Something doesn’t smell right with sudden openness of NZDF


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NZDF release footage of fatal military attack
A Defence Force inquiry into fatal attacks in Afghanistan has found two New Zealand soldiers were probably injured by friendly fire and and two were killed by insurgents during an apparent ambush.

When you consider how sophisticated the NZDF have become at manipulating the NZ corporate media, their latest release of war footage seems suspicious.

I pointed out some of my misgivings when David Fisher was being primed to blame Major Craig Wilson

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.

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…I still don’t believe the issues of using fatigued purple deployments has been answered by this inquiry and think the sudden openness being expressed here by the NZDF has more to do with distraction than holding policy to account.

The NZDF have lied and twisted the truth from the moment NZ engaged in Afghanistan and I simply don’t believe they would start being honest now soldiers are dead.



  1. The NZDF have lied and twisted the truth from the moment NZ engaged in Afghanistan and I simply don’t believe they would start being honest now soldiers are dead.

    Just following the example of their allies and much of the world from that point in time.

  2. This is the same type of release the US military have been doing on YouTube for some time now. These videos are do offer a insight to the confusion and the down right messiness of a fire fight. I’m not sure why they happy to show now – I think it part of bigger picture stuff being driven by the US department of defense.

    Naming names and doing the blame game has a long tradition in the military – even poetry has entered that game. I think some in the NZDF are not happy with the governments handling of the war and no solider likes to think they deserted there allies.

  3. It’s almost as if the NZDF is using Hollywood-style theatrics to bedazzle the eye and distract our attention from the real issues.

    A dramatic “fire fight” like this is bound to have the public thinking along completely different lines, in more sympathetic ways.


    “wow! what a confused situation. No wonder people got shot/injured. Can’t blame the Army for that. But at least we shot back at the baddies.”

    It’s called propaganda.

    Chris Trotter wrote something along those lines here:

    The Americans do it as well. Sometimes in curiously reversed ways.

    For example, post-9/11, Bush’s security people went to Hollywood to discuss how the entertainment industry could assist America in it’s new “War on Terror”.

    In one of the movie adaptations of the Marvel superhero charachter, “The Hulk” (2003), it’s quite remarkable that despite the Hulk’s rampage and battles with the US Army (including several tanks smashed to bits – no soldiers were shown to be killed.

    Why? Because the US government wanted American soldiers to be seen as the “Good Guys”, and not be shown killed by a supposed “super hero”.

    In one of the Spiderman (2002) movies, New Yorkers are shown fighting the evil Green Goblin, as they try to save an injured Spiderman. The New Yorkers shout at the Goblin, “If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us” (or words to that effect). The none-too-subtle message of post 9/11 solidarity is fairly obvious.

    Propaganda. Best done loud, flashy, dramatically, and with a heaped helping of patriotic symbolism.

    • I can’t see much Hollywood glitz in this footage which seems to show the NZ forces trapped in an impossible position, and while firing blindly; “two New Zealand soldiers were likely to have been hit by other New Zealand troops”. Especially if they were indeed set up by members of their supposed allies: “The troops were at Baghak to support the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS) troops who, earlier in the day, were attempting to arrest some insurgents in the area, but were apparently “compromised” and ambushed by a group of “hardline insurgents and tribesmen””.

      But yes, the NZDF brass released this footage for their own reasons; creating an impression of candor, and branding their adversaries as “hardline insurgents”, certainly amongst them.

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