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NZ should do more for war against terrorism

Max Bradford National Defence Spokesperson

18 October 2001

NZ should do more for war against terrorism

National is calling on the Government to increase New Zealand's contribution to the war against terrorism.

"While the contribution of a small contingent of SAS troops is welcomed by the United States, New Zealand as a developed western country can, and should, make a more meaningful contribution," National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"The fact that Australia has sent a considerable force shows that we can do proportionately much the same. We could, and should, for example send one or two of our frigates and a P3 Orion to act as a back-up force, so the United States and Britain can release their defence forces to frontline operations.

"If we still had fighters, they could be released to Australia to cover for their fighter aircraft being sent into the Afghanistan theatre. With the increasing Muslim protests in Indonesia, this is not a trivial issue.

"However, that option isn't available now with the Clark Government's decision to scrap the RNZAF air combat wing.

"National rejects the Greens' view that the world can discourage Osama bin Laden from his course of terrorism with food parcels.

"The United States has the balance right where it is providing assistance to people displaced by the Taleban but the only way you can deal with terrorists is unfortunately with force.

"We should play a bigger part because not even New Zealand is out of the reach of terrorist activity," Mr Bradford said.

Ends


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