SAS shouldn’t be selling itself to the highest bidder

A chap emailed me this morning saying: “For several years I have maintained that NZ’s involvement in Afghanistan is not to protect NZ’s interests but to protect the financial interests of the NZ Rich List.”

Certainly, our SAS commanders identify with the very rich, otherwise they wouldn’t have given

70 executives from Direct Capital

special access to SAS training.

Don’t expect the SAS to be running such exercises for trade union leaders in the near future. Also, trade unionists would not be so profligate with their members money as Direct Capital has been with its shareholder funds. The training day cost $500 a head.

Our SAS shouldn’t be selling itself to big business – or anyone.

It was in the SAS tradition for the ‘day with the boys’ to be covert. Those involved were told to keep mum to avoid public embarrassment.

The secret nature of SAS operations in Afghanistan has also been used, in part, to hide embarrassing matters like the possible torture of prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities after joint operations between our SAS and the Afghan Crisis Response Unit in Kabul. Our Government won’t even release to me the text of the agreement between NZ and Afghanistan regarding the treatment of such prisoners. The wording may be very weak.

My email correspondent does raise a legitimate question about whose interests wars are fought in. The Greens have long argued that one of the US government’s motives for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is to protect its oil interests in the Middle East and Central Asia.