Joe Smith has raised some interesting questions on the above, supported by some equally interesting comparisons. I do not support his comparison of the TDS to that of Samoa’s, Fiji’s and the US’ based only on the total population. One should therefore go beyond the total population and to look at other socio-political, security and economic factors that justify having an army. Perhaps GIGO would rightly apply to Smith’s comparison.
Tonga government has to create employment for its young men and women, to discipline them and provide more role models for the country. Men and women in the TDS have learned engineering, electrical, plumbing and construction skills and have become useful members to the local communities, in the private sector and abroad too. At a time when foreign exchange is so badly needed and where security services are in high demand internationally, a further expansion of the TDS’ peace keeping duties is not a bad idea. In his majesty’s address during the closing of parliament, he stressed the need to immediately restore Tonga’s good reputation in the international scene. The men and women in uniform hasa lot to offer to this effort.
fifitasione [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] au