Mission Creep

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 pm, June 20th, 2016 - 50 comments
Categories: aid, defence, International, iraq, Minister for Photo-ops, Syria, war - Tags: , , ,

Prime Minister John Key has announced that New Zealand’s mission to train Iraqi security forces will continue until November 2018.

At the time, Key insisted it would be for two years, max. The deployment was meant to finish later this year.  Key has regularly said that it was unlikely to be extended. For example, late last year, this was his position:

“Quite frankly this is likely to be a troubled part of the world for a very long period of time – we could arguably stay here forever. But this isn’t New Zealand’s engagement. I think New Zealand has a job to do here. We’re doing it. I think there should be an exit point and that exit point at about two years feels about right to me.”

So why has he changed his mind? He doesn’t really say:

“So it makes sense to continue doing something that adds value to the likelihood of Iraqi peace and security in the future, and to amend our mission to meet the changing environment in Iraq.”

But changing the environment in Iraq is exactly what we were hoping for when the troops were first sent. This is actually what success looks like, so there is no real need for an extension. Andrew Little is correct when he says the government has not successfully argued for extending New Zealand’s mission to Iraq.

Little said Key hadn’t been honest with Kiwis, nor had Key “made the case for mission creep”.

I think our troops have done us proud and no doubt will continue to do so. And, happily, ISIS are being defeated by the coalition ranged against them. It’s good that we’ve played a part in ending religious fascism in Iraq and Syria. But Key has put the creep into this mission. He’s not even ruling out a further extension, so we could have a military presence in Iraq for years to come.

Instead of extending the deployment, Key should have transitioned our contribution from our troops to non-military aid to Iraq. That would have been real leadership and a real help to the citizens of Iraq.

But I guess there are far less macho photo ops in bullet proof vests to be had if all we do is provide real and practical help for the civilian population in their time of need.

 

50 comments on “Mission Creep”

  1. Greg 1

    ISIS will be pushed back into Saudi, so the kiwi troops will be home before Xmas, mission accomplished.
    Camp Taji remains a buffer against any IS counter attack as they slip out of Syria,
    unable to combat the Russian backed Syrian forces.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Moronic statements from a dreamer who doesn’t understand the first thing about the operational situation in theatre.

      PS Camp Taji is nowhere near the Syrian border.

      • Greg 1.1.1

        Its a buffer right in front of Iraq’s capital on the Front line

        Once ISIS slips across the boarder they have 500+ Humvee’s they captured.
        Remember them?

        I aint no dreamer.

        Didnt you get my WW1 quip about being home before Xmas?

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Camp Taji remains a buffer against any IS counter attack as they slip out of Syria,

          Camp Taji is a long way from the Syrian border.

          Didnt you get my WW1 quip about being home before Xmas?

          Sorry I was too dense to notice that one…

          • Greg 1.1.1.1.1

            And ISIS forces have reported to be made up of 20k Saudi’s if thats a true figure in documents that were captured.
            Saudi want Syria, they wont sacrifice Sunni Territory in Iraq for it.

            Not much is being reported on Saudis war with its neighbor Yemen,

            And Camp Taji has previously been overrun more times post present occupation than Gerry beats Joyce to Bellamies buffet table.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              And Camp Taji has previously been overrun more times post present occupation than Gerry beats Joyce to Bellamies buffet table.

              [citation needed]

              • Greg

                Huh, the Camp being run over is well enough documented.

                Gerry Vrs Joyce, whose out of the box seat first when question time in Parliament is over?

            • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.1.1.2

              There are many Saudis in ISIS – but apart from the spies they are there independently.

              Saudi want Syria? Why? There’s comparatively little oil there by Saudi standards.

              Regional observers point to the long rivalry between Iran and Saudi for the role of middle east hegemon. With US relations normalising with Iran, Saudi will be monitoring events closely. Yemen is probably the critical item to Saudi – if Yemen were stable then the instability of the other strong neighbours – Syria & Iraq – would generally work to Saudi advantage.

              But – the low oil prices that are afflicting Russia are creating political instability in the Saudi satellites – Kuwait, Bahrain etc. If they continue too long things will start to come apart even in the kingdom.

              • Greg

                Saudi wanted Assad out, its more a stretch of Sunni Territory rather than for oil. The King is a lot more ambitious than the previous one.

              • Colonial Viper

                Saudi want Syria? Why? There’s comparatively little oil there by Saudi standards.

                Not Saudi Arabia as a country, but many powerful wealthy Sauds want Assad gone because Assad runs a secular, non-Islamic, non-Wahhabi country. That they want gone, and replaced with a fundamentalist islamic state under their own control.

                Basically what Greg said.

            • GregJ 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Not much is being reported on Saudis war with its neighbor Yemen,

              That’s because it’s not going well (and there is a sort of unofficial Ramadan “ceasefire”.) The UAE announced a week ago they are pulling their troops out (although no timetable announced). UAE has lost about 85 troops in Yemen in the last year. Oman (which hasn’t taken part in the Gulf Coalition in Yemen) is trying to broker a deal. It is a nasty, vicious little conflict.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Was Little for this Kiwi deployment to Iraq? Little has just visited our forces in Iraq. Does he not think that our forces are doing valuable work over there? Does he think that they have nothing extra to contribute?

    • Little was agin it, CV. And yes, he does think they’re doing good work, he said so when he visited Camp Taji recently.

    • Richardrawshark 2.2

      No offence but do they stay an extra 18 months on top of the 2 years they were sent. ? 3.5 years on a foreign posting in a war zone.

      Awesome, glad I don’t have to do that to people some with families.

      At least we could have rotated the troops or are they already?

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    BTW who is suggesting that Kiwi Forces are now going to be doing more in Iraq than training and security at Camp Taji?

    • Greg 3.1

      Security at Camp Taji is run by private contractors, where does it say anything about the troops providing security?

  4. Richardrawshark 4

    The Prime bullshitter, strikes again.

    It’s just a joke, has he kept his word on anything whatsoever.

    A PM misleading used to be outrageous and a rare event. Fuck me.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    So why has he changed his mind? He doesn’t really say:

    That’s probably because he hasn’t.

    We all knew that the mission would go on longer than two years and so it’s no surprise that it now has.

    • Richardrawshark 5.1

      In his original announcement on the original posting he says he would review it in 12 months RE staying longer, he had already decided on a permanent posting no doubt, it will be extended again as well, if we are not done by then I would bet.

      I get the feeling key thinks he HAS to be deceptive, and it’s his take on how politics works probably from the US. There is no other reason for his inept subterfuge IMHO.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        I get the feeling key thinks he HAS to be deceptive, and it’s his take on how politics works probably from the US.

        He does have to be deceptive. If he, or National in general, told the truth of their policies there’s no way that they’d ever be elected to power. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of John Banks (Ex National MP & ex Auckland high debt* mayor):

        If I wear my policy on my sleeve, I won’t get elected.

        * He’s a large part of the reason why Auckland has so much debt now. He sold huge amounts of Auckland’s income generating assets like Airport shares and went on a major spending spree.

        • Richardrawshark 5.1.1.1

          Oh I remember banksy alright I was living in Aucks then.

          I hope he remains out of any politics. council or government.

          PS I always wondered if I won lotto tomorrow and had millions would I suddenly turn into a raving Banks? I just don’t get the attitudes of many of these filthy rich people.

  6. Incognito 6

    No more ‘mission creep’ than spending $20 billion over the next 15 years IMHO.

    It coincides with the recent reappointments of the Chief and Vice Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force.

  7. Takere 7

    What an appropriate title, “Mission Creep.” Just ask any young long haired woman what its like to be around PinKeyo when he gets touchy feelie, Creepie? yah think that’s why Max’s girlfriend(s) don’t last long? The ole man get Mission Creepie?!

    • lprent 7.1

      I suspect I may have to start looking at you if I see you while I am in a moderating role.

      As a word of advice, it gets dangerous to go too far attacking family members by association. It flashes warning signs about who is a creep. Even more so when dealing with young (and therefore in my aged view – inherently stupid) family members.

      But even the most shallow of young men do grow up eventually and they really don’t need a moronic and childlike fuckwit like you slagging them off. Now I could demonstrate why it is a bad idea by targeting you with a ruthless precision of decades of social media expertise.

      But perhaps you should ask yourself if being eviscerated in public with words helps with a robust political debate. Some of us would find that as intellectually amusing as your comment on Max Key.

      But perhaps it’d be better if you don’t attract the laughs.

      • Takere 7.1.1

        I think you had better take a chill pill mate. Pushing the boat out a bit much I think? Having a laugh at someone else’s expense is a favourite sport of Pinokeyo’s. But your right, you’re far to intelligent for me and articulate with clever words (is that what articulate means? I’m not sure?), I’m in awe. Thanks for the education muchly appreciated.
        Thanks LP.

      • Greg 7.1.2

        Max Key puts himself out there, just like Cherry Lazer, Key is okay it, so why shouldnt it be open to commentary, bad taste aside.
        Children of the rich dont need careers, they have hobbies.
        I do suspect once John Key retires to Hawaii with his knighthood, its less newsworthy for the media to print gossip about,
        because they wont set foot in NZ when he does retire.

    • Chooky 7.2

      lol…though

      God fat Gerry Brownlee was pathetic this morning…his imagination is running wild…first it was jihardi brides leaving New Zealand in droves (that turned out to be a lie !)…New Zealanders were puzzled over that story

      and now this …

      …apparently he and jonkey are protecting us from another Orlando massacre…they have their eye on some New Zealanders

      …the sooner this government Is GONE the better

      • Dv 7.2.1

        Haven’t the USgot a really big commitment to stop ISIS. but that didn’t stop orlando

      • M. Gray 7.2.2

        He is pathetic all the time but Ilam voted for him and Chch voted blue last election. So the only ones moaning in chch should be those that didn’t vote blue. Brownlee doesn’t like to be challenged or questioned but neither does most of his colleagues they attack the reporters and are very aggressive and they get away with this behaviour. The quality of reporting is questionable as they got rid of the ones that asks the hard questions perhaps they are sacred of losing there jobs like many other NZers that dare to challenge our hierarchal government.

  8. whispering kate 8

    TRP you say in your lead story re the PM “why this sudden change of mind” – I would hazard a guess he has had stern word or two from his US paymasters about upping his game and he has jumped to attention and said “yes sir”.

  9. Jack Ramaka 9

    What a mess the Middle East is, with what I have been reading, one ex USA Military General said if there was no oil in the Middle East there wouldn’t be a problem. Does anyone really have a long term solution to this mess.

    It appears the US goes in and starts trying to change regimes with B52 Bombers and drone strikes without thinking much about the long term consequences, the cost and the human misery, it creates with these wars.

    Then you have it’s allies Turkey and Israel buying oil from ISIS so they can fund their fighting activities against it’s enemies ie the Iraq and Syrian Government forces and the US forces. The Middle East is awash with military weapons supplied by the USA, Russia and China, all in pursuit of the oil wealth underground meanwhile the civilians of those countries are going through sheer hell.

    Meanwhile the people funding these wars are sitting in their plush offices in Washington and New York directing this human misery from afar, funded by USA taxpayers money. Meanwhile the multinationals are salting away their profits from the oil and war industries in tax havens around the world in an effort to minimise their tax obligations.

  10. Keith 10

    I assume Bank of America said to John it makes sense to stay and John being who he is couldn’t agreed more!

  11. vto 11

    First casualty in war is the truth..

    No wonder Key doesn’t notice war – he has not a truth bone in his body

    • Paul 11.1

      Didn’t he say it was the price of being part of the club?
      Club membership just went up in price.

      • vto 11.1.1

        The club? The club?..

        The club is the british crown. The NZDF is an army which operates under and for the british crown. It is nowt to do with us. It is all about protecting the crown.

        ffs, the nzdf wouldn’t hesitate to point its guns at us the people, if ordered to do so.

        We pay for it. We supply it with people for slaughter. We make ourselves targets…..

        …but it aint ours

        ….. it is all for the british crown

        that is the club fulla, that is the club. It has a long and inglorious history… we are merely the fodder

  12. b waghorn 12

    Littles getting a thumping on henry over his troops coming home stance.

    • Puckish Rogue 12.1

      From a political point of view its not bad from John Key, I suspect theres more on the left that think this is a good idea then there are on the right that think its bad (just opinion) so National won’t lose anything by this

      From a personal point of view I think its a good thing, the worst thing that could happen is for countries to stop trying to take on ISIS and the more countries that take part the better

      • b waghorn 12.1.1

        Most people Havn’t got a fucking clue .that’s why its so toxic to democracy to have a national party stooge in the position henry is in.
        By the way its the UN way or NO way imo

        • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1

          That may be but the UN is useless unless the USA are taking part

          • b waghorn 12.1.1.1.1

            The UN is useless because of the USA and the four other veto loving rogue states.

            • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1.1.1

              and without the USAs money and military backing the UN has nothing

  13. Greg 13

    Maybe its Max Key’s next video, I joined the Army to go to Camp Taji, but then, we all know politicians keep their children out of conflict zones.

  14. Jenny Kirk 14

    Andrew Little on Breakfast this morning said (a) the Iraqui army is useless and its not them that have pushed back at ISIS – its other countries’ troops who are doing that, and (b) If Iraq is freed from ISIS then he expects civil war to erupt there – and THAT is when NZ troops will be needed to do their usual good job as a peacekeeping force for the UN. His comments were backed up by journalist Jon Stephenson.

  15. shorts 15

    Has ever a deployment (continued or not) ever been so poorly justified on behalf of the NZ Govt (or any for that matter) – can they at least explain what we get from staying? lets not pretend for a second we’re helping the Iraqi troops – who will flee or fight regardless of how much training and western money and gear is thrown at them

    We’re not defeating ISIS and any current victories being played out against them will not last – or even if they do ISIS will only be replaced by another group

    And while at it, its great Little has come out against this but I don’t believe him for a second either – his stance reeks of opposition party opposing than any concrete party stance against this conflict/peace keeping. What is Labours policy on the middle east? Is it to muddle through keeping up appearances with our “friends” like Nationals?

    We’re all gutless

  16. Byd0nz 16

    Uncle Sam made the call like he ordered key to up military spending. NZ is an underling of the military regime that is America, what will it be like ff Uncle Donald becomes Uncle Sams right hand man and orders NZ to drop the nuclear ban.

  17. save nz 17

    Is Max Key signing up?

  18. the pigman 18

    What was it, 2 years or 18 months ago you were beating the drum for the NZ deployment, TRP? I’m a little time-stretched for reviewing your previous post(s) on the subject.

    NZ has nothing nor ever had anything to contribute there. This mission was always best left to the interested parties (Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the US, and Russia), who are interestedly pursuing their own veiled interests. Instead we went and painted a target on our forehead for confused lone wolf shitbirds to regard NZ as part of the folly.

    Are you surprised in the least by the extension/mission creep? That’s a genuine question.

    • No, I’m not really surprised. However I remain OK with us going in the first place. We needed to show solidarity against ISIS and this was a good signal that we were on board. Still, two years is enough and we should now switch to humanitarian aid.

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