So, its now official, New Zealand troops will be leaving Afghanistan in April 2013:
He also gave more details around the Government's likely decision to pull out the Provincial Reconstruction Team in April rather than nearer the end of 2013 saying it was dependent on Japan's project to upgrade the Bamiyan airport runway.While that's sooner than originally expected, its still far too late. At best, we're making no difference in Afghanistan. Less charitably, we're fighting an unjust war, one in defence of corruption and theocracy and misogyny. Either way, our soldiers shouldn't be dying for it, and we shouldn't be there.
"If they start in May it renders the airport unusable by our PRT for at least about six months."
The other option was to take everyone out by road to Kabul "and that is unacceptable to me because that is just too dangerous."
Exactly how long it takes for an orderly withdrawal is a military question, but its hard to imagine it taking more than three or four months. We could have our troops home by christmas. All it requires is for the government to give the order. And if they don't, and more people die as a result, we'll all know whose fault it will be: John Key's.