Tuesday, March 21, 2017

HAGER'S BOOK

Written from the sidelines by an acknowledged left wing conspiracy theorist whose experience of war and all its shitty consequences is clearly  limited to guesstimates of what might have occurred and all with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight ... and the dumb MSM fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Bad things happen in combat, especially in insurgent combat, where it is virtually impossible to differentiate between combatant soldiers and civilians where civilians are used either wittingly or unwittingly as human shields and propaganda tools.    They all wear the same 'non uniform'.   The International Committee of the Red Cross has published an analysis of the ramifications of this here.   To say that the situation is confusing is an understatement.

The fog of war is real.   Seldom will you have the benefit of 100% reliable complete information.  You go with what you've got and civilians, especially in insurgent warfare, get caught up in it with their 'hurt' sometimes exacerbated by the lure of 'blood money' on offer by a western military trying to atone for genuine mistakes.  

What I do find as incredible the accusation that the operation in question was 'authorised' by the PM.
You commit troops to combat.   You sign-off on the rules of engagement (perhaps).  But you leave the conduct of operations in the hands of your military professionals.   If the government was advised of an intending operation then it would only be as a matter of courtesy ... but then Hager clearly prefers the conspiracy theory route.    Fits.

My analysis ... this book will flop because it deserves to.


27 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing (especially with Anzac day approaching) that kiwis hold dear are members of the NZDF who over the years appear to have developed a reputation of professionalism and courage in combat.

I suspect that this book will damage Hagar's already turpid reputation - his crying wolf at the 2014 election turned a lot off and I suspect that this will as well.

Originally he would have published it in August this yeat but with Key's unexpected resignation he had to bring it forward somewhat.

Never mind Nicky - go slink back into the rat hole you crawled out of - leave our Servicemen alone.

Jimmie

Jobson Growth said...

Could this be the reason Shonkey quit as PM? He would havs known it was coming.

Could it be that those you deride as insurgents were simply defending their nation from foreign invaders?

Human shields is a term used by those who would destroy a village in order to save it so than can whitewzsh their guilt.

Hager's allegations should be tested in a court and any NZ William Calleys must be punished.

Anonymous said...

I have not read the book or have any idea of what operation he was referring to but two comments stand out that need challenging. By dismissing an author as a left/right wing conspiracy theorist merely strengthens the argument that fire lies behind the smoke. Fog of war does not apply to or excuse bad planning and faulty intelligence. Fog of war happens in the execution of an operation.

There is a direct correlation between your comment on Prime Minister authorisation and the US attack in Yemen where the US navy SEAL was killed. President Obama had that one on the table for a long time and refused to authorise it on the advise of his military advisers as the intelligence was not good enough. Trump overode his advisers and authorised the operation leading to many unnecessary deaths and a stain on the US military.

A previous NZSAS raid on a transport yard that led to the deaths of innocent people was based on deliberately distorted information in order to get rid of a commercial rival. We were not taking on board the lessons learnt by the British 6 years earlier.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

Fog of war was coined in the 18th century and refers to the battle field after a couple of volleys of black powder muskets. This is why whenever possible generals sat on hills and battles were fought on lower ground. Visibility was limited to a few yards.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... no correlation at all and I am surprised you don't know the difference between a Westminsterook democracy and the US Presidential form of government. In the US the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces hence his involvement. Here the PM ain't and that's the difference. The notion that the PM signs off on every operational decision is farcical. When my s-i-l took HMNZS Te Mana up to the Gulf he had freedom of action to do what was necessary to protect his ship and carry out his mission. Suma suma in Afghanistan. As for the left wing conspiracy theorist bit ... not my words. That's how Hagar is being described by the media. Fog of war .... it's real and you know it.

Not going to waste my time responding to Jonson Growth except to point out that we have both at near record levels. Feeds through in the latest poll result. See my next post.

Anonymous said...

Veteran ..I was referring to acting on suspect intelligence not on procedures. I have found the event and now have some idea of what went on. The more I see, the more I have my doubts as to why this operation was proposed in the first place. This was not a good or proper use of the SAS.

Now that it has seen the light of day the planning and intelligence should be investigated, not what happened on the ground where shit happens in the dark.

I know you are very protective of the military but would you be quite so protective if it were a Labour PM? Past experience says not.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

Just as a back drop can I say that Bamyan Province was chosen for the NZ contribution because it is the safest province in Afghanistan, in fact the Hazara people are not even Afghans...Winston Churchill said much the the same thing while attached to the Lancers.

From wiki......

"It is recognised as one of the safest provinces in the country, which has allowed for civil rebuilding.[16] Bamyan served as the base of operations for the New Zealand peacekeeping force, a Provincial Reconstruction Team codenamed Task Group Crib, which was part of the network of Provincial Reconstruction Teams throughout Afghanistan."

it seems that a couple of black hats from out of the province upset people by starting a shooting war. Afghan intelligence, oxymoron, said they come from a compound 50K away..............when are we going to learn.

US pilot, after killing six soldiers from the Warwickshire Regt in the gulf war, "The red recognition panels looked like missile launchers." If you are Gung Ho you see what you want to see and hear what you want hear. The Grunts are taking flak now so lets take it higher.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

What's being described constitutes one or more war crimes if the description is accurate. Calling it "fog of war" doesn't remove the need to investigate it properly and if necessary hold those responsible to account - regardless of your opinion of one of the authors.

As for it being "incredible" that the government was asked to authorise the attack: the government had declared that the SAS weren't being sent to Afghanistan as combat troops - you don't think the military would check with it before allowing what sounds like a revenge attack on Afghan villages? This incident needs the fog of war lifted off it - get the relevant weasels under oath and quiz them ASAP, in Key's case preferably before he leaves the country to do PR for that Japanese nut job.

pdm said...

Members of the SAS `weasels' Milt?

A demeaning and unworthy comment that you should immediately apologise for.

Chris said...

I seem to recall that Jon Stephenson has been pushing the SAS barrow for a number of years now, and has ended up at the bottom of the barrel having Hager write the book for him. If this is so good why did he not write the book himself, or have a more reputable journalist work with him, someone like, dare I say it, Ian Wishart.
I don't think anyone of right mind believes anything written by Hager is the truth.

Anonymous said...

Chris.....that is an opinion not a fact. This is a fact,,almost every incident involving the death of a NZ soldier since East Timor has been surrounded by controversy and accusations of high ranking cover ups some of which I believe are true. The sad fact is that the NZ army has little or no combat experience since Vietnam and that was limited to a very few who were discriminated against later in their careers by those wore a similar amount of medals but none that really counted.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

Members of the SAS `weasels' Milt?

Nope. Those guys just do what they're told. They're tasked with killing people and destroying things in the name of New Zealand, so it's pointless to blame them for killing the people and destroying the things that New Zealand told them to. The weasels referred to are the ones in cabinet and the military who told them to kill these particular people and destroy these particular things. Let's hear from them under oath and keep a close eye out for perjury, because whatever happened to those villages happened under our names and I don't want mine associated with what's being alleged here.

The Veteran said...

Gueez ... the crap and the prejudice walks tall on this thread. I repeat again ... we're not America. The PM is NOT the Commander in Chief and does not command the NZDF. Operational decisions are NOT referred back to the Minister/Cabinet/PM for approval. It maybe, as a matter of courtesy, the Minister is advised of a pending operation in broad terms but that's all.

Egbut, I would be surprised if the planning and intelligence surrounding the operation hadn't been reviewed 'in house' and in depth ... there are always lessons to be learned. That's SOP. Clearly I agree with you that what happened on the ground is off limits. Shit happens in war and civilians people get killed especially when they are wearing the same clothing as the insurgents.

PM ... your KDS is showing through in spades and the SAS are not weasels

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I see the odious Herald is giving this odious pair a good run. The headlines were sufficient warning to avoid the articles.

Legbut had better go and buy a bigger bucket for all his 'wrongs.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the post deleter...the troll whose Grandfather sends little homiies from the Gallipoli beaches....did your grandad live in your house?

Veteran....."in house" this is what we are talking about. It needs out of house and house clearing. This has happened too often in the past with no accountability so no lessons have been learnt.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... so you would review the intelligence and planning that went into an operation in the public arena ... including lessons learned. I think not ... the 'enemy' would of course be very interested in picking up on that.

Anonymous said...

Yes..it happens in the UK at post mortems that are controversial including the afore said unlawful killing of the six soldiers including radio transmissions. It is in the public interest now and to let it ride is to let it fester. We are all grown up now and realise that an attack on a medieval compound with overwhelming air power will not expose military secrets.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

Gueez ... the crap and the prejudice walks tall on this thread.

It certainly does. A book's been published that presents evidence the NZ military committed war crimes, and your response is that there's no reason to investigate because you don't like the author, civilians can expect to get killed when soldiers are doing counter-insurgency operations and NZ cabinet ministers aren't responsible for what its soldiers do. Your response is wrong - there's every reason to investigate, and for that investigation not to be in-house.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said...

Ho hum another candidate for the Fiction table at the next Air Training Corps book sale.

The last lot couldn't be got rid of on 50c day and ended up in the recycling.

Egbut, you missed a good reunion.

Psycho Milt said...

Further to rhis: the NZ military has form for lying about Jon Stephenson's reporting, and that instance cost taxpayers $600,000 in court costs plus whatever was paid out to Stephenson in out-of-court settlement. How much will it end up costing us this time? Has anyone suggested to the top brass that not lying about things might be a better approach?

The Veteran said...

PM ... Hager presented one side of the story and we're expected to accept that as the gospel truth. He's selling a book. It's in his interest to sensationalise. Look, I'm the first to admit that civilians get hurt in war and especially in an insurgent campaign. War is a shitty business and shit happens but right now I don't accept that our elite soldiers went rogue and set out to deliberately kill civilians as an act of vengeance. That is completely against the military ethic.

Hager has a vested interest in kicking against the establishment. But to take the matter further he needs to substantiate his claims and in that respect the so called whistle blowers need to step forth, to prove they were there on the ground and not just repeating second/third hand gossip. That's when I'll support an inquiry.

Mapp has said that he and and CD were there at the time and were briefed on the pending operation. Nothing 'sinister' about that ... done in general terms and as a matter of courtesy. But authorisation for the mission came from the in-theatre command and that's how it should be.

Key and Mapp arn't responsible for what happened (except in a general sense) any more than Fraser and Jones were back in 1942 when soldiers from 28 (Maori) Battalion ran amok after an action in which they suffered heavy causalities and bayoneted doctors and patients in a German Advanced Dressing Station they overran.

It's fascinating to me to see the pontificating my armchair generals whose experience of war is limited to comic books and Arnie type movies.



Anonymous said...

Apologies......I said post mortem when I should have said Coroners court. Every death of a British soldier is investigated by the Coroners court in whatever County the body arrives in. It is thorough, transparent and of great help and comfort to the parents and relatives. The British army knows it cannot sidestep or thwart this process and have also learnt a lot.There is no reason why we cannot adopt this process, if we had of then the fact that we drive the only APC's in the theatre without anti RPG bar armour would have come to light...cheap as chips but a life saver

Veteran...the investigation should look at the intelligence source ie. who fingered the people in the compound as responsible for the terrorist attack. Obviously it is a Afghan source but what checks were made on it's authenticity given that the SAS has been duped into attacking an innocent target before. Was US or British Advice sought before making the decision? It has all the hallmarks of an operation driven by emotion and not strategy.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

Hager presented one side of the story and we're expected to accept that as the gospel truth.

No, we're expected to accept that he and Stephenson have presented evidence that warrants an investigation - which we should, because they have.

Key and Mapp arn't responsible for what happened (except in a general sense)...

According to the book, they were asked for direct authorisation and gave it. Even if that claim can't be proven, they were certainly responsible for lying about what happened - Mapp pretty much admitted that to a TV reporter yesterday.

It's fascinating to me to see the pontificating my armchair generals whose experience of war is limited to comic books and Arnie type movies.

And it's fascinating to me that there are people who imagine only combat veterans are entitled to an opinion on when it's OK for NZ servicemen to kill civilians and destroy their houses, and when it's OK for military commanders and politicians to lie to us about what they've been up to. In reality, every NZ citizen is entitled to an opinion on those things, because they're done in our name.

Anonymous said...

Phsyco....I believe that Veteran is speaking on behalf of the National party not on behalf of the military some of whom will agree with you.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

PM ... of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. Equally, we can agree to disagree about the worth of that opinion. I repeat ... in war shitty things happen.
War, by definition, is shitty. But you are stepping into quicksand when you try to apply civil society norms to a combat situation. Of course it's not OK for the military to kill civilians but sometimes that happens especially when they wear the same clothing as combatants. The thesis of the book is that this was a revenge killing where civilians were deliberately targeted. I disagree.

And no-one yet seems to have gone down the 'blood money' trail and, if you don't think that is a factor, then you're living in la la land.

Egbut ... crap. I'm speaking on behalf of myself. You are ascribing to me a status I do not possess. It would be equally stupid if I were to designate you as the voice of the UK Labour/Liberal-Democrat Party ... you seem to have a foot in both camps.

Anonymous said...

Your post enforces the point that only a full and independent investigation will reach a conclusion of what may be an approximation of the truth.

Unfortunately politically inspired or select committee investigations often bow to the public mood. Blood money has been a part of the culture for centuries. We as an Anglo Saxon race had it for years as did the Chinese but now we call it insurance.

Lord Egbut

Noel said...

H and S have made some damming accusations.
I'll go with a taxpayer investigation as long as they put up their proceeds from the book to offset costs if the claims are unfounded.

On second thought perhaps there wont be many sold.