New Zealand to send soldiers to Iraq

The Prime Minister, John Key, announced today that New Zealand would send 143 soldiers to Iraq. They will not fight against Islamic State (IS) fighters but will train Iraqi soldiers. Some New Zealand soldiers will provide protection for the soldiers who are training. They will work alongside Australian soldiers.

Mr Key said the soldiers will leave in May and stay for 2 years. There will be a review after 9 months to check that their work is useful.

New Zealand will also provide $14.5m in aid to help the people of Iraq and Syria who have lost their homes.

About half of all New Zealanders believe we should send soldiers to Iraq and half think we should not. Here are some reasons for sending soldiers: we need to support our friends (UK, US, Australia) to defeat IS, the Foreign Minister of Iraq visited New Zealand to invite us to send soldiers, we won a seat on the Security Council which aims for international peace, IS is evil, and lastly, we should help people who are victims of this war.

Here are some of the reasons for not sending soldiers: this is not our war, our soldiers could be captured and killed, and thirdly our country could become the target of terrorists, perhaps in our shopping malls.

Listen to January 2nd 2015 to hear more about the Security Council.


• defeat – opposite of win
• victims – people who suffer (injured, family killed, they lose their homes etc)
• captured – caught
• target – goal, aim

What do you think?
Can you give good reasons for your opinion?

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