The National Government is refusing to come clean about pre-deployment training for Iraq because they cannot justify their decision to deploy our troops, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.
“John Key and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee have already decided to commit our Defence Force; that is why training is underway.
“It is time they fessed up and admitted that.
“New Zealanders are sick of political spin and half-truths around the Government’s intentions and just want to be told the truth.
“The United States has already invested $25 billion into the Iraqi army which has remained ineffectual and incompetent because it is mired in corruption.
“Appointments to its top positions are political and officer commissions are purchased rather than on merit. There are 50,000 ghost soldiers who get paid but don’t exist or don’t turn up and money meant for weaponry and provisions is siphoned off into the pockets of those in power and authority.
“Why would we put the lives of our soldiers at risk for a futile cause and spend tens of millions of dollars ourselves for a deployment that could last for years in these circumstances?
“John Key and Gerry Brownlee cannot answer those questions and that is why they are not telling us the truth,” Phil Goff says.