Is Major Craig Wilson being set up as a scapegoat?



As the questions to how Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer and Lance Corporal Rory Malone were killed in the battle at Baghak in August last year get asked, along comes this fascinating leak to the NZ Herald’s best investigative journalist/assassin, David Fisher…

Officer was ‘too aggressive’
A senior army officer involved in a battle in which two soldiers died had been reported to commanders for being too aggressive before being sent to Afghanistan, the Herald has learned.

Fisher is the Herald’s top marksman and if you want someone eliminated from several kilometers away, he is the weapon of choice. So why is he being leaked details like this to damn Major Craig Wilson so severely as the Court of Inquiry into how two NZ soldiers ended up dead continues?

We know that the NZDF have manipulated and played the NZ news media ever since the war in Afghanistan started. Nicky Hager’s demolition and serious critique of the manner in which our mainstream news service has been captured by the military is no better championed than by the NZ Herald’s very own John Armstrong who when reviewing Hager’s book wrote

Those who think Nicky Hager is just another left-wing stirrer and dismiss his latest book accordingly should think again.

Likewise, the country’s politicians should read Other People’s Wars before condemning it.

Whatever Hager’s motive for investigating New Zealand’s contribution over the past decade to the United States-led “war on terror”, it is pretty irrelevant when placed alongside the mountain of previously confidential and very disturbing information his assiduous research and inquiries have uncovered.

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With the help of well-placed informants and thousands of leaked documents, Hager exposes the cynical manner in which the Defence Force has purposely misled the public by omission of pertinent facts and public relations flannel.

…so it is not beyond the NZDF to twist and lie and manipulate through the news media any situation that doesn’t paint them in a good light.

I don’t know how these two soldiers died, and whether the insinuation that Major Craig Wilson was some over the top aggressive gung-ho officer who used tactics beyond the ability of his soldiers. What I do know is that the wider questions around the implications of 20 tours of duty with purple deployments won’t get answered.

When a deployment is put together, the preference is that they all come from the same service, because of the vast stress this unending war has caused the NZDF, we are deploying mixed services (Red is Army, blue is Navy and Air Force) thus giving us purple deployments.

The stress of this and 20 tours of duty in Afghanistan is taking a terrible toll on the Armed Services, and the wider acknowledgment of that seems to be purposely getting smoke-screened by blaming Major Craig Wilson for what happened last August.

I do not trust a group of mid career solders, all eyeing up their next promotion, to look at those issues in this Court of Inquiry. Soldiers quickly realize they are not promoted for reigning in Politicians, they are promoted for enabling them.

The wider question of why we are in this pointless war and how our desire to suck up to America has placed our Armed Services at breaking point will not be asked in this Court of Inquiry, and the scapegoat for such failed strategy looks like he’s already being prepared for media crucifixion.

How convenient that it appears to be a rogue element and not a systemic failure caused by an under resourced Army being asked to do far more so John Key can get photo ops with Barack Obama.


  1. We should never have gone into a war theatre but, having gone in, we should have pulled out years ago when it became obvious that the mission would never end. Our armed forces are too small and under resourced to maintain an extended deployment.

    If this leak is as cynical as you imply then the top brass needs to be fired as they suck at their job. Their job is to give advice to the politicians, not enable them.

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