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Supporters of sending military trainers to Iraq know it will make things worse. Why support the deployment?

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

03 March, 2015

Dear Editor:

I will allow that those who support sending NZ military personnel as trainers to Iraq believe it is the right thing to do.  But I will not allow that many supporters think this action will diminish the threat of ISIS, help stabilize the region, improve the chances for establishing democracy in the Middle East, or enhance protection of NZ citizens.  They know better.  The experience of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the aftermath of the so-called “war on terror” shows clearly that western military intervention will only make things worse.  ISIS itself is only the latest incarnation of the various rebel groups which have been spawned.

The current Iraqi government carries no local mandate today, if it ever did, and the Iraqi military barely exists as a unit; who would be trained?  Listening to NZ military spokespeople describe that they would help Iraqi troops develop the ‘will to fight’, and would train according to needs expressed by the Iraqi military, were surreal moments for me.

Regardless that I think they know it won’t work, I am willing to allow that those who support sending the troops to Iraq do, for whatever reasons, believe it is the right thing to do.  It would be helpful for all of us to keep calm and try to verbalize what we think those reasons might be.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published (abridged) 07/03/15

 

 

 

 

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