Our sympathies go out to the families of the three members of the New Zealand Defense force that were killed by a roadside blast recently in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan. One of the deceased, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker was assigned as a medic and marks the first female loss for the New Zealand force. The three were assigned to the Bamyan Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT).
The three deaths alone are horrific, but mark a disturbing trend in another province of Afghanistan. Bamyan province has for the most part during the war remained relatively quiet and peaceful with casualties being few. The New Zealand PRT has owned this battle space throughout the war. While there, the PRT’s mission was to help the local population through a number of development programs. However, it appears that after a decade of hard work, the tide is turning against even the best intentioned of our soldiers in Afghanistan. Could this be a one off? Possibly, but in light of the other deteriorating metrics across the country this seems to be more evidence of a fundamental change in the tide of the war than a simple statistical anomally.
By Guiles Hendrik