Monday, August 08, 2005

Save what squadrons?

National's policy on the defence of New Zealand (announced 4pm Friday just as everyone was heading home) appears to mirror Labour's: "maintain current levels of [derisory] spending"; "we live in a benign defence environment" "God Defend New Zealand because nobody else will" etc., etc., ad nauseum.

No airforce strike capability; no nuclear ships; no firm promises beyond a "comprehensive review."

It's not quite true to say you're better off with Labour, but with limp-wristed policy like this you're hardly any worse off. Frankly, on defence as in so much else there's damn-all difference between the two main parties. As the election date gets ever closer they begin to look more and more like Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber.

I do know one party that does recognise that New Zealand is worth defending...

3 Comments:

Blogger Duncan Bayne said...

Personally, I always thought that the best defense policy for a country the size of NZ was a good (if small) standing regular force and as large a reserve as possible.

That, and a few nukes and decent delivery systems.

Policy would run along the lines of: "we may not be able to defend against a full-scale conventional invasion, but we'll be able to hold off an invading country for long enough to turn half a dozen or so of that country's major cities into glowing radioactive embers."

8/08/2005 04:54:00 pm  
Blogger Charlie said...

So do we move from a nuclear-free NZ to Nuke-your-sorry-ass NZ in one step?

I'm all for more defensive power and proper use for nuclear technology, but I also believe that the spread of nuclear weapon needs to be stopped. It is, if I may say so, a very childish way to defend yourself. What we need to do is to sit down and analyze the kinds of threat we're facing.

Do we face a full-on attack from any country nearby? No. China needs to get through Taiwan and Japan to attack us, and chances are the Americans will be onto them before we even blink. India needs to get through the entire SE Asia, which would take months, if not years. Again, other countries would be onto them before we do. Indonesia has a laughable military force. They couldn't even defend their own commerical ships from pirates. Aussies probably don't like us much, but the fights rarely leave rugby and cricket fields. The south American countries are largely politically unstable, and I just don't see them crossing the Pacific ocean to attack us. They'd worry about their neighbors more. Are we in the danger of being attacked by nuclear missiles? No. The big countries all aim at each other, and they probably couldn't find NZ on a map.

What we're facing, is the threat of terrorism and the only effective weapon against it is intelligence. Obviously we'd need elite forces with proper supports to act on gathered intelligence, but having a comprehensive information gathering network is essential to any nations safety in today's environment.

And Peter, I have to say that Libertarianz's defense policy is selfish and uninformed. Although I do agree that we need to review our defence treaties with other countries (US in particular). However, as a country who has little need for its military force on a regular basis, it is our duty to help people in need. UN is not perfect - it is inefficient and incompetent. But we should try to make it better, and not just ditch it. Remember what happened when countries withdrew from the League of Nations? (WWII for those who are wondering) Granted it's not the only cause, but we have United Nation now, and we should do everything we can to make it better. We live in a global community, and if we don't do our parts in trying to keep the planet peaceful, how can we expect other countries to come to our aid in the times of need?

8/08/2005 11:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie "And Peter, I have to say that Libertarianz's defense policy is selfish and uninformed"

You do realise that you have paid Libertarianz a compliment by identifying their policy as "selfish"?

A defence policy should always be framed with selfish motives.

Julian

8/09/2005 05:46:00 am  

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