Government Extends NZ Defence commitment in Afghanistan until December 2016

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Source: New Zealand Government – Extension of NZDF commitment in Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

“Since late 2013 New Zealand has contributed five mentors and three support staff to the academy to assist in building the capacity of the Afghan National Army.

“The academy, led by the United Kingdom and situated just outside of Kabul, forms part of NATO’s non-combat Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions out to the end of 2016.

“Positive results have been achieved in the development of junior Afghan officers, and it is appropriate that New Zealand’s contribution to this important activity be maintained for a stable and secure Afghanistan.

“New Zealand’s presence in Afghanistan – spanning both its 13-year-long participation in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and now its non-combat successor mission, Resolute Support – has demonstrated New Zealand’s commitment to international security and stability.

“International efforts in Afghanistan have evolved and now focus on supporting the Afghan state and its security forces as they move towards self-reliance.  Over this time New Zealand has remained determined to play its part alongside its international partners.

“The extension of New Zealand’s commitment to the Officer Academy is complemented by ongoing funding and development assistance,” Mr Brownlee says.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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