19 Feb 2015

Dunne against sending troops to Iraq

11:48 am on 19 February 2015

One of the Government's allies has come out strongly against plans to send troops to help train the Iraqi army in its fight against the Islamic State.

Peter Dunne

Peter Dunne Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

United Future leader and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said the proposed intervention would only make matters worse.

Few political parties, apart from National, now support the idea of sending troops to Iraq.

Mr Dunne said to go simply because it meant being part of the Western club was wrong.

He said Western nations had repeatedly intervened in the Middle East in their own interests.

"All they've done is create an ongoing festering sore which is now rampant, if you like, right through the Middle Eastern region and I just think this sort of attitude that we know best or that we can sort this out. I mean it didn't work in the Crusades and yet these are the modern day versions of that."

Mr Dunne said if troops went they would be inevitably drawn into the wider fight against Islamic State fighters.

He said the Government should instead look at providing more humanitarian aid and helping develop civil society in Iraq.

The Cabinet will decide on Monday whether troops will be sent to train the Iraqi army.

Follow Brent Edwards on Twitter @rnzgallerybrent

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs