SAS soldier killed in Kabul

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 pm, August 19th, 2011 - 63 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

Reports from Afghanistan are that a New Zealand SAS soldier has been killed in a double suicide attack on the British Council Offices in Kabul. The reports also confirm what has become apparent in recent months: the SAS aren’t training Afghanis, they’re leading the combat response to Taliban attacks in Kabul. Past time to come home.

Our sympathies with the soldier’s family.

Update: reading more sources, the UK press is reporting that the SAS and Afghani Special Forces led the fighting and that 8 Afghani soldiers and one foreign soldier, who isn’t British, were killed. The Defence Force is saying the SAS were merely in an ‘advisory’ role and not involved in combat. The standard response from any military to bad news is to lie, of course.

Now confirmed by British Forces News while our Defence Force still refuses to confirm or deny.

63 comments on “SAS soldier killed in Kabul”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    We should never have been there.

    • grumpy 1.1

      Truest comment on this thread!

      But we are, through the stupidity of successive governments (although not as bad as in Iraq).

      You may scoff but it’s now a matter of honour and the army’s professional pride – they don’t get a say in which wars the govt sends them but are hugely regarded by our allies (likewise hoodwinked into being there) and will not be willing to cut and run at the first sign of adversity – like the Italians.

      Heard the joke about the Italian tank??? 6 reverse gears and one forward – in case they are attacked from the rear.

      • Vicky32 1.1.1

        Heard the joke about the Italian tank??? 6 reverse gears and one forward – in case they are attacked from the rear.

        Seriously not funny… My adored Italian friend’s cousin was killed in Afghanistan last year… They had grown up as brothers, two thirty-something guys, and the whole family was deeply hurt. 
        R.I.P Davide Ricchiuto. From my p.o.v., and Gian’s, Davide shouldn’t have been there but he was and he was killed and it’s not at all funny.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      We should never have been there.

      Seconded thirded and fourthed!

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Key has sold the NZ public a fiction and the consequences have been lethal.

    Damn that man and his gutless popularity seeking with the US and the UK.

    • thatguynz 2.1

      Yep, this is just a clusterfuck. A complete waste of life – not because these guys train for war and war results in fatalities and casualties, but because this is not A war at all, let alone OUR war. It’s US/UK perpetuation of a failed political agenda and sustenance of a military industrial complex that our government has been stupid enough to buy into the rhetoric and the end result being the death of one of our own. Inexcusable.

      Thoughts and prayers to the family and colleagues.

    • grumpy 2.2

      ….unlike, of course Helen Clark who sent them there and her “….gutless popularity seeking with the US and the UK….”….and the UN!!!

      Got her a job though – eh?

  3. millsy 3

    Afghanistan 2001-2011 (maybe beyond)
    Vietnam 1966(?)-1972
    Malayan/Indonesian conflicts 1955-1965
    Korea 1950-1953
    World War II 1939-1945
    World War I 1914-1918
    Boer/South African War 1899-1903

    Dont mean to sound disrespectful, but yet another conflict is added onto our cenotaphs.

    Lets bring them home — start protecting OUR shores, rather than the ragtag bunch of chinless wonders in Kabul.

    • mik e 3.1

      Afghanistan is a lost cause, unless their is the will to put in something like 500,000 troupes for at least 10 years it ain,t going to work its a failure now. Lets recognize this now and get out leave the CIA deal with alqueida.Try and make peace with the talibandits. Same as the US did with Vietnam.Its a result of a very dumb strategy, an arrogant strategy to think you can fight a war on 2 fronts no major power since WW2 has succeeded and then they had plenty of resources and allies ,NOW they are fighting on more fronts pakistan libya and alot of Arab despots funding and organizing against them while the US is running out of money. If they could get the Chinese to moderate might be an idea, not likely. The only army in the world right capable of dealing to the Taliban permanently would be the Chinese .Maybe the US could have Chinese contractors in their , they do every thing else for the west!

      • Thatguynz 3.1.1

        Don’t believe everything you read Mik e. Can you even remember the supposed reason for the combined forces being in Afghanistan? What about Iraq? The mythical “WMD’s? Libya? The poor downtrodden citizens that had better state funded services and amenities than large tracts of the Western world yet needed to be liberated from that despot Gaddafi? Puh-lease….

        • mik e 3.1.1.1

          That was then this is now we can’t go back because the hornets nest has been kicked .As George H Bush told Dumbsfeld its a dumb idea but he was told made to shut up. So we have a totally different landscape now and we have to look at a different solution because this one is not working and our precious people are being wasted on this failed policy .

      • AAMC 3.1.2

        “no major power since WW2 has succeeded”

        Nobody has defeated the Pashtun , since Alexader the Great first gave it a crack.

        • ChickenSt_Kabul 3.1.2.1

          Err .. the people we call the ‘Pashtuns’ were not around in the days of Alexander.

          Having been there before this started and talked to ordinary Afghans I can tell you
          they are proud their ancestors wiped out two british imperial armies. Few others can say that.

          This occurred on their national day, commemorating those victories.

          The ISAF exit strategy will probably face more complications.

          • AAMC 3.1.2.1.1

            Both Alexander the great and Ghengis Khan had a go at the ethnic group who occupy and are now called the Pashtun. They lost.

          • AAMC 3.1.2.1.2

            A variety of ancient groups with eponyms similar to Pukhtun have been hypothesized as possible ancestors of modern Pashtuns. The Rigveda (1700–1100 BC) mentions a tribe called Paktha inhabiting eastern Afghanistan and academics have proposed their connection with today’s Pakhtun people.[12][13] Furthermore, the Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyans living in the same area (Achaemenid’s Arachosia Satrapy) as early as the 1st millennium BC.[14] It is believed that these may have been the ancient ancestors of Pashtuns.[12]

            Some modern-day Pashtun tribes have also been identified living in ancient Gandhara (i.e. Alexander’s historians mentioned “Aspasii” in 330 BC and that may refer to today’s Afridis).[43] Herodotus has mentioned the same Afridi tribe as “Apridai” over a century earlier.[44] Strabo, who lived between 64 BC and 24 CE, explains that the tribes inhabiting the lands west of the Indus River were part of Ariana and to their east was India.[12]
            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashtun_people

          • AAMC 3.1.2.1.3

            “Err .. the people we call the ‘Pashtuns’ were not around in the days of Alexander.”

            The racial origin of the Pashtuns is still hotly debated by geneologists. They have almost certianly occupied Afghanistan for longer than any other of the country’s peoples; the Greek historian Herodotus referred in the fifth century BC to a race of ‘Pactyans’who had lived in the Kandahar area for five hundred years even then. Some scholars believe Pashtuns have ancient Greek ancestry. Another popular and persistent theory is that they are descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel….”

            “Alexander the Great, whose legacy of conquest includes Kandahar, a city he founded and who’s very name is a corruption od ‘Alexandria’.”
            James Fergussen – Taliban

            They were likely living in distinct tribes and didn’t band together formerly until around the thirteenth century, when they conquered much of Northern India and were not politically united until the early eighteenth century, but it seems irrefutabe that the Pashtun people were the original inhabitants of the Afghan, Waziristan, Baluchistan – Pashtunistan? region.

            “The type of guerilla-style fighting that Alexander faced during the Afghan campaign was described centuries later by the chronicler Plutarch, who compared Afghan tribesmen to a hydra-headed monster: as soon as Alexander cut off one head, three more would grow back in its place.”
            http://www.cemml.colostate.edu/cultural/09476/afgh02-04enl.html

            So with more research it turns out he had quite a long stay there, and was arguably not defeated by the tribesman (Pashtun?), but it sounds like he had a similar fight on his hands as does ISAF.

            • ChickenSt_Kabul 3.1.2.1.3.1

              I think we would have more in common, than otherwise. I would caution against stereotyping .. Afghans are as diverse as anyone else. The Afghanistan we know today is the product of many invasions since Alexander (eg. the Timurids), and to suggest that the Pashtuns of today are similar to people living there at the time of Alexander is drawing a long bow.

              I let my case rest.

              • AAMC

                Fair enough. My point, and they continue to assert it, they will not give up until the occupiers leave. History proves they probably mean what they say.

    • Matthew Hooton 3.2

      Millsy: Also East Timor – Private Leonard Manning KIA in 2000.

      • chris73 3.2.1

        Don’t forget WO2 Tony Walser, SSgt Billy White and Pvt Boyd Aitken also died in Timor

      • mik e 3.2.2

        MH Private Leonard Mannings life was lost for 1 reason continual budget cuts by right wing governments to pay for a second dodgy frigate. The radios that weren’t servicable vietnam era the steyr rifles grenade launchers didn’t fire after the bullet side of the gun was used leaving them exposed as well as being unable to communicate . Then there was the antique armoured personal carriers that were broken down all the time were another liability that National strong on Defense Party were guilty of. When it comes to our armed forces National has a despicable record .How ever they have plenty of retired generals that are prepared to to tell lies in the media.

        • grumpy 3.2.2.1

          Not to mention that the rest of the patrol ran away and left him – not something the SAS would do.

        • chris73 3.2.2.2

          The grenade launchers used were M203s, a seperate weapon system to the styer and the APCs had nothing to do with it because of the terrain the guys were operating in

          So why didn’t Labour beef up the defence forces when they came in? (oh yeah the LAVs were good wern’t they)

          I agree though that the radios were shite (from personal experience)

          • Eddie 3.2.2.2.1

            the LAVs were the Army’s idea, not Labour’s. If anything, Labour erred in giving the Army too much of what it wanted – a hundred LAVs that have been basically unused. I note that the LAV is doing well in service with the Yanks as the Stryker.

  4. RIP 4

    I know they soldier that was killed. Forget your politics about weather they should or shouldn’t be there and think about the fact that a NZ soldier has lost his life doing his job. We are there because that is what a good global citizen should do, and as i bet none of you have been there and seen the local people and how they suffer at the hands of the Taliban, then you may change your opinion.

    • happynz 4.1

      First you start with something that tries to establish your credibility…

      I know they[sic] soldier that was killed.

      You say

      forget your politics

      .
      Then you go on to promote your political view with this…

      global citizen

      …and then nicely finish up with a spicy guilt tripper…

      i bet none of you have been there and seen the local people and how they suffer at the hands of the Taliban, then you may change your opinion.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Excellent deconstruction.

        Has anyone else wondered why despite spending US$2B in Afghanistan/week (actually more now) the US forces have not been able to halt heroin production?

        The heroin trade is worth tens of billions a year and finances a lot of people the US does not like (as well as giving profits to large banks)…yet it’s been put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

        What is up with that?

        • jackal 4.1.1.1

          America and Europe are involved in Afghanistan’s drug trafficking. It’s a major problem in that the US especially has an interest in continuing a long drawn out war. That’s why opium production eradication is not central to its so called anti-terrorism mission.

          In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in a reduction of opium poppy cultivation by 91%. However the next year the war in Afghanistan started, the Taliban lost control in many regions and production soon increased. In 2007 92% of the opiates on the world market came from Afghanistan.

          It’s not just the drug cartels and invaders that inhibit drug eradication in Afghanistan. An opium crop provides 12 times as much income per acre as conventional farming, and there is violent local resistance. Couple this with corrupt officials, easily accessed boarders and a hungry international market with unlimited funds at their disposal, and it’s likely the problem will never be resolved.

          This is a war that New Zealand should definitely not be involved in.

    • AAMC 4.2

      Of coarse there should be condolences for this waste of life, it’s a terrible loss. Fortunately NZ unlike the victims of drone strikes only have to deal with the grief occasionally.

      “seen the local people and how they suffer at the hands of the Taliban”

      The death toll in Afghanistan once the Taliban took over dropped dramatically from the chaos that preceded them
      In the wake of the cold war at the hands of war lords with American weapons trying to fill the power vacuum. It was that mayhem which caused the Taliban to rise up.

      We will never defeat the Pashtun. And their pre Islamic tribal laws – which are abhorrent – are not unique to the political movement known as the Taliban, so defeating them and sponsoring a Tajik takeover will not stop that treatment. Perhaps bringing them Into the civilized world and encouraging human rights and education might be more realistic.

    • millsy 4.3

      “and how they suffer at the hands of the Taliban”

      In the sunday star times in 2002-ish I saw a picture and an article about a woman who had her eyes gouged out and nose cut off by her husband in Pakistan

      A few years ago I read about women and girls in Bangladesh who have had acid thrown in their faces

      A lot of people suffer around the world at the hands of various elites.

      Are you saying that the Allies should start going to war with all them as well?

      • AAMC 4.3.1

        It’s worth noting, that although the justice of Taliban Sharia Law was executed – literally – very publically, there were dozens of cases, not hundreds, during their 5 yr rule.

        The State of Texas has put 447 people to death since 1982, according to the Texas Execution Information Center. James Fergusson – Taliban.

    • mik e 4.4

      WE can’t fight every body else’s war the Arab spring has cost the west very few lives

      • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1

        This.

        Help make education available, medicines etc but we can’t fight their battles. If their society needs to change then they need to change it.

    • Karto 4.5

      Well said, I applaud you.

    • Eddie 4.6

      you can’t say forget about the politics and then make a political argument for the deployment.

      in fact, it is still ‘political’ to not discuss the justification of the deployment and whether it’s worthwhile. shutting down debate is one way to defend the status quo

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    The best response to this death would be to send more troops. It’s clear that the SAS are doing excellent work in difficult circumstances and if the west pull out of Afghanistan, the power vacuum will again be filled by the Taliban, whose previous regime was possibly the most ignorant, vicious and backwards looking since the Khmer Rouge ran Cambodia.
     
    It’s sad that this man has died, but lets not forget why he was there, eh.

    • AAMC 5.1

      You need to look a little more carefully at what occurred between the Soviets and US leaving and the Taliban taking over VOR, the Taliban are a frightening regime, but they are not genocidal. It was mass needless murder and lawlessness they were responding to. With sharia law which is o vinously not ideal, but you can’t compare them to Pol Pot.

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1

        Um, yes they can be compared with Pol Pot. There is hardly any difference in approach between the two. Both advocated the complete removal of all traces of progress, an end to any personal liberty and an immediate return to the middle ages. And both were sponsored, armed and promoted by the west as a cat’s paw against the Soviets. We are reaping what we sowed and it is our responsibility to try and unfuck our fuck ups, no one else’s.

        • AAMC 5.1.1.1

          The difference is the killing fields. I don’t condone anything about the way the Taliban behave, but I think you mistake their motives.
          Their desire was to bring order, albeit via draconian means.
          I don’t have the time to drum up the figures that died in the bloodshed that preceded them taking power in 96, I’ll try to get them for you later.
          And yes, this is all a mess we created, but it precedes that, ironically with communism via Columbia university later sponsored by the Soviets. And through social engineering and industrial farming and dam projects via overzealous Americans.
          I agree, we owe it to them to clean it up. We are unlikely to achieve that through militarism and taking the Tajik side in an ongoing civil war. Having one Pashtun politician as President doesn’t cut it. And with or without the Taliban, the traits you abhor are traits of a very conservative majority Pastun culture, who will fight to the last man until every foreign gun has left their soil.

        • grumpy 5.1.1.2

          ……and both are/were supported by Keith Locke…….incidently, what is the Greens current position on the Taliban?

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.3

          We are reaping what we sowed and it is our responsibility to try and unfuck our fuck ups, no one else’s.

          Seriously WHAT THE FRAK are you talking about?

          What did NZ sow in Afghanistan and what are we reaping now?

          This is yet another American mess, IMO. What role did NZ have in it???

          • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.3.1

            We’re part of the west, CV.

            • Vicky32 5.1.1.3.1.1

              We’re part of the west, CV.

              Too many New Zealanders think that, but even if it were true, that doesn’t mean we’re part of the USA. I came across a book yesterday (for children, written by an unknown New Zealander) in which the idiot said regarding a word “The Brits say … but in the USA and elsewhere in the world we say…” and I was just gobsmacked! This seems to be the NZ attitude, or at least the attitude of the NZ elite – we are the 51st state, and are geographically and culturally 99% of earth – the remaining 1% contains the “Brits” and all other enemy nations.
              It makes me seriously off-piste. Ask your keyboard VoR what you think of when you think “the west”. My guess is you imagine Warshington, Texas and the Viaduct Harbour or as you’d spell it ‘harbor’. You’re a gastropod basically…

        • AAMC 5.1.1.4

          “In the first six months of 1994, 25,000 civilians were killed in the vicious squabble for control of the capital, Kabul”Taliban – James Fergusson

          The Taliban arrived in response to this chaos, and the slaughter abated.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        Another small fact: the US is supporting a corrupt self serving tribally based administration in Afghanistan for the simple fact that it supports them back.

        The Governor of Khandahar, a major US supporter and brother of the Afghan president, was assassinated by his own captain of the body guard a month ago.

        Being involved in this cess pit where there is no exit may be your idea of being a good global citizen, but trust me, there are other people around the world where we could actually be of help, and where we could set our own agenda.

    • mik e 5.2

      The Khmer rouge eventually collapsed . There are many many despots in this world why should we be involved The Taliban are no different to the likes of Mugabe Somalia Pakistan Mynmar Russia the list is so long it not worth printing. The difference is that Afghanistan has got Lithium the worlds largest untapped reserves.What are we in the west going to need it we are going to give up oil.

    • Vicky32 5.3

      The best response to this death would be to send more troops

      W.T.F????????? As someone (Churchill?) is reputed to have said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and again and expecting a different result”.
      Proof VoR of your being a right wing nit… I shall remember this post by you, and not ever, never be taken in by you again. Your ignorance is mind-blowing.

  6. Bored 6

    To the family my families deepest condolensces: we have a son serving in the military, and have generations of military family members. We feel your pain, we know it is a risk when we sign up but that makes it no easier.

    To the politicians, we trust you to do the right thing with our military. This deployment is just plain wrong, it is stupid and dangerous. Bring them home.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    NZ Soldiers like cops and firefighters are part of a group that know each day at work might be their last. Unlike the hundreds killed and seriously injured each year in more ordinary workplaces-construction, logging, maintenance, aviation etc. Few public tears for them.

    The lack of moral purpose or legitimate military need for the SAS to be in Afghanistan bar seeking brownie points with the yanks is obvious. Plus the locals demonstrably really really, don’t want ‘us’ there. Recall all NZ troops now, and let the women hating, opiate farming feudal zealots get on with it.

  8. logie97 8

    At 18:42 The Stuff site does not appear to rate this story of National importance – certainly not to be found in its headlines. What is that telling you of the media’s attitude. They appear to be obsessed with stories about paedophiles. Of course Tabloidese N.O.W. stuff

  9. Troubled 9

    I am troubled by the Prime Minister, John Key, making the emphatic point that the deceased SAS soldier supported the war in Afghanistan.

    I was under the impression that soldiers followed orders.

    Also troubling are NZ media reports that the government sent the SAS back to Kabul “because they wanted to go”.

    Have they now become a Paetorian guard, able to make and unmake governments ?

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