Australia lost five five Diggers in one day yesterday, the country’s worst single-day combat death toll since the Vietnam War. Prime Minister Julia Gillard cut short a foreign trip and headed home. Australia, just as a reminder, fields 81,000 troops across its army, navy and air force from a population of less than 28 million.
So imagine the impact on New Zealand when the small Pacific island state lost three soldiers from its force of less than 11,000, of whom 2,377 are reservists. Now I bring a personal view to all this. My nephew is a Digger and returned a few months ago from Afghanistan, where these New Zealanders died. Keep reading →