Tonga also sent troops to help out in Iraq. No doubt this brings them some Brownie points with NATO the U.S. and Britain. In the case of this new deployment it will be the British taxpayer for a change rather than the Americans who will fund the troops. The Tongans will also be under British command.
A contingent of 55 Tongan soldiers is expected to begin service in Afghanistan in November, the first of 275 soldiers committed over a two-year period by the Tongan government, Tonga had received the request for assistance from NATO and Britain.
The Tongan defense commander said that Afghanistan looks safer than Iraq. I wonder if he ever visited Afghanistan! The group will be doing force protection around the boundaries of NATO bases. Probably the Tongans may be cheaper than private contractors. The cost will be 3.9 million for the first year.
It is suggested that the deployment provided jobs and opportunities for Tongans to emigrate. It would also provide educational opportunities. I am sure being deployed in Afghanistan is quite educational. However at least one Tongan lawmaker objected claiming that there were better ways to solve unemployment problems than sending people to a battlefield. He also worried about caring for the wounded.