Need more than taiahas in Iraq
Kiwi troops being sent to Iraq
New Zealand is poised to join the war in Iraq with the deployment of Kiwi troops to the region to train local forces.
Cabinet is expected to agree in principle to the deployment on Monday after concerns were eased over the Iraqi Government’s refusal to sign a “status of forces” agreement setting out the legal status of the New Zealand troops.
Alternatives including “diplomatic passports with guns” or special military or official passports are understood to be under discussion and sources say they should provide the level of legal protection demanded by the New Zealand government as a condition of sending troops.
But that could be controversial – the former commander of New Zealand troops in Afghanistan, retired Colonel Richard Hall, said settling the legal position of New Zealand troops was crucial before any deployment.