17 December 2001
Green Defence spokesperson Keith Locke said today the two Hercules which are due to arrive in Afghanistan shortly should have been contributing to the aid effort, not to the war.
"The Afghan people have suffered enough from the US-led bombing campaign. Now is the time for airborne resources to help bring food aid to those bombed and displaced by the war," said Mr Locke.
"Instead of sending two Hercules to help the war, and then white-washing the situation with one to bring food aid later, we should have committed both Hercules this week to the World Food Programme for Afghanistan."
Mr Locke said New Zealand should never have committed our SAS troops to the war in the first place, let alone be rushing to join in at the tail end of a campaign.
"Surely this is the time to begin rebuilding Afghanistan with aid, not to continue bombarding it or interfering in its affairs with foreign troops," said Mr Locke.