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Jon Stephenson vs NZDF retrial

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, July 11th, 2014 - 9 comments

sas in afghanistan

The NZ Defense Force have been defending themselves in a defamation case against some grossly inaccurate claims that they made about reporter Jon Stephenson back in 2011 (and that John Key recklessly and foolishly chimed in on). They have been forced to concede that their claims were inaccurate. But a hung jury about how defamatory the claims were is causing it to proceeding to second trial. It looks like legal maneuvering by the NZDF has failed. My view is that the NZDF are being completely stupid about owning up to their screwup.

NRT: A major shift in our foreign policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 33 comments

250px-NZ_Army_soldiers_with_NZLAVs

No Right Turn points to potential unacceptable changes in the basis of our foreign policy and the deployment of our armed forces. A secret review of peacekeeping keeping roles revealed by an OIA request recommends that rather than going on UN missions to support peace and keep combatants apart, we’ll be taking an active and direct role in America’s wars, against the wishes of the international community and even against the wishes of our own citizens.

Militarism and the NZ Left?

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 31 comments

Stuff Vanguard Military school feb 20 2014

Two uncritical articles in Auckland’s local press, raise questions about the role of the NZ military, and the educational and cultural impact of a military charter school.  Unstated and unquestioned, is the nature of NZ’s relationship with that of militaristic US imperialism.

A silent war – mental health in the NZDF

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 24th, 2013 - 10 comments

defense_force200

On the eve of ANZAC day,  it is appropriate to read the reasons of a soldier for departing the Defense Force. There are few local organisations who spend as much resource and effort on training as the Defense Force does. It is ridiculous to expend the vast resources required to train modern non-commissioned soldiers and then to skimp on one of their primary medical needs – mental health.

Amnesty International: Arrest Bush for war crimes

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, October 13th, 2011 - 22 comments

george w bush war criminal

Perhaps Mr Key’s staff might like to explain to him what the implications of this development, in conjunction with the recent UN Report on NZ SAS rendering prisoners in Afghanistan and the housing of CIA operations at NZDF bases, might mean for the PM. Amnesty International (London) has issued a call to Canadian authorities to arrest […]

This is why we have employment law

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, June 30th, 2011 - 61 comments

450Scales_of_justice

New Zealand Defence Force staff are not covered by employment law.  Hundreds of them are being sacked, so as to get “more work out of fewer people”.  If they’re “lucky” some of those cast aside might get civilian versions of their old jobs back, with huge pay cuts as a sweetener.  Welcome to the epitome of National’s flexible labour market.

Aid shift – security not poverty the objective

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, September 8th, 2010 - 4 comments

first_aid_bandges

The latest Guardian Weekly had two interesting and seemingly unconnected stories about major shifts in aid priorities on both sides of the world after the advent of right-wing governments. More emphasis on security objectives, with aid delivered by the military, and less on humanitarian and poverty relief, with aid delivered by local groups and NGOs. […]

No Medal of Honour for Wayne Mapp

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 pm, August 27th, 2010 - 22 comments

Medal of Honor Deleted Square

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp must be desperate for publicity. He’s attacked the latest version of the Medal of Honour game set in Afghanistan. According to Mr Mapp, Medal of Honour “undermines the values of our nation, and the dedicated service of our men and women in uniform”. Okaaay…….

Should he have stayed or come home?

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, May 8th, 2010 - 27 comments

tim groser and john key

Today, all the Herald’s political commentators talk about Key’s decision to come back from his Middle East trip after the ANZAC Day helicopter crash. My immediate impression was that it was right for the Prime Minister to come back after a national tragedy. But the revelation that Key’s return meant Tim Groser had to stay with the delegation despite his mother’s death changes things.

Key “short-sighted, irresponsible”

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, May 5th, 2010 - 87 comments

John Key playing soldiers

Today’s Herald has a front page piece criticizing Key’s abandonment of his Middle East trade mission to return home for the funerals of the three airmen who crashed on their way to an ANZAC Day parade. Trade delegate Dr John Langley said the decision was not in New Zealand’s long-term interests and that Mr Key was […]

Anzac day gazetted

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, April 25th, 2010 - 8 comments

anzac-day-notice

While digging out the poppy that graces our banner this weekend, I also dug out this bit of history. Anzac Day notice, New Zealand Gazette, 1916

Point 5 particularly intrigued me.

Mining our national parks for the US war-machine

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 22 comments

predator drone

Most of the world’s supply of the key rare earth metals comes from China. That’s a strategic problem for the US, which needs rare earths for high-tech military equipment. They don’t want to be dependent on the world’s other superpower, and potential adversary, for their military hardware. Is it a coincidence that the Nats are so keen to let foreigners mine for rare earths in our national parks?

Werewolf on the Defence White Paper

Written By: - Date published: 3:59 pm, February 2nd, 2010 - 23 comments

Gordon Campbell has written in Werewolf an excellent pre-review about the Defense White Paper due for release in March. Needless to say whatever it returns with will be controversial because it helps to define the direction of the next few decades of expenditure and focus for our military.

Then we will not have some of the remarkably stupid ‘debate’ by the ossified that happened in the early 2000’s as the Labour government implemented the Quigley review of the armed forces. This pushed the army to the fore, and relegated the other two services to a support role.

It was clear that many in that debate never bothered to read the Quigley report.

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