25 Oct 2011

Labour would pull SAS out of Kabul

6:05 pm on 25 October 2011

The Labour Party says it would pull New Zealand's SAS troops out of Afghanistan within 90 days if it wins the election.

There are currently more than 30 SAS soldiers in Kabul, with their current deployment due to end in about March 2012.

Labour leader Phil Goff says New Zealand troops are involved in the capturing of detainees in Afghanistan but can do nothing to prevent them being mistreated and tortured.

He says a Labour Government would pull the SAS out, and would not re-deploy them to Afghanistan.

Labour says it would also develop an exit strategy for the Defence Force's Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Bamiyan province of Afghanistan by 2014.

Mr Goff says New Zealand has been in Afghanistan for a decade and it is a war that cannot be won because the administration New Zealand is supporting is "deeply corrupt and cannot win the hearts and minds of its own people".