22 Sep 2012

Military unease claimed at Govt's handling of Afghanistan

8:55 am on 22 September 2012

Disquiet is being reported in the New Zealand military about the way the Government is handling the situation in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister John Key announced on Thursday that four SAS logistics officers have been sent to Afghanistan to gather intelligence about the insurgents responsible for the death of five New Zealand soldiers in Bamyan province in August.

Radio New Zealand's correspondent in Kabul, Jon Stephenson, says the reason for that is unclear when the mastermind of the attack is believed to have already fled to Pakistan.

Mr Stephenson says some in the military feel the Government is not reading the situation well.

"What I have heard through New Zealand sources is that people in the New Zealand military are very unhappy with the way the Government has handled the events post the tragedies at Bamyan."

Probability high - defence chief

The Chief of Defence agrees there is a high probability the mastermind of the attacks is in Pakistan.

Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones says they get information that the insurgent leaders go to Pakistan when they are being pursued.

"They also go back over the winter period and restock their credit with the hierarchy, with the leadership, renegotiate for money and start planning as well, so that constantly goes on."