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NZDF General discussion thread

This is a discussion on NZDF General discussion thread within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Due to the sniping back and forth between members about the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control ...


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Old January 22nd, 2008   #901
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Due to the sniping back and forth between members about the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987, its effect on ANZUS and the American-New Zealand relationship, this thread is being closed for a three day cooling off period.
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Old January 26th, 2008   #902
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Thread is re-opened for posting. Please keep in mind that while differences of opinion exist about what are proper policies for the NZ government and NZDF to have, it is inappropriate to insult other members about differing opinions. Please continue the discussion and debate, but remain civil.
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Old January 28th, 2008   #903
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Originally Posted by battlensign View Post
The decision to ban Nuclear armed ships by the NZ government was pure populist politics. Simple. The consequences on the other hand......
All politics in a democracy is populist by definition and the consequences of that democratic choice did not say any thing good about our so called allies

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If there were a legitimate feeling of concern in relation to such powered/armed warships, diplomatic overtures would have seen to it that such ships were not the ones allocated for port calls. By passing the law, the presence of a US warship is tantamount to a declaration of its nuclear status which contravines the US disclosure policy.
I rather think that NZ law and customs should not be dictated by the policy concerns of another nation, you might feel otherwise but we do not.

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Is there something about this which is difficult to undertand?

Brett.

P.S Have a nice day....
I see the concept self determination has passed you by.
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Old January 28th, 2008   #904
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Originally Posted by Sea Toby View Post
Fast forward twenty years. While there are old salts still around in the U.S. Navy who remember an allied New Zealand, and gave a hoot about the treaty commitments to New Zealand, today's U.S. sailors and admirals don't.

Friendly maybe. Allies not. Basically the New Zealand government and people decided not to have a defense relationship with the United States, a nuclear power. The U.S. responded in kind. Anyway, that is how Americans read and learn about the affair in their history books.
Nice to see that Japan is not the only country to have less than honest history books.


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The fleet's aircraft carriers are now all nuclear propelled, as our the submarines, whether attack or boomers. We build ships to meet our operational requirements, not New Zealand's requirements.
Please direct me to any NZ statement, law or policy that has said otherwise.
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Old January 29th, 2008   #905
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I was under the impression New Zealand wanted a defense relationship with the United States. It doesn't matter to the United States whether New Zealand is conquered or not. New Zealand is barely under the United States horizon, there is nothing there the United States needs or wants to trade for.

We wanted cheap toys from China. Unfortunately, China did its best to ruin and destroy that market.
Since the southern ocean may have oil there is a big reason to have a better defence force and better relations with all allies while making new friends and not enimies. And as countries grow there thirst for oil grows... ie China and India... problem is the world simply doesn't have an endless supply...

Antartica is also most likely very oil rich and all though their is a treaty that no drilling would take place, in the time of need as the world requires more oil it may well be the next hot spot as the last oil reserve... Then NZ would be a good base to any force that need to go south... of course this isn't today but could be tomorrow

NZ does need a better maritime patrol force... while the new protector fleet is a step in the right direction, I believe a 3rd OPV and a couple more maritime aircraft (whatever is choosen) We do need to spend more on Defence in all 3 services (Im not going to go into what I believe would be best for NZ)
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Old January 29th, 2008   #906
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The only thing that has changed is New Zealand's unwillingness to welcome our ships and sailors in their ports. Some ally.
I believe as it stands, that if the US stated there was no nuclear weapons on board (and I believe that no surface US vessel now carries NWs), and obviously was not nuclear powered then that vessel would be welcomed to visit NZ ports. The the US should try see what happens..??

But the US still has the neither confirm nor deny policy... I personally don't give a rats arse about nuclear weapons or powered... and it is a low per-cent age that do.

When I was in the Navy (during the height of No Nukes and anti nukes and even to some degree anti American for trying to push the little guys around) the navy still did exercises with the states, the air force and army as well.
NZ has had troops alongside US troops in Afghanistan (heck one of then was awarded the VC highest honor a soldier can be awarded in NZ) his answer to all the hype "Just doing my job"

I very much dobt that it says that ships and troops and air craft must visit each others country...At the end of the day... ships don't need to visit to keep a treaty... but they do need to exercise together... and there is nothing in the policy of stopping this... and if the US is happy visit AUS the Tasman sea is a good exercise area..

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Originally Posted by Sea Toby View Post
The fleet's aircraft carriers are now all nuclear propelled, as our the submarines, whether attack or boomers. We build ships to meet our operational requirements, not New Zealand's requirements.
Heck I am not even sure we have a port deep enough for an AC.

BTW we make our policies based on our environment of the south Pacific and the needs and wants of the people of our country...which is totally different from the US needs and wants. We don't make policies because of what friends, or Allies say or any other countries say...

But as you said be why do want to visit here, we apparently we have nothing you want or need...
You keep going on about history books and it pointed out you over and over that it was the US that suspended ANZUS, and stopped the talks... Its obvious to me you just want to believe what you want to believe and there will be no changing.

You say some Ally… personally the US should look very closely at the way they treat allies themselves trying to make them do things they don’t want to do… not just in defense but generally as a whole… Some ally ah. The US simiply doesn't like it when some one says "No" to them... We still are still very close allies of AUS, UK and Sinapore.

We have very good reasons to be nuclear free... with the French doing nuclear tests in our very own back yard... not theres not yours but ours then they they go and sink a ship in our harbour killing a civillian... some ally they were ah...

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Old January 29th, 2008   #907
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Originally Posted by Stuart Mackey View Post
All politics in a democracy is populist by definition and the consequences of that democratic choice did not say any thing good about our so called allies



I rather think that NZ law and customs should not be dictated by the policy concerns of another nation, you might feel otherwise but we do not.



I see the concept self determination has passed you by.
Hmmm.. apparently my comments were all too complicated for you to understand, as you seemed to have missed the point entirely. Let me try again.....

I beg the indulgence of the Mods and apologise in advance for what I am about to say.

The purpose of a Law/Custom is to achieve an objective. Usually this is two-fold: A) Define societal parameters, and B) Provide a rule against which people can be held to account. Given the laws in question, New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987, I cannot see a case for either of the criteria.

In the first instance the social parameters are purely domestic in character and this law adds nothing but a "Statement of policy" which is of little relevence given that there were likely to be other pieces of domestic legislation prohibiting NZers in respect of anything nuclear - plus the incredibly limited capacity for NZers to actually be involved in anything nuclear in the first place. Additionally the effect of the legislation cannot operate extra-territorially and therefore is void ab initio and hence non-binding. Let me repeat that. Whilst the NZ government can exclude unwanted port visits, as a general statement of policy the legislation is meaningless.

In the second instance the right of the government to determine who enters NZ territory is protected under various international instruments and customary international law. This would be a purely administrative decision by the government. As such, specific legislation is not required. However, because section 9(2) of the act requires the PM be satisfied that the warship be non-nuclear, it removes any discretion and binds the government regardless of circumstances. Under the previous system of discretion the US could have diplomatically arranged for only non-nuclear vessels to make port visits.

That NZ had an unparalleled right to create laws over her territory is unquestioned. However, this particular proclamation was designed purely to satisfy a political situation and unfortunately there always will be consequences for public policy that is so narrowly based. Whilst there will also always be the traces of politics in public policy, a purely political unilateral declaration in ignorance of the facts(or indeed directly contrary to them) will have consequences. The facts are that the US Military has had the major responsibility for protection of Western Europe, Northeast Asia, the Gulf & Israel along with Australia and NZ under various treaties. Thats one hell of a commitment - and typically it is the US nuclear deterrent that backs all of this up. So perhaps we might forgive them for remaining aloof on questions of armament disposition.

What this stance by the NZ government represents was a slap in the face of the US (particularly by doing it so publicly). Much of this could have been resolved diplomatically, but the greenies won their day and NZ suffers as a result. To try and wrap this crap in the flag of sovereignty is a truely undignified position. As mentioned before, if the desired outcome were no nuclear ships then diplomacy would have been sufficient. "Self-determination" comes at a cost and the suspension of ANZUS obligations (and all that entails) is just one very very significant example of it.


Brett.
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Old January 29th, 2008   #908
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I would just like to point out to fellow members that NZ decision regarding nuclear power/arms and the fallout (pun intended) of that decision is again dipping into the political realm. Also it seems to be taking on tones of "it's the Kiwis fault/US's fault". I would welcome some discussion of this, but suggest it be done via PM since it would likely be a discussion of politics as opposed to defence matters.

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Old January 29th, 2008   #909
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Good points there Todjaeger, we all need to avoid any "it's your fault: no it's your fault" type arguements.

At the end of the day, IMO it was a politcial decision that cashed on growing worldwide anti-nuke sentiment in the 1980's (think of the Greenham Common protests in the UK, the protests in Europe against the Russian SST-20 versus the US's short range missile plans to counter the SST-20, or whatever they were called etc) as well as the NZ perspectives and local events from the 1960's onwards that others have raised here.

I think what is hurting some NZ'ers posting here is that, the US didn't "punish" NZ as a whole (eg trade, investment, tourism continued unabated etc), it simply "punished" NZ's Armed Forces, which is rather ironical considering the NZDF is one organisation that wanted to maintain ties with the US Military. Which makes any thinking NZ'er wonder, the issue can't have been "that serious" if only defence relations were affected. I suspect why defence relations were affected was to signal to the likes of other allies such as Japan etc, that this could happen "to you", which in an Asian context, with unfriendly neighbours, would have been a very serious result if Japanese anti-nuke sentiment escalated at the time etc. So if anything most thinking NZ'ers resent being "used" as an example to other nations despite the shared history of both countries fighting together eg WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam etc, hence the sentiments being posted here from largely pro-defence, pro-NZ/US NZ'ers etc.

It's also rather ironical that the impass has handed a victory to the NZ Activist Movement (the Anti-US types etc). In essence the fallout has delivered them a 20 year wet dream, no US-NZ exercises or US Navy visits to NZ. Those guys must be laughing on how the fallout cut military ties and was self inflicted, but everything else in NZ society is a-ok (they can still buy a can of Coke or Wranglers etc).

TVNZ interviewed George Shultz 2-3 years ago for TVNZ's Sunday or Assignment programme and from memory I'm pretty sure he was suprised the whole debacle has dragged on for 20+ years and suggested this should have been resolved years ago (perhaps someone can reiterate what he said better than me here). I can also understand Sea Toby's hurt in all this, sounds like he may have been yakking to some old USN mates and the bad feelings "resurfaced" (also Sea Toby has been largely positive and supportive of NZ's Navy over the last 2-3 years when I started reading DT, and on other navy/defence forums, so let's remember that etc).

I won't weigh into the debate as such, but here's some interesting links for those wanting to understand the background to the breakdown in the relationship:

Michael Bassett (former Cabinet Minister in the Lange Administration and respected NZ political historian): "The Collapse of New Zealand’s Military Ties with the United States". http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/article_fulbright.htm (Very, very interesting reading, sums up how the issue blew up and how the "left" faction used the issue to gain political power after Lange's credibility was in tatters and the NZ economic reforms began to hurt ordinary NZ'ers. Very apt reading for contemporary politics in NZ).

Air-Marshall Ewan Jamieson (former CDF during the USS Buchanan issue): Friends or Allys? http://www.isn.ethz.ch/pubs/ph/detai...06604&id=23427 (see link to download PDF of document, Jamieson let's rip on the main players on both sides in his preface pages 6-9 of the PDF, even if one doesn't have time to read the book).

Other former NZ officials who were interviewed:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/...jectid=3563688
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/...jectid=3564063

Other UK/US academic research:
http://books.google.com/books?id=DiP...eNTTAI#PPR7,M1
http://books.google.com/books?id=IKp...3dG0EfLzLon9J4

For some balance, a Peace Group's perspective (of not wanting visits, but makes good reading or a good laugh depending on your perspective and whether you agree etc). http://www.esr.org.nz/events/even200...earFreeNZ.html

Anyway this is really old news. I've posted before on the warming of US-NZ relations. Similary Investigator post #366 mentioned some practical examples of closer NZ-US cooperation. The "Coalition" Labour Govt has publically stated they are working on improving US-NZ relations, the Bush Administration is cooperating in areas of mutual agreement (WOT etc). A possible change in NZ and US Govt's in 2008 can only see things improve (the Clinton Administration in the 1990's sought to improve the relationship and increase defence cooperation and acquisition etc). Things can only get better but it has been a slow and painful process these last 20 years and the problem when things like this are left to take this long to resolve, is that a new generation of NZ's (and Americans) have been born since the mid 1980's and all they know, all their life experience is, that the US and NZ are not "allies" and do not exercise and the USN does not or "isn't allowed" to come to NZ. This really isn't good, to condition a generation (and the next) that the US is no longer important or appears "to not want to be seen around here" etc. Fortunately though, most NZ'ers have a favourable attitude to the US (sure a handful of Anti-US activists protest on occasion) and at the Govt level, there has been public statements welcome better US involvement in the South Pacific. So things are probably more positive here than most people overseas realise.

Those conditions in the 1980's are so different from today's situation. The last poll I ever saw in 2005, some 61% of people welcome visits from US Navy ships (if they weren't carrying nuclear weapons, which surface combatant's don't anyway). http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/stor...ectid=10331509

Last edited by recce.k1; January 29th, 2008 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Typos etc.
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Old January 30th, 2008   #910
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Hmmm.. apparently my comments were all too complicated for you to understand, as you seemed to have missed the point entirely. Let me try again.....
snip unessary verbosity

Brett.
Because of US policy is to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons, it was necessary to pass the legislation in question, because simple policy requiments could not, buy their very nature, be made to work, what do you not grasp about this?
To somehow suggest that mere policy was a suitable compromise when the government did not want nuclear armed or propelled ship in NZ waters, is ridiculous, because NZ cannot dictate US policy with respect to its own navy and thereby ensure that the policy is actually working.

That this has consequences is obvious, but that there should be so when every other nuclear armed power manages to comply with NZ law shows just how correct Lange was at the Oxford union debate with respect to US action over the issue.
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Old January 30th, 2008   #911
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Because of US policy is to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons, it was necessary to pass the legislation in question, because simple policy requiments could not, buy their very nature, be made to work, what do you not grasp about this?
To somehow suggest that mere policy was a suitable compromise when the government did not want nuclear armed or propelled ship in NZ waters, is ridiculous, because NZ cannot dictate US policy with respect to its own navy and thereby ensure that the policy is actually working.

That this has consequences is obvious, but that there should be so when every other nuclear armed power manages to comply with NZ law shows just how correct Lange was at the Oxford union debate with respect to US action over the issue.
Huh? That I actually, in all honesty, didn't understand.

You appear to be arguing that in some way merely exercising the NZ government's internationally legally binding perogative to make determinations on the nature of entrance to NZ territorial waters was insufficient. What I am missing (not seeing) in your post is an argument as to why merely exercising this binding discretion is insufficient to achieve the desired objectives.

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Old January 30th, 2008   #912
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Old January 31st, 2008   #913
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Getting back to the present, Dan Eaton of The Press has a printed report in the Manawatu Standard 31/01/2008 (but it's not online at the MS, or The Press or Stuff (yet?)). There's alot of sub topics being discussed (countries, people, agendas and biases etc). Anyone care to offer their opinions on any particular aspects etc? Or insight into some of the people mentoned and their real thinking or motives etc?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


NZ may have to mull Afghanistan pull-out

With Afghanistan sliding into chaos, Dan Eaton looks at the crisis building within Nato and what it means for New Zealand troops.

Kiwi soldiers are facing increasing risks in Afghanistan and it may be only a matter of time before they start coming home in body bags. Concern is mounting that Afghanistan is sliding into chaos amid a brewing crisis within the Nato military alliance. Nato is responsible for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, where about 130 NZ troops are serving in non-combat roles.

The everyday dangers were highlighted this month when a United States helicopter carrying eight New Zealanders crashed on the way to their forward patrol base in Bamyan province.

All survived, but one trooper received injuries that required surgery and a return to New Zealand. It was a close call, and there is evidence that top brass are becoming increasingly concerned about security.

In a recent briefing in Wellington, New Zealand Joint Forces Commander Major General Rhys Jones spoke of the growing Taliban threat of suicide bombings and attacks on infrastructure in the province where the Kiwis are operating.

Jones was careful not to be alarmist but said the Defence Force was examining several contingencies that would be put to the Government for consideration. The options included boosting NZ troop numbers, reorganising them from a largely humanitarian focus to enable combat patrols and providing more armoured vehicles.

Off the record, serving and former officers say it is only a matter of time before the first Kiwi comes home in a body bag.

Experts warned the US House of Representatives armed services committee last week that Afghanistan was taking a back seat to Iraq and that unless the US and its allies redoubled their fight against Taliban insurgents, the country faced enduring chaos.

With bombings and attacks on the rise, such as the recent deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, and extremists gaining ground in neighbouring Pakistan, the US needed to make the international mission in Afghanistan a higher priority, they said.

Those expressions of concern follow Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon's warning that the war in Afghanistan would be lost unless Nato and its allies changed tactics.

As of July last year, more civilians had died as a result of Nato, US and Afghan Government firepower than because of the Taliban.

According to United Nations figures, 314 civilians were killed by international and Afghan Government forces in the first six months of 2007, while 279 civilians were killed by insurgents.

Part of the problem was the relatively low number of Western forces on the ground - about 50,000 in all, compared to 170,000 in Iraq - meaning that the West had to rely heavily on airstrikes.

A September report by the UN concluded those airstrikes were among the principal motivations for suicide attackers. Suicide attacks in the country rose sevenfold from 2005 to 2006.

A report just delivered to Nato headquarters and the Pentagon adds to the mounting worry. Former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands wrote that Nato was at a loss to deal with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Their radical manifesto said Nato must be prepared to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes to tackle terrorists and the threat of proliferation of waepons of mass destruction. It was written after talks with Nato commanders and policymakers.

Prime Minister Helen Clark, who at the end of last year extended NZ's troop committment to December 2009, has played down the significance of the report, saying Nato chiefs in Afghanistan would be in no doubt about NZ's position.

"It would be very clear that to the NZ Government the concept of first strike is anathema," she said.

"NZ foreign policy .... has been dedicated to working for an ideal, which is a nuclear-free world. We are not about to abandon it because some retired people from some Nato countries think it is not a very good idea".

However, a prominent NZ think tank has warned the Government may need to consider pulling NZ forces out of Afghanistan, given the turmoil in Nato's ranks and its inability to come up with a viable Afghan strategy.

The Christchurch based Disarmament and Security Centre (DSC) is headed by Kiwi academic and anti-nuclear campaigner Kate Dewes, appointed last month as disarmament adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Dewes will attend her first meeting of the UN chief's advisory board next month and says the advice being given to Nato is so concerning that it is likely to be a topic at the UN meeting.

Dewes' husband and fellow DSC coordinator Robert Green said the Nato ex-chiefs' manifesto was symptomatic of a growing crisis within Nato, coming as it does in the wake of the latest row over military performance in Afghanistan touched off by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. Gates indicated the mission in Afghanistan was failing, saying "some allies" seemed unable to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations.

The response of Canada, which has so far lost 78 soldiers in the conflict, has been that if Nato doesn't boost combat troop numbers it will pull out.

"You really do need to bring out the background to this, which is the huge crisis in Nato over Afghanistan", said Mr Green, a former Royal Navy commander and intelligence officer.

"Historically, Afghanistan is the graveyard for Western military expeditionary warfare, and here we go again. The immediate response is to reach for nukes, but of course they are worse than useless, especially against extremists.

"Maybe (NZ) will have to reconsider whether the provincial reconstruction team can stay in Afghanistan - and they certainly shouldn't send any special forces back," he said.
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Old February 1st, 2008   #914
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Getting back to the present, Dan Eaton of The Press has a printed report in the Manawatu Standard 31/01/2008 (but it's not online at the MS, or The Press or Stuff (yet?)). There's alot of sub topics being discussed (countries, people, agendas and biases etc). Anyone care to offer their opinions on any particular aspects etc? Or insight into some of the people mentoned and their real thinking or motives etc?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


NZ may have to mull Afghanistan pull-out

With Afghanistan sliding into chaos, Dan Eaton looks at the crisis building within Nato and what it means for New Zealand troops.

Kiwi soldiers are facing increasing risks in Afghanistan and it may be only a matter of time before they start coming home in body bags. Concern is mounting that Afghanistan is sliding into chaos amid a brewing crisis within the Nato military alliance. Nato is responsible for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, where about 130 NZ troops are serving in non-combat roles.

The everyday dangers were highlighted this month when a United States helicopter carrying eight New Zealanders crashed on the way to their forward patrol base in Bamyan province.

All survived, but one trooper received injuries that required surgery and a return to New Zealand. It was a close call, and there is evidence that top brass are becoming increasingly concerned about security.

In a recent briefing in Wellington, New Zealand Joint Forces Commander Major General Rhys Jones spoke of the growing Taliban threat of suicide bombings and attacks on infrastructure in the province where the Kiwis are operating.

Jones was careful not to be alarmist but said the Defence Force was examining several contingencies that would be put to the Government for consideration. The options included boosting NZ troop numbers, reorganising them from a largely humanitarian focus to enable combat patrols and providing more armoured vehicles.

Off the record, serving and former officers say it is only a matter of time before the first Kiwi comes home in a body bag.

Experts warned the US House of Representatives armed services committee last week that Afghanistan was taking a back seat to Iraq and that unless the US and its allies redoubled their fight against Taliban insurgents, the country faced enduring chaos.

With bombings and attacks on the rise, such as the recent deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, and extremists gaining ground in neighbouring Pakistan, the US needed to make the international mission in Afghanistan a higher priority, they said.

Those expressions of concern follow Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon's warning that the war in Afghanistan would be lost unless Nato and its allies changed tactics.

As of July last year, more civilians had died as a result of Nato, US and Afghan Government firepower than because of the Taliban.

According to United Nations figures, 314 civilians were killed by international and Afghan Government forces in the first six months of 2007, while 279 civilians were killed by insurgents.

Part of the problem was the relatively low number of Western forces on the ground - about 50,000 in all, compared to 170,000 in Iraq - meaning that the West had to rely heavily on airstrikes.

A September report by the UN concluded those airstrikes were among the principal motivations for suicide attackers. Suicide attacks in the country rose sevenfold from 2005 to 2006.

A report just delivered to Nato headquarters and the Pentagon adds to the mounting worry. Former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands wrote that Nato was at a loss to deal with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Their radical manifesto said Nato must be prepared to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes to tackle terrorists and the threat of proliferation of waepons of mass destruction. It was written after talks with Nato commanders and policymakers.

Prime Minister Helen Clark, who at the end of last year extended NZ's troop committment to December 2009, has played down the significance of the report, saying Nato chiefs in Afghanistan would be in no doubt about NZ's position.

"It would be very clear that to the NZ Government the concept of first strike is anathema," she said.

"NZ foreign policy .... has been dedicated to working for an ideal, which is a nuclear-free world. We are not about to abandon it because some retired people from some Nato countries think it is not a very good idea".

However, a prominent NZ think tank has warned the Government may need to consider pulling NZ forces out of Afghanistan, given the turmoil in Nato's ranks and its inability to come up with a viable Afghan strategy.

The Christchurch based Disarmament and Security Centre (DSC) is headed by Kiwi academic and anti-nuclear campaigner Kate Dewes, appointed last month as disarmament adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Dewes will attend her first meeting of the UN chief's advisory board next month and says the advice being given to Nato is so concerning that it is likely to be a topic at the UN meeting.

Dewes' husband and fellow DSC coordinator Robert Green said the Nato ex-chiefs' manifesto was symptomatic of a growing crisis within Nato, coming as it does in the wake of the latest row over military performance in Afghanistan touched off by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. Gates indicated the mission in Afghanistan was failing, saying "some allies" seemed unable to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations.

The response of Canada, which has so far lost 78 soldiers in the conflict, has been that if Nato doesn't boost combat troop numbers it will pull out.

"You really do need to bring out the background to this, which is the huge crisis in Nato over Afghanistan", said Mr Green, a former Royal Navy commander and intelligence officer.

"Historically, Afghanistan is the graveyard for Western military expeditionary warfare, and here we go again. The immediate response is to reach for nukes, but of course they are worse than useless, especially against extremists.

"Maybe (NZ) will have to reconsider whether the provincial reconstruction team can stay in Afghanistan - and they certainly shouldn't send any special forces back," he said.
What a load of shite.

The immediate response is to reach for nukes?

WTF?

Based on what? The repeated use of nukes in modern warfare?

We are here to discuss defence matters, not activists ignorant rantings...
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Old February 1st, 2008   #915
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I have always thought that Kate Dewes and Rob Green should have taken their fellow traveller mate Keith Locke with them to negotiate the disarmourment of the Taliban by now. Or at least brokered some sort of Peace agreement. Yeah Right.

A/stan is one area where I think that the NZDF has been doing a fine job. Deploying both the PRT and the NZSAS has been a solid commitment for our size and means. Has showed up a number of other larger richer countries which belong to NATO. I think we have to hang on in there until our commitment ends in 2009 and hope by then that some European politicans get a bit of backbone and take over before its too late. Simply there are not enough troops been committed by some nations leaving the slack to be picked up by the rest.
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