconsider our
position in Afghanistan. We stay absolutely committed to continuing our work in

“It would be the completely wrong thing for us to consider cutting and
running. I don’t think it would honour the death of this soldier and I don’t
think it would actually be what New Zealanders would expect us to do in this

There are strong arguments for and against New Zealand’s service in Afghanistan, but this soldier’s death should not be used to justify either position.

The death of this young man is against the natural order of things and it would be dishonouring him, the reasons he served and what he fought for if it was exploited for political ends.

His family, friends and colleagues should be left to grieve without his service, and ultimate sacrifice, being belittled by debate on New Zealand’s role in the on-going war.

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