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No Nukes!

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, September 17th, 2021 - 148 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, International, Joe Biden, Peace, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:

So Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have publicly announced they have formed a new security grouping, clearly as a message to China.

But the announcement has not gone down well.  From the Guardian:

Britain and the US are battling to contain an international backlash over a nuclear submarine pact struck with Australia amid concerns that the alliance could provoke China and prompt conflict in the Pacific.

Boris Johnson told MPs that the Aukus defence agreement was “not intended to be adversarial” to China. But Beijing accused the three countries of adopting a “cold war mentality” and warned they would harm their own interests unless it was dropped.

Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May, questioned whether the pact meant Britain could be dragged into a war with an increasingly assertive China over Taiwan as Washington demands a greater British presence in the Pacific.

In Washington, the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, made clear that the administration had chosen to close ranks with Australia in the face of belligerent Chinese behaviour.

Austin said he had discussed with Australian ministers “China’s destabilising activities and Beijing’s efforts to coerce and intimidate other countries, contrary to established rules and norms”, adding: “While we seek a constructive results-oriented relationship with [China], we will remain clear-eyed in our view of Beijing’s efforts to undermine the established international order.”

This has caused a chilling response from China:

A senior Chinese military expert has said the newly-announced Aukus pact, which will see the UK and the US supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, puts the latter at risk of becoming a “potential target for nuclear strikes”.

Speaking to China’s state-run Global Times newspaper, the unnamed official said nations such as China and Russia would not treat Canberra as “an innocent non-nuclear power” but as “a US ally which could be armed with nuclear weapons [at] any time”, adding that Australian PM Scott Morrison was putting his nation in danger.

Judith Collins has wondered why Aotearoa has been left out of this rather select group:

News that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have formed a partnership without New Zealand is concerning and leaves many questions for the Government to answer, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“It’s disappointing that after many years of New Zealand’s co-operation with our traditional allies, the current Government appears to have been unable to participate in discussions for ‘AUKUS’. It raises serious concerns about the interoperability of New Zealand’s defence force systems with our traditional allies in the future.

“New Zealand is not interested in the nuclear side of the new partnership, but the deeper integration of technology, artificial intelligence and information sharing as well as security and defence-related science, industrial bases and supply chains are areas we would traditionally be involved in.

The answer is simple.  A major feature of the treaty is to provide technology and assistance to Australia so that it can construct nuclear powered submarines.  Clearly this Government would have nothing to do with such an arrangement.

Although not technically in breach of the Non Proliferation Treaty the move will no doubt spark an arms race.  Just what we need in this part of the world.

Collins should also talk to former National Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman who thought being left out meant that we were getting the best of both worlds.  From RNZ:

We have excellent relations with all three countries in this new defence pact as well as a special relationship with China that frankly no other western country enjoys so I think the net position when you stand back from it is, actually, not being part of this we actually get the best of all worlds.

Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that no nuclear powered submarine could enter the country’s waters.  I think that the country should stay well away from this arrangement.

148 comments on “No Nukes! ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Yes NZ can try and keep out of geo-politics. Sadly this does not mean geo-politics will leave us alone.

    The 'best of both worlds' is likely to be a short-term phase.

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      Agreed., The more the tensions rise, the more pressure we will get from both sides to declare where we sit.

      Unless we go down the Swiss route, this is going to be something very difficult to navigate over the next decade or so.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1

        Best not to choose a side, imho, but if push came to shove my preference would be to sit on the side applying the least pressure.

        Various 'interests' in AUKUS (USUKAU) believe nuclear-powered submarines are a cost-effective solution to Aussie's pressing problems – time will tell.

        U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not mention China by name in the joint announcement and senior Biden administration officials, who briefed reporters ahead of time, said the partnership was not aimed at countering Beijing.

        Could be true – if Biden can't remember Morrison's name then anything's possible.

      • Michael 1.1.2

        We won't "go down the Swiss route" because the cost, alone, would be astronomical and far beyond our willingness to pay. We can, and should, contribute to the collective efforts of our allies to contain China, until at least the end of the Xi Jinping era, while making it clear we are willing to trade with it and maintain friendly relationship. That does not require us to repeal our anti-nuclear policy. It will require us to spend more on defence and overseas aid in the South Pacific.

        • Gezza

          Given that the PRC has been making judicious use of aid spending in the South Pacific & there’s some suggestion they may be looking to establish naval facilities in Tonga, that may not be as easy to do as it sounds.

          If the Tongan government wants to play off Australian @ New Zealand aid donors against China, we probably can’t match the size of their loans.

          Also, when Tonga got into selling their national passports to anyone with the money not so long ago, Chinese citizens reportedly were amongst the biggest group of purchasers.


          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Historically Australia's spend on aid to Tonga has been larger than that of other countries. According to this Lowy Institute analysis, from 2011-2016 China and NZ gave similar amounts of aid to Tonga. Maybe the comparative value of donor aid by country has changed in recent years.



            China has sent hospital ships to Tonga, and by all accounts these are appreciated, but there would have to be a substantial change in the attitude of the Tongan ‘man in the street’ to the Chinese in Tonga for it to become a 'quisling nation', imho.



            • Gezza

              First published April 2020

              “Chinese Foreign Aid to Fiji: Threat or Opportunity”

              “China’s political, economic and cultural influence is steadily rising in Fiji and the Pacific region as a whole. The Sino–Fiji cooperation deepened at multiple levels after the Fijian military assumed power through a coup d’état and removed the civilian government from power in late 2006. This ‘undemocratic behaviour’ infuriated the two regional powers—Australia and New Zealand who then applied sanctions on Fiji, particularly the military brass, and encouraged their counterparts as well as multilateral aid organisations to ‘punish’ Fiji’s military ‘regime’.

              The military government in order to derail the impact of sanctions from its traditional donors adopted the ‘Look North Policy’, which was opening cooperation with China and attracting Chinese investment in Fiji. China welcomed the friendship gesture and furnished Fiji with financial assistance. This Chinese friendship was also due to Taiwanese involvement in the region, which was providing aid for diplomatic recognition and support at the UN. The ‘microstates’ hold about 7 per cent of UN votes.

              Both China and Taiwan need their votes at multilateral organisations and given that these microstates are mostly aid-dependent economies, initiated an era of Chequebook diplomacy, which is basically money for diplomatic recognition in the case of Taiwan or acceptance of One China Policy in the case of China.

              The microstates have time and again switched between China and Taiwan and played one against the other to get more aid money out of their diplomatic rivalry.


              Oz aid might be at its limit, especially if the Chinese now come down hard on trade with Oz. Gonna be interesting to see if US foreign aid to the region gets increased under the Biden administration.

        • RedLogix

          The end of the Xi Xingping era.

          Yes there is always the possibility that the internal pendulum within the CCP will swing against him. The internal politics of that gang of thugs is notoriously brutal. But as long as Xi keeps them in power the threat of destabilising the legitimacy of the CCP by discrediting a figure now so deeply identified with the party probably exceeds anything to be gained. The party will continue to back him.

          The other possibility is that the people of China will find a way to resist. Yet in the face of a regime that places almost zero value on human rights, and armed with some of the most sophisticated surveillance and surgical intervention ever seen in human history – the chances of this are not good either. Some people are brave, most are not.

          The biggest internal threat to the CCP's power at present is economic. It's the most over-leveraged economy ever and while they may well be content to print money to cover the bad debts in the short term, effectively they're caught in a spiral of bad money chasing out good as every renminbi printed produces less and less actual return. Every attempt to break out of this trap they engineered for themselves has ended in failure.

          Now the party is doing a hard turn back toward state intervention at every level of the economy. Yet the same basic problem's persist, China may well have a larger economy than the US, yet the GDP per capita remains low and the actual rate of improvement in this has not been all that spectacular. Yes they've pulled hundreds of millions out of the abject poverty that Maoism had plunged them into, but only just.

          In order to develop they have only three fundamental levers, demographic, export or intrinsic productivity. The first driver has come to an end and cannot recover for decades at least. And for some inexplicable reason the CCP seems intent on pissing all their customers off, so export led development seems to have fallen off the table at least for the foreseeable future. All the smart money is pulling out of China as fast as possible.

          That leaves endogenous productivity growth as the only possibility. And yet in this respect no economy has met with much success following a top-down, state-centric model. And the process would be only more problematic if the rest of the world stops sharing it's IP with them (or allowing it to be stolen). It remains an open question as to whether the CCP can pull this off where all have failed before them – but hubris is a wonderful thing. Because the prospect is that China will become a post-growth economy like Japan, but without first achieving prosperity.

          • Morrissey

            The internal politics of that gang of thugs is notoriously brutal.

            Similarly, the internal politics of the gang of thugs in Washington D.C. are notoriously brutal, as are the internal politics in Washington's vassals in Riyadh, Westminster, and Canberra.

          • Subliminal

            You should try reading all that substituting Joe for Xi, Democratic Party for CCP and Dollar for Renminbi. It's quite surprising how many illegal wars, drone assassinations, BLM protests, Black Lives shot by police, and economy sucked dry by the MIC flashes before your eyes. Also, Soros may be your go to on the state of the Chinese economy but the rather large investment vehicle that is Blackrock sees China as the only place with any potential to increase investment returns

        • Morrissey

          We can, and should, contribute to the collective efforts of our allies to contain China…


          What about containing the United States and its gangster affiliates, like the U.K. and Australia?

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    US, Britain, Australia announce major military pact against China

    Peter Symonds@SymondsWSWS

    17 hours ago

    In a major escalation of the US-led war drive against China, President Biden together with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new military alliance focussed on the Indo-Pacific region. While not mentioned by name, China was obviously the primary target of the new AUKUS pact…..


    This refusal to name who they are making their war plans against has been righfully skewered and parodied….

    The purpose of this parody is to point out to us that our military and political leaders who seem hell bent on dragging us into a war with China, don't have the moral courage to admit to it.

    Maybe if this gutless scum could admit that their war plans are against China, they could tell us how much they project this war would cost in human misery and lives lost.

    Probably they wouldn’t even have the honesty to tell us that. And will instead fall back on the old, we are planning for a limited war, and it will be all over by Christmas.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      Of course the main reason this scum won't come clean on their war plans, is because the public might object.

  3. Ad 3

    Both formally and informally Australia is our protector.

    After all the trade threats and restrictions Australia has endured from China, it's good they have responded with a strong signal back. New Zealand could never withstand any of the trade restrictions Australia has endured over the last year.

    Australia's move is perfectly fitted for New Zealand because our technical independence allows us deniability of knowledge of Australia's moves just as Australia resisting China's power is so necessary.

    I would like New Zealand to have a better international diplomatic presence, but there's no evidence we are capable of it. Winston Peters was the first real ally MFAT had had in a long time, and Mahuta is simply going backwards on most fronts she's got going.

    Well done Australia and keep doing what we can't.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      What an absolute classic toady response! Jump! How high Uncle Sam–Sir?

      Certain MFAT and security service personnel innards will likely have turned to water yesterday in their wood panelled offices, contemplating this last stand in our region by US Imperialism.

      Aotearoa NZ’s future is sans 5 Eyes as a genuine non aligned Pacific nation.

      The PM wants a buck each way at this point it seems, with no change in her view to “traditional relationships” from Aukus, but nonetheless banning Aussie nuke subs (the latter is excellent). It will take a 2021 No Nukes movement to back up the ban I am picking given what the Labour Caucus will face from the fifth columnists in the public service.

      • francesca 3.1.1

        I think it's high time foreign policy became included in election campaigns.I have never given my consent to increased militarisation.I think the time has come to declare ourselves totally non aligned.I will not vote for any party that wants increased military partnership with a country that breaches international law to go on killing sprees.


        Enough with our mealy mouthed hedging of bets, our failure to defend Julian Assange, our silence in the face of extra judicial killings by drone and cruel economic sanctions on poor countries, our mouthing of platitudes regarding the "rules based order" which is in fact the US rules based order.,our turning a blind eye to US breaches of international law .

        • Scud

          Just how you propose the NZDF to Enforce the EEZ in peacetime and be able To Defend, To Protect, To Deny access to NZ's Sea Lanes of Communications when it becomes a 2 Way Range from either side because NZ is a Export led Economy ie if can't Export then it can't import?

          The NZDF struggles to do this within its current Concept Of Operations and even within it current funding. Using fancy words and being Non aligned isn't going to jack shit at Protecting, Defending Denying or even Enforcing NZ's EEZ.

          Unless NZ is prepared To Defend, To protect, To Deny & To Enforce its EEZ and its SLOC. Then has to increase its funding to the RNZAF & RNZN or someone or some country is going to make that decision for NZ. I personally don't like taking a pineapple up the ass had 25+ yrs of that from Officers and from very dumb short sighted Politicians, as I rather go down swinging as the world doesn't owe little old NZ a living or a single cent! Remember what happen to NZ in 87 or have you forgotten about as well?

          What happen yesterday has became the real deal, it's the shit sandwich that was slowly heading towards NZ and has arrived a lot sooner than expected.

          NZ from now on is likely to see more Foreign Subs, Spy Ships and other various Ships in NZ's Area Of Influence incl its EEZ more likely in our Nth East- Eastern & Southern Side of our EEZ. Which NZ hasn't seen since WW2 when the Germans (DKM) & IJN operated in NZ Waters when they under took offensive operations ie sinking Ships & or laying Sea Mines & undertaking Aerial Reconnaissance of Auckland & Wellington Harbour's.

          Why? Because NZ protects Australia's Eastern & Southern Seaboard, just like PNG & the Solly's protects Australia's Nth East Sea Approaches.

          A couple of Navy History lessons for everyone to read up on, the Sth West Pacific Naval Battles were a very close run affairs for the IJN and the Allies. My NZ Great Uncle was up that way during the War with the NZ Army btw.

          • Michael

            You are absolutely correct. BTW, the People's Liberation Army – Navy (PLAN) has studied the Solomon Islands campaign, and others in the Pacific theatres in WW2, minutely. It continues to devote a lot of time and resources to oceanographic work in the region, a process known as "shaping the battlefield". War is not inevitable but China is set on projecting its military power into our front yard. We must be clear-eyed about this.

      • Ad 3.1.2

        New Zealand and Australia are about as tightly bound together as any sovereign nations can be. The next level of dependence would be an NZ-Cook Islands relationship.

        We've had CER and amendments for over forty years.

        We've had ANZUS and all the close interoperability that has entailed.

        We have about 20% of our entire population living and working there, sending back remittances.

        There's more interdependence between us and Australia than there is between Scotland and England.

        Very few developed nations outside the EU can match that.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          We have about 20% of our entire population living and working there, sending back remittances.

          Good point – have those remittances been quantified? Roughly what percentage of total NZ 'income' might they represent?

        • Brigid

          "We have about 20% of our entire population living and working there, sending back remittances."

          Care to provide some data on that?

          Unless of course you just made it up

          • Ghostwhowalksnz

            He made it up.

            Aussies stats show they have 570,000 NZ born residents living there

            20% of NZ population is 1 million.

            • Gabby

              Got to wonder how many of them are sending anything to NZ. Maybe buying the occasional rental. Does that count?

        • pat

          more like 10 or 12% (570,000)…and I doubt theres much in the way of remittances.

    • Nic181 3.2

      Sorry Ad but I think you are dreaming. Australia has proved itself anything but friendly to NZ and to New Zealanders. Their “friendship” comes on their terms only. Think:Australian banks- exploitative of NZ Australian Supermarkets- exploitative of NZ. Australian business “head hunting” our Doctors, Nurses, Engineers etc. Those New Zealanders living in Australia as second class citizens, paying full taxes and denied many government services. I won’t start on any Kiwi falling foul of their law after living most of their life there. Friendly, perhaps but ONLY on THEIR terms.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        The ANZAC spirit died years ago if it ever really existed beyond old school Empire patriotism and war mongering. Particularly in context of the recent “501” and Christmas Island debacles. From CER to the monstering of our economy by Australian owned banks they are an unsavoury lot politically.

        It remains a rather retrograde, white supremacist society in many respects, indigenous people only getting the right to vote in 1962, (and not compulsory to enrol unlike other Australians), full rights such as being included in the Census did not occur till 1967.

        The Nuke Subs will perhaps provide an opportunity for a proper assessment for many of the true nature of Australia in the region.

        • Johnr

          I'm with you TM. Their treatment of the boat people as well as their indigenous rights record is appalling.

          Having worked with them, worked for them, employed them and done business with them I've found them to be a lazy, ego inflated detestable race of people.

          I'm pleased this has occurred, perhaps it will harden our resolve to paddle our own canoe and let aus be towed along in their little dingy behind the us whaka


        • Adrian Thornton

          @TM +1, Australian politicians have no respect for New Zealand, New Zealand politicians or New Zealand citizens, they have shown this many times in public quite clearly….just as our own local Standard liberals have yet again shown clearly that there is no form of western warmongering that they won't support….sickening.

      • Ad 3.2.2

        There's more New Zealanders living in Queensland than there are New Zealanders in Canterbury. We think we are separate nations but that's just a foolish lie that Wellington props up our ego with.

        Friendly in a weak-to-strong-government sense just means "freeloader". That's basically what we've done for many years. When Australia accelerated in wealth away from us in the 1990s, hundreds of thousands tried their luck. Many were poorly skilled and Maori and on balance they have been the better for it.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          We think we are separate nations but that's just a foolish lie that Wellington props up our ego with.

          NZ and Aussie are separate nations – to assert they are not would be a foolish lie.

          About New Zealand
          New Zealand is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, just south of Australia. The country is not part of Australia and has never been (many people make that error), but it has been its own country since the late 19th century. Before then, the country was actually considered to be part of the United Kingdom, and was under the laws and jurisdiction of the crown.

          I don't recall France sinking a ship in an Australian port in my lifetime – do you? Although maybe Aussie submarines are now fair game.

          Australia–New Zealand relations
          One of the reasons that New Zealand chose not to join Australia was due to perceptions that the indigenous Māori population would suffer as a result. At the time of Federation, indigenous Australians were only allowed to vote if they had been previously allowed to in their state of residence, unlike the Māori in New Zealand, who had equal voting rights from the founding of the colony.

          And then there's this disgraceful example of Australian sportsmanship – One Nation my arse.

          Transforming from Kiwi to ‘Kaussie’
          Meech, who has returned home to Auckland for a better quality of family life, says resisting the conversion to Kaussie requires a thick skin and a sense of humour. The wearing down process – derisive joking – begins almost immediately. It didn’t help that Meech, who arrived in 1988, lived in Bondi.

          It was a big joke at work – a Kiwi in Bondi. It didn’t really matter what you did. If the All Blacks came over and won, everyone was cheesed off with you on Monday. If they lost, that was proof they were better than us and we were losers. If you get a job in Sydney, you’re taking a job off an Australian. If you don’t get a job, then you’re a bludger. If you keep your own passport and stay too long, that’s not any good because you should really be becoming an Aussie. If you change you’re passport that’s proof again that they’re better than us.


        • Ghostwhowalksnz

          Canterbury has 630,000 people.

          NZ born residents in all Australia are only 580,000

    • Jenny how to get there 3.3

      In his classic book 1984, George Orwell satyrically renamed Britain 'Airstrip 1'. This was to denote the fact that by 1948 with the postwar decline of the British Empire, Britain was no longer a global military Superpower in its own right, instead Britain was militarilly subservient to America.
      In his book, Orwell extrapolates and exagerates Britain's subservience into that of a vassal state, the subservient Airstrip for the fictional Western military alliance of Oceania headed by America.

      If George Orwell was writing today, I think he would have renamed Australia 'Airstrip 2'

      Wikipedia [The Geography of Oceania]

      It is stated that Oceania formed after the United States merged with the British Empire….

      …..The state is composed of "the Americas, the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles, Australasia and the southern portion of Africa".[8]

      …."[E]ven the names of countries, and their shapes on the map, had been different. Airstrip One, for instance, had not been so called in those days: it had been called England, or Britain, though London, he felt fairly certain, had always been called London."[12]


    • Poission 3.4

      After all the trade threats and restrictions Australia has endured from China, it's good they have responded with a strong signal back.

      China also signalled on Thursday with regard to the CPTPP.

      Beijing’s new trade minister Wang Wentao submitted a written request to New Zealand trade and export growth minister Damien O’Connor, and the two officials conducted a teleconference “to communicate on the follow-up work related to China’s formal application”, according to the Chinese ministry.


      Then again China has significant internal problems,with practitioners of weapons of wealth destruction namely property developers and the forthcoming great fall of china.


    • Morrissey 3.5

      Both formally and informally Australia is our protector.

      That is possibly the most bizarre and untrue statement you have ever made on this mostly excellent forum—and that includes your fantastical posts about the Russian menace and the recent Top 20 list of American "interventions."

      When we were targeted by state terrorists in 1985, Australia did nothing to help us. The Hawke regime lined up obediently behind the Reagan and Thatcher regimes and studiously avoided helping us in our struggle against France.

      • Ad 3.5.1

        Let's see… conflicts where we joined in with Australia being the much larger force:

        World War 1. World War 2. Vietnam. Borneo and Malaya. Korea. Bouganville. Solomons. Afghanistan. Iraq. And every single military training and preparedness exercise since WW2m every year.

        Military conflicts since Boer War where we went on without Australia: 0

        It's written into ANZUS.

        And it's written into our NZ Defence Doctrine.


      • Ad 3.5.2

        Every ANZAC DAY, get down on your knees and thank the Aussie soldiers who defeated the Japanese in Papua New Guinea. We were next.

      • Anne 3.5.3

        Both formally and informally Australia is our protector.

        Sure, they would come to our aid in times of a major disaster just as we would – and do – for them. But our protector? Only when it suited them. They are brash, arrogant bullies and have demonstrated as much down the years.

        As for the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. Not only did they not support NZ but they actively plotted against us because we had the temerity to establish anti-nuclear legislation.

        And lets not forget the appalling treatment meted out to the Whitlam Government in 1975 at the behest of Aussie's American handlers. Whitlam was considering withdrawing consent for them to build a top-secret Cold War era spy station so the Yanks ordered their Aussie puppets to remove him from office. That was – and still is – a deserved stain on their reputation.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.6

      Given how they treat New Zealanders in Australia… I don't see them worrying about us.

  4. Gezza 4

    ” Judith Collins has wondered why Aotearoa has been left out of this rather select group:
    “…It’s disappointing that after many years of New Zealand’s co-operation with our traditional allies, the current Government appears to have been unable to participate in discussions for ‘AUKUS’. It raises serious concerns about the interoperability of New Zealand’s defence force systems with our traditional allies in the future.”
    … … …

    FGS. Collins back on on her obligatory “everything that happens is Ardern’s government’s fault” beat, barking at every car going by.
    … … …

    When it comes to what NZ brings to the table with our tiny Defence buget these days, militarily speaking, it’s highly likely to be a single C-130 needing a sudden stopover at an Ozzer military airfield for urgent repairs before continuing on with its original mission.

    I’m not especially concerned at this stage of things that we have been excluded as probably largely insignificant to this new allied defence pact.

    Collins has already spudded in her image (as most Oppositions do – Little was the same) as a useless bloody whinger.

    • Jenny how to get there 4.1


      17 September 2021 at 11:17 am

      ” Judith Collins has wondered why Aotearoa has been left out of this rather select group….

      Collins is being disengenous, she knows why, just as every other politically conscious New Zealander knows why. It is because of our nuclear free status.

      At its core AUKUS is a nuclear pact.

      Australian nuclear subs not welcome in NZ

      AAP Newswire – 16 Sep, 2021

      ……..Ms Ardern said by law, and by a consensus of NZ's major political parties, nuclear-powered vessels would not be welcome.


      Though she would never admit to it, If Collins really wants us to be part of what Collins calls, this "select group", in theory and practice the National Party at the head of a possible future National Government will ditch the Nuclear Free "consensus of NZ's major political parties" that has existed for over 40 years, and return New Zealand fully into the American nuclear alliance.

      Another reason for New Zealanders to not vote National.

      • Gezza 4.1.1

        Maybe J. On the other hand National Cabinets she's been in have steered clear of dumping our Nuclear free status. With Collins, hard to say whether she would actually do it – or if she's just putting the boot in at every conceivable opportunity, for convenience, & doesn't actually have a clear polcy position?

  5. alwyn 5

    "the alliance could provoke China and prompt conflict in the Pacific".

    Gosh. That sounds exactly like the approach that was claimed to be the way to respond to Hitler's Germany in the 1930's. Don't upset him. He won't have any more plans for taking over other countries if we let him take over Rhineland in 1936. Then when he wants Austria in 1938 agree and he'll stop. Then let him have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia as well and he'll stop. Then let him take some more of Czechoslovakia and a bit of Lithuania as well, Then he'll stop and we will have Peace in our time.

    Well that all worked out well didn't it? Finally, after he invaded Poland they said enough.

    • Subliminal 5.1

      Gosh, that old chestnut again. Just make comparisons to Hitler and no need to talk sense anymore cause war is the only option.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.1

        Subminamal China has been ramping up its rhetoric towards Taiwan saying it wants Taiwan in its fold.The US has pulled out of Afghanistan no doubt China will give aid with strings to the talliban. War machinery takes 5 years from order date to delivery .If China decided to flex its ever rapidly growing miltary muscle we in the South Pacific would be no where ready.

        Our military can barely man a few quaranteen hotels let alone fight a minor scurmish.A sustained war Australia NZ would fold inside 2 wks.

        Now the US has been undermined again by its own stupidity in invading countries then not being able to overcome its enemies.Austalia knows that any future wars it can't rely on the US unless it buys into its military.

        ie fronting up with US$ 200 billion to help develop the f35 jsf a plane that may never be able to fullfil its role.Buying these Nuclear subs is buying the US protection.

        • Subliminal

          Sorry but that rhetoric has always been there. The US even tried the charade of installing Taiwan as the official international voice of China. It was they who equated China with Taiwan. Now of course positions are reversed but it goes to show that this is quite an old conversation. Making the leap from this to Hitler just shows how attention deficit we have become in the age of facebook.

          The "strings" on the aid to the Taliban will be that they provide a stable country that doesnt harbour terrorists. Seems to me that this is likely to be a more successful strategy than bombs. Perhaps you prefer bombs?

          Anyone who believes that the Chinese are about to sail their navy and hundreds of thousands of their army down to invade Australia is ripe for the plucking of whatever can be extracted for the promise of nuclear subs and f35s that as you correctly state, may never be delivered. Scam anyone?

          If it came down to defending our country I'm pretty sure that the army and many civilians would give as good as they got. A couple billion here or there on expensive easily shot down or blown up state of the art pieces of military hardware is not going to change the game much so probably best at this time of pandemic to spend the money on hospitals and schools and universities and infrastructure rather than wetting ourselves over unlikely fantasies of Chinese invasion. This is the lesson of the Taliban. Deal with the situation in front of you.

          • Tricledrown

            Our defence force of 4,000 against Chinas 10 million.

            Most of our hardware is not ready for even a minor scurmish.

            Much of it outdated and worn out.

            Delivery times for hardware have a minimum 5 year lead in time.

            China manufactures its own hardware and has the largest manufacturing base in the world .

            Technology China leaves the US for dead.

            The US is spending vast sums on ineffective hardware $billion dollar ships that are useless $trillion f35 multirole fighters that are unreliable and very expensive.

            The number of software and electronics technitions required to keep these advanced weapons operating doesn't exist except in China .The US software and electronic technicians get 2 to 3 times the pay a military service technician gets.

            This is a last gasp from a floundering super power that has been beaten by a guerilla tribal army.

            The US is vulnerable it needs allies we are either with them or against.

            We should join up with Canada as they seem to be setting their own path.As friends of the US but not embedded not buying into the wasteful f35 program buying Australias reliable f/a 18 's.

            Pissing off the US military industrial machine.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      Bullshit History.

      The Occupation under Versailles of Rhineland by Western allies was to end in 1934… which did happen earlier at 1930.

      The Anschluss with Austria wasnt allowed by Allies but could do nothing, Mussolinis Italy was one of the loudest to protest.

      Sudetenland was the single occupation where the Munich pact was agreed, as it was thought to be the last.

      It wasnt of course, but the following full occupation of Czchoslovakia meant the truth was exposed. Forgotten that Poland also took part of Czech territory , as they had signed a pact with the Nazis. Hungary also took part of Slovakia.

      War began 6 months after the full dismemberment of the czechs …strangely the only democracy while Poland was a right wing dictatorship.

      • Jenny how to get there 5.2.1

        Germany's Anschluss with Austria, eventually led to war in Europe.

        America's Anschluss with Australia, will eventually lead to war in the Pacific

      • Tricledrown 5.2.2

        You forget Spain where the Germans used for testing their miltary tactics and hardware.

  6. tc 6

    Uncle sam's turn at the shambolic submarine trough as scomos crew are settling the french bill currently.

    Its collaboration on a power unit that's not even designed yet. Whiff of the dead cat from conberra.

    • woodart 6.1

      comment of the day. most of the rest are completely mi$$ing the point of $elling aus a money pit . 5 minutes of google will show that NZ is one of the few 2nd divison powers without subs. but hardly anyone wastes money on nuke subs. many good reasons why . again,five minutes of google will show that diesel-electric subs are far more useful,more cost efficient(oxymoron of the day), quieter , better in shallow,or confined waters , less maintance needy, etc, etc. uncle has really sold cobber an ongoing financial hole.

      • Jenny how to get there 6.1.1

        The once mighty diesel electric submarine weapons platform.

        The War in Pacific between Japan and the USA at its heart was an economic struggle for control of resources and trade routes.

        Before World War II Japan had the biggest merchant fleet in the world, by the end of the war, The Japanese merchant fleet was reduced to one maybe two ships.

        How was it done?

        One of the less publicised battle fronts of World War II was the submarine war conducted by the US against the Japanese merchant fleet.

        In a mirror image of the German U-boat campaign against British merchant marine, but on a much bigger scale and bigger stage.

        Based in Hawaii, between missions, the crews of the US submarine fleet, lived it up and partied hard in first class hotels that had been requisitioned for the war effort. Maybe they needed distraction from their day job. Which was basically the destruction of Japanese tradeing vessels and the murder of their civilian crews.

        The Pacific War was an extraordinarily vicious and racist war, (by both sides), in a way that the European theatre of war wasn't. The Japanese were depicted as fanatics who would fight to the last man and would never surrender. The Japanese soldiers knew not to surrender to the Americans because they would be murdered.

        This was particularly true of the submarine war against merchant shipping. For obvious reasons, submarines cannot take on prisoners. But more than that, after torpedoing a Japanese merchant ship, American submarine crews would regularly surface and machine gun the survivors floating on the ocean.

        This extremely racist form of warfare became so extreme that many Asian looking vessels were also sunk and their crews massacred, many of the them Chinese and Philippine allies of the Americans. By the end of the war Japanese merchant vessels had become so rare that sailing junks and scows were being targeted and sunk. A US navel order had to be issued to their submarine fleet to check their targets first to make sure that they were actually Japanese registered vessels.

        But this was a one off, by the end of the war anti-submarine counter measures, passive listening and active sonar had become much better at detecting noisy diesel submarines.

        • Jenny how to get there


          17 September 2021

          …….diesel-electric subs are far more useful,more cost efficient….

          Maybe once, but not any more. Not in the age of AI assisted passive listening and high powered radar that can easily spot a conning tower or even an air breathing diesal submarine snorkel above the water. Lastly but not least Hypersonic Ballistic Missiles, that can remotely target and destroy any surface vessel including submarine refueling and resupply ships. The diesel electric submarine may be still good for massacring civilian vessels, but against a matched military adversary it is obsolete.

          • Jenny how to get there

            The First and Second World wars were primarily, (but not only), imperial conflicts over resources and territories. Even before open hostilities broke out, the rival empires spent a lot effort protecting their trade routes while blockading or cutting their rival's trade routes.

            Since the end of the Second World War the weapons platform of choice for the US to project their power over the horizon has been the air craft carrier, very few countries have them. The US has the most, with 20 aircraft carriers, the highest of any country, followed by Japan and France with four each, China has one.

            Henry Kissinger once said, "The aircraft carrier is a 100,000 tons of diplomacy"

            Times have changed, all surface fleets are completely defenceless to the newly developed, highly accurate over long distances, hypersonic ballistic missile.
            Suddenly the aircraft carrier and especially the mighty nuclear powered super carriers have been made obsolete.. China is leading the race in the development and deployment of this weapons system. There is no current defence against a hypersonic ballistic missile attack. Super accurate they can strike and totally destroy a relatively small target anywhere on the globe in under an hour.
            On the outbreak of hostilities, within minutes of leaving their launch pads in China, every single aircraft carrier in the US Pacific fleet will be heading towards the bottom of the ocean. Hypersonic ballistic missiles don't even need to carry a warhead, their kinetic energy is so immense that they can punch a hole straight through a super carrier from top to bottom like it was made of tissue paper. After passing through the ship the shockwave when it strikes the water will break the targetted ship in half.

            …..the WU-14, has undergone more than a half dozen development tests between 2014 to 2016.[xii]The DF-ZF is launched during the last stage of a missile and can reach nearly 7,500 mph (Mach10), as well as maneuver to avoid missile defenses and zero in on targets. This weapon can be configured to carry a nuclear or conventional warhead and China claims it is precise enough to attack ships at sea. The DF-ZF is scheduled to be operational as early as 2020.[xiii]


            If your purpose is to protect your trade routes in an armed conflict with China a surface navy is obsolete.

            The only navy that makes any sense is an underwater one. The side that can muster the most submarines has the advantage. Nuclear submarines that don't have to surface for months are best.

            • Jenny how to get there

              To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, "The hypersonic ballistic missile is Mach 10 worth of diplomacy."

            • Gabby

              That sounds like an excellent bogeyman to scare a legislature into voting massive stacks of research money to arms manufacturers.

              • Jenny how to get there

                Sounds like an excellent reason to stop this new cold war arms race going any further.

            • RedLogix

              Anyone sinking a US carrier in a surprise attack like that would be wiped off the map. And now we have the Global Times – the official mouthpiece of the CCP – openly threatening Australia with 'the severest punishment' and a "ballistic missile strike' on Canberra.

              There is almost nothing significant between this and an open declaration of war. And for what exactly? Why is Australia obtaining nuclear submarines somehow unacceptable when the PRC are busy expanding their own fleet of the same?

              What we are actually seeing is paper dragon trying to bluff and intimidate it's way into Han supremacy over the whole of Asia Pacific. It knows that it cannot achieve it's plan with a direct military confrontation as the cost would be impossibly high, so instead it plays schoolyard bully using threats, noisy posturing to undermine it's victim's will to resist.

              The real reason why the CCP is throwing a tantrum over this has little to do with the subs, and everything to do with a psychological war they're trying to wear us down with. The idea is to divide and paralyse us into believing that opposing them would be 'racist' and 'imperial' – literally using our own value systems against us.

              • Jenny how to get there


                18 September 2021 at 2:53 pm

                Anyone sinking a US carrier in a surprise attack like that would be wiped off the map……

                Well first of all, Red, it wouldn't be a surprise attack. It would be after a long build up and a series of provocations and escalations, (by both sides). Of course for propaganda purposes we will play the innocents and claim it was a surprise attack

                As for wiping China off the map. Wiping China off the map cannot be achieved with a conventional response. something Red, I am sure you are aware of. What you seem not to be aware of, is that China also has a full thermo-nuclear arsenal and ballistic missile capability as advanced as anything the US has. On the outbreak of open hostilities, any attempt by the US to wipe China off the map with a nuclear attack, would be matched with a similar response. In a word Red, your claim that the US would wipe China off the map is MAD

                • RedLogix

                  Well first of all, Red, it wouldn't be a surprise attack. I

                  Pearl Harbour.

                  What you don't understand is that anyone taking out even a single a Nimitz class carrier in a pre-emptive strike as you describe would find themselves on the wrong end of history. The US and it numerous allies would stop at nothing, no matter how long it took to first blockade, then using conventional means to take apart every single CCP controlled asset outside of the Chinese mainland.

                  As for the list of allies – Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and India would be all in. Not to mention of course Australia with it's essential resources and critical strategic location astride the three great oceans. Together these alone have the economies and population to match the PRC and more importantly to easily choke off all shipping in and out of China for as long as it tajkes.

                  And that's before we add in the Anglo-sphere contribution. Hypersonic missiles are a new technology, but the US has been working on them too and while hitting a vessel at sea isn't as easy as you make it sound, cities are sitting ducks. There would be a constant rain of them from all directions, nuclear, conventional or just kinetic – it would all be quite mad indeed.

                  Which is a point few people want to think about – the whole purpose of a military these days is deterrence. Since the end of WW2 the MAD logic of nuclear weapons has taken major power conflict off the table, and the presence of the US Navy has ensured anyone could sail any ship anywhere pretty much anytime. As much anyone you might regard this arrangement as dangerous and potentially unstable – not to mention ethically horrible – it has nonetheless worked up until now.

                  Now the CCP is determined to challenge and dismantle this arrangement and replace it with a version that better suits their global authoritarian ambitions. Make no mistake – there is nothing universal about this plan, it openly intends to replace the existing order with a naked Han supremacy dominating first Asia and Africa – then the rest of the world. The hated Anglo-sphere – and that's us – are to be relegated to a humiliated rump.

                  For three decades the US vision was to first invite and then integrate China into the system. Instead a resurgent CCP, drunk with their new found economic power, want to be the new overlords. Well as all the anti-US types here like to point out, the US has more or less sucked at being a world policeman and are no longer especially interested in that role any more. From here on they're going to define their interests far more narrowly and they’re no longer going to maintain a security umbrella by default any more; instead you will have to ask nicely and offer something in return. This is going to force everyone to pick a side; most already have.

                  But as I outlined above, the costs of major power military confrontation are unsupportable. The consequences are beyond all reason – and the fear of this alone – is going to force humanity into reluctantly accepting an entirely new universal global order. A system in which the power to wage war is permanently removed from the nation states. But getting there is the big unknown – frankly I suspect it's going to be so ugly that in a few decades we'll look back on COVID as a picnic.

                  • Gezza

                    The most notable – & successful – surprise attack against any powerful country so far this century would have to Al Qaeda’s 9/11. Ignoring the horrific nature of it, looked at detachedly, it was a magnificent feat of arms that changed the world.

                    The reverberations from it – including the rise & expansion of Islamic State – are still impacting the world.

                    I see from Aljazeera tv reporting this morning there have been bomb blasts in Jalalabad, seemingly targeting Taliban leaders, & another bombing in Kabul. None yet claimed by anyone.

                    The Taliban are probably going to be now facing the kinds of threats & attacks they mastered themselves when taking power in the 90’s.

                    • RedLogix

                      The Taliban are Pashtun tribalists – and are now setting about eradicating as much of their ethnic competition as they can without drawing too much attention to the fact.

                      Expect push-back.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Redlogix the US hasn't won a war in 70 years old technologies are found wanting in any war.

                    China has the technology to manufacture millions of Drones conventional warfare is coming to a rapid end.WW 2 was won on the back of the US's massive manufacturing capability that doesn't exist anymore most outsourced to China.

        • RedLogix

          Only fools think war is a nice sanitised affair. It's not. The Pacific campaign was brutal, bloody and desperate from beginning to end. And for at least the first two years balanced on a knife-edge.

          And if you think repeatedly trotting out the word 'racist' to give your one-eyed diatribe some virtue signaling points – think again. The generation who put their lives on the line to allow you the nice safe life you have and the freedom to type out this ignorant trash would be ashamed of you.

          I'm sickened at how many people here are such treacherous back-stabbers. Nothing about out own open and liberal culture is good enough, deserving only to be constantly undermined and openly denigrated. While at the same time remaining silent on all the authoritarian, expansionist, mass murdering raping regimes we've had to sacrifice so much to contain and finish.

          You think you're being clever playing your bets both ways – but in reality most people hold quislings in contempt.

          • Jenny how to get there


            18 September 2021 at 2:33 pm

            ….remaining silent on all the authoritarian, expansionist, mass murdering raping regimes we've had to sacrifice so much to contain and finish.

            Getting an early start on the pro-war propaganda, there Red.

            The other side are all mass murdering rapists, who should be wiped off the map, and anyone who is against the build up to war is a quisling.

            Should I be expecting a white feather in my lettterbox from you?

            As for remaining silent against authoritarian expansionist mass murdering raping regimes.

            I was very vociferous in condemning the Clark government for signing the Free Trade Deal with China, when at the very same time, the Chinese regime was conducting a murderous military crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Tibet. The person keeping the most silence at that time was the Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters. (Peters had made a career out of racist scapegoating of Asians. Peters silence over the trade deal with China exposed him as an opportunist hypocrite).

            You are very quick to call me a quisling ie fascist agent of a foreign power, for being an opponent to war.

            I would say that it is people like you and Peters who are the one eyed quislings to a foreign power. Especially in your one sided silence as to the expansionist and mass murdering reality of the British and American empires.

            To fit the pro-war rhetoric the other side are mass murdering raping monsters, while our side are all lilly white innocents with no interest in global hegemony and Full Spectrum Dominance.

            • Gezza

              FWIW, J, my 2 cents worth is that China is simply following the standard pattern of the long history of great powers & Empires.

              Now that it’s well-recovered from its humbling at the hands of the other Great Powers at the end of the 19th century, it’s staking its claim to being the regional Great Power in Asia.

              It wants deference from its former client states, & it wants the US & other, now much smaller, western nations to stop slagging it off & to get out of its way in the South China Sea. If they won’t comply, then it will move military assets into their necks of the woods.

            • RedLogix

              Pick a side Jenny – the US or the CCP. Yes I understand that's a choice you don't want to make, but in the here and now you don't get to be mealy-mouthed playing your bets both ways. Doing nothing is not an option.

              In the longer run however there is something to be done, there is only one political prospect that has even a chance of a constructive outcome – a plan to move humanity past the era of empire into a new phase of universal governance. I've written to this many times.

              This is a political site – and the prospect of this evolution should be of considerable interest.

              • Gezza

                ” In the longer run however there is something to be done, there is only one political prospect that has even a chance of a constructive outcome – a plan to move humanity past the era of empire into a new phase of universal governance. I’ve written to this many times.”

                You write very well & I’m impressed by your views on this & other topics. I’d quite like to see your previous writings here on that, RL. Is there any quick way to search the site for them?

                • RedLogix

                  The search engine sort of works most of the time. A lot of my scribblings have been just that – feeling my way into a topic by typing my thoughts out loud in order to discover what made sense or not.

                  But honestly there have been many excellent participants here over the years – most have come and gone. My only redeeming feature is rank obstinacy in that I arrived here a few weeks after Lynn started the site in 2007 and much to the disappointment of more than a few – have never wandered off. devil

                  • Jenny how to get there


                    19 September 2021 at 9:06 am

                    …. I started here a few weeks after Lynn started the site in 2007
                    ….– have never wandered off. devil

                    That's a pretty good record, Red.

                    Just out of curiousity.

                    During this long period, have you ever been banned?

                  • Gezza

                    @RL … I tried putting "universal governance" into the Search box, under the "Advanced" option. No luck with that. It pulled up heaps of hits on "universities" & "governance"

                    I selected & scrolled thru all the "Earlier" pages, without striking any hits on your monicker.

                    I'll just have to wait until that particular topic comes up again & you decide to restate your views on it. 😇

                    Have you ever thought about writing a Guest Post on it?

                    • RedLogix

                      lol – maybe. I've long been an author and moderator but for a bunch of reasons that's taken a bit of a back seat for a while now. And until recently I thought the topic neither timely, nor could I do justice to it.

                      Anyhow night shift is done for now – thanks for your kind words. But for me your independent search for your own truth is what matters here and I sincerely wish you the best on that journey. We seem to have wandered down some parallel paths – including would you believe – building on a steep Tawa hillside some years back.surprise

                    • Gezza

                      @RL. Blimey, it's sure a small world. 👍🏼

                      We were up near the nature reserve of Redwood Bush. That place is Tui City these days. Go walking in it & you sometimes can't hear yourself think for their sonorous racket.

              • Jenny how to get there


                "Pick a side Jenny – the US or the CCP." Blue iLogix

                "You are with us or you are against us" George Bush

                "Yes I understand that's a choice you don't want to make" Blue iLogix

                Fortunately for me, choosing one side or the other, in a death struggle between two wannabe global hegemons, is not the only option for humanity.

                "Doing nothing is not an option." Red Logix

                Hear, hear!

                For once I agree with you Red

                So starting this morning, the first thing I will do is begin working on stopping the construction of this nuclear weapons system in Australia.

                If all peace activists on both sides of the Tasman to do the same.

                Red, I have no doubt at all in my mind that we will win. I will say it here; and mark my words, ‘Not one of these nuclear submarines will ever be built in Australia’.

                You may think otherwise, Red, but we are on the right side of history, and you are not.

              • Jenny how to get there


                19 September 2021 at 8:42 am

                …..there is only one political prospect that has even a chance of a constructive outcome – a plan to move humanity past the era of empire into a new phase of universal governance. I've written to this many times.

                Like Gezza I wouldn't mind reading what you have written on this topic, Red.

                If your plan to move humanity past the era of empire into a new phase of universal governance, is the hope of a total victory for the US hegemon over its economic and military rivals. I think you will be sadly disapointed. I might point out here, that total global domination has been the goal of every empire that has ever existed.

                This top down approach has never worked, no matter how many Wars To End All Wars are waged between different global empires.

  7. Tricledrown 7

    Alwyn after Hitler took one step to far the Allies weren't in any position to stop Hitler.

    This Nuclear sub deterant won't take place for another 20 years not including production delays and cost overuns which inevitably happen.

    So what is Australia do in the meantime the F35 is a lemon a hugely overpriced lemon.

    A War plane that is supposed to do everything but is to complicated to be effective.All f35 lightning 11 are grounded not able to fly ,the f35 has a multitude of design and manufacturing flaws.Canada has bought most of Australia old but reliable f/a 18s .

    The next generation of fighter planes will be unmanned .China has a massive capacity to design and build these new technology war machines.Australia will have a fleet of hugely overpriced out of date unreliable f35's , by the time they are delivered they will be obsolete.

    The Collins class submarines are a liability.

    So China has a 20 year window where Australia's military is virtually non existant.

    The French Submarines were looking like another lemon with steeply rising prices with long delays .

    Australia is now having to rely more on the US than ever.

    Thats why they have had to buy expensive American hardware.Thats the price you have to pay to be in their nuclear club.

    • tc 7.1

      As usual labor/greens don't pick up the bat scumo creates here.

      Cyberdefense is the front you need to be focused on not boys toys. Physical conflict is not required to bring you to heel.

    • Gabby 7.2

      Was the French sub design originally nuclear, and adapted for the ockies?

  8. Subliminal 8

    There's a great book by Robert Axelrod called The Evolution of Cooperation that uses the prisoners dilema to analyse how cooperation fares in various environments. I'm only part way through but could offer this as a so far with updates to come. The dilemma is to chooose to cooperate or not and points are arranged so that on an individual level and isolated instance it is always more favourable to refuse to cooperate. However, the more interactions and the greater the number of cooperative players, the greater the score for cooperative strategies. Traits such as "nice" and "forgiveness" can be defined by the strategy pursued. The interesting thing is that in predominantly "nice" environments very "nice" strategies are successful but that even in not "nice" environments a "nice" strategy is better. "Nice" means not being the first to not cooperate. Zero sum is the equivalent of uncoperative strategies with either a winner and loser or no engagement. What is interesting is that once alternative cooperative strategies emerge, zero sum can no longer survive. We see this with US capitalism now. Its a non cooperative zero sum strategy that can only survive if there is no alternative. AUSUK is part of a non cooperative strategy with the dominant part exploiting the weaker. The problem is that the weaker continues to get weaker through exploitation by the stronger but as the weaker is sunk into oblivion the exploiter has nothing left to feed on and also faces oblivion. TINA was a lie that we are seeing played out in real time. US zero sum cant win because there is now a large number of nations exploring cooperation, but could throw its toys sufficiently to make life miserable for all. Escalating over Taiwan is their final gambit. Hopefully we all pull back in horror

    • Gezza 8.1

      Found that just too hard to read on my little iPad2’s small screen without some paragraphing to break it up. Sorry. 😕

    • francesca 8.2

      Now that looks like a strategy for our times.I am so sick of the competition/domination model being presented as the only game in town.

    • Gabby 8.3

      China won't be getting Taiwan back after their treachery over Hong Kong.

      • Michael 8.3.1

        China will soon be able to take Taiwan, perhaps without firing a shot, if its psychological warfare campaign pays off.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    So if Taiwan rolls over where is China going to stop.

    Switzerland has a very strong military we have a woke joke for a military we rely on cooperation of our only ally with any clout.

    • Mike Smith 9.1

      Probably at the Great Wall which was built to keep invaders out

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        The Chinese had a little more than that – including a longstanding policy to set barbarians like the Jurchen and the Mongols against each other.

        Chinese expansionism will not be without downsides – they'll pillage our fisheries for starters – not that under current management those return enough to NZ to merit defending.

        And they were significant funders of National – NZ certainly doesn't need that.

        • francesca

          Was the Chinese govt behind the funding of Nat?

          I doubt it

          More like wealthy Chinese businessmen

          • Gabby

            ..who act completely independently of the State that permitted them to become wealthy? Ok.

          • Stuart Munro

            These things often happen one or two steps removed – the US used to do a bit of business that way too.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.2

      So, NZ needs some 'clout' to keep China out – how much ya reckon?

      There are some very peculiar thought processes at play here – why is China, our 'biggest' (in every sense of the word) trading partner by a country mile, seen as a national security threat in/to Australia and NZ? The idea of China 'rolling over' Australia and NZ makes no sense – it's fearmongering, pure and simple, imho.


      The ANZUS treaty does not make Australia safer. Rather, it fuels a fear of perpetual military threat [1 Sept 2021]
      Yet, even as the recent events in Afghanistan make the consequences of our unquestioning security alliance so glaringly obvious, there is no indication Australia will do anything other than double down on it.


      • Jenny how to get there 9.2.1

        ANZUS, AUKUS, none of these nuclear and military pacts make us safe, that is not their purpose. The purpose of these pacts and alliances is securing allies for US wars.

        Pax America is a myth, just as the British Empire's Pax Britanica was a myth.

        America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776


        Pax Britannica

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Pax Britannica

        ….was the period of relative peace between the Great Powers during which the British Empire became the global hegemonic power and adopted the role of a "global policeman".[1][2]

        Between 1815 and 1914, a period referred to as Britain's "imperial century", around 10,000,000 square miles (26,000,000 km2) of territory and roughly 400 million people were added to the British Empire. Victory over Napoleonic France left the British without any serious international rival, other than perhaps Russia in central Asia. When Russia tried expanding its influence in the Balkans, the British and French defeated them in the Crimean War (1853–1856), thereby protecting the Otttoman Empire.


        The Great Game explained.

        To paraphrase this wiki,

        What comes once as tragedy, returns as farce.

        Victory over Napoleonic France [in the Cold War], left the British [the US] without any serious international rival, other than perhaps Russia in central Asia. [China in east Asia]. When Russia [China] tried expanding its influence in the Balkans, [the Pacific], the British and French [the Americans and Australians] defeated them in the Crimean War (1853–1856), [in World War III (2039 – 2045)] thereby protecting the Ottoman [new Russian] Empire.

        When will we ever learn?

        • RedLogix

          Pax America is a myth

          Compared to what? To some unknowable, untestable ideal that you have in your imagination? Any fool can claim 'this isn't perfect therefore I'm going to trash it'.

          What I'm asking you to do is to try and set aside some of your preconceptions for a moment, look at the broader geo-political patterns at work here and to try and imagine how our next step of evolution might look.

          Because it isn't going to be perfect either – but at least you might have something fresh to rant about.

          • Jenny how to get there


            19 September 2021 at 12:52 pm

            Pax America is a myth

            Compared to what? To some unknowable, untestable ideal that you have in your imagination? Any fool can claim 'this isn't perfect therefore I'm going to trash it'…..

            Though truth may be the first victim of war, censorship is it's handmaiden.

            (Still waiting for my trashing).

    • Gezza 9.3

      It's most likely purely after getting accepted as the recognised resgional power in its own back yard at the moment.

      They are not going to take their eyes off Taiwan; they want it back. One future day they will quite probably take it, either by direct military invasion or perhaps even by subverting their national government as part of a long-term plan to destabilise the country.

      They seem to have certainly been studying the US very closely & no doubt have noted that the US is extremely reluctant to suffer casualties. That while the US politicians on both sides of Congress are far too deeply in bed with their military-industrial complex, their general population's carefully engineered enthusiasm for "righteous" wars soon wanes when US long term strategic goals are impossible to achieve & casualties start to mount.

      Xi Jinping has now consolidated & holds more personal power than Mao Zedong ever did – & now requires even school pupils to join University/College students & various other sectors of their population in studying books of Xi Jinping's Thoughts – which are reportedly focussed heavily on Chinese rejection of Western concepts, embracing the thousands of years long history & superiority of Chinese culture, & demands the demonstration of fierce loyalty to the CCP.

      He has the advantage of it now being clearly demonstrated how rapidly China under the CCP & his personal leadership has caught up with – and in some cases even overtaken the hated Western former colonial China concession invaders at last. Their multiple brand new cities are visible wonders of modern construction. The Chinese manned space programme – seeing they were apparently locked out of the US, Soviet/Russian & ESA space programmes – has seen stunningly quick technological development & success. They have even now started building their own rival to the International Space Station.

      Without the disruptive & sometimes introspective staggerings back & forth that characterise multi-party democratic countries, they have been able under Xi to set clear long-term strategic objectives & thru extolling pariotism & where necessary enforcing compliance they have unified the entire country in pursuit of achieving Xi's goals – enabling him to set new ones.

      Who's to know what the PRC will be like when Xi's successor is eventually chosen, but, for now, he's become almost another Emperor. There's an extensive Chinese diaspora, & the CCP is not shy about reaching out & exerting pressure on some of them to do what they can to influence national politics & suppress anti-CCP sentiment among dissident refugees & overseas students.

      China may well wish to challenge the US for global dominance in the future, if the US has experiencec a decline, or China has actually become significantly more powerful. I wonder however if, more likely is the possibility that those two by-then superpowers & their respective allies, able to damage each other too heavily in cyber-warfare, will simply end up as Great Powers have done throughout history, reaching an accommodation over recognising the other's primacy in their respective "spheres of interest"?

      • RedLogix 9.3.1

        Well if 'regional dominance' is the goal – then it's instructive to consider their incredibly vocal reaction to Australia firmly placing itself outside of that sphere.

        Clearly the CCP has in mind a sphere of domination that includes AU/NZ. Otherwise why would they care about some subs that won't arrive for a decade or so?

        This is what irks me the most – it's plain the US sucked balls at being a world hegemon – but at least Pax Americana is no myth. In essence it originates as a political and economic alliance against the Soviets. In this it was a stunning success, but the rest of the world had to pay a price most people thought was very worthwhile – no conflict between the nation states.

        We've grown up in this world and take it for granted, but historically this period since the end of WW2 has been incredibly unusual. The chances of dying in a war has been lower that an any time in human history – but people are very bad at spotting the absence of something and appreciating what a miracle this has been.

        And when the idiot activists rant about the US 'empire' they completely fail to understand that unlike every empire that came before it, for the Americans it was never about controlling territory. It was about controlling the politics – to the extent that you simply had to be on their side against communism. Tick that box and you got the security umbrella and to trade with whoever you wanted, get as rich and prosperous as you could. This is not like any empire that came before it – it represented an evolutionary step toward a global order. And as imperfect, inconsistent and incomplete as it was, even this baby step has yielded 70 years of unparalleled peace and human development. That's the point to keep your eye on.

        Because the Americans are no longer in this game – they've shifted back to their default isolationism. In many places like the Middle East they're just going home. NATO is only held up by old memories. They do care about the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans – and for the moment this includes a web of Asian allies. China has openly declared itself to be the enemy of this alliance and the US will respond accordingly. The US-led post-WW2 rules based order that for better or worse has sheltered us all our adult lives is now over.

        The question that you really want to be thinking about – is what do we want to replace it with? What do you actually care about and are willing to sacrifice for?

        • Gezza

          All good points.

          For me, Trump seriously threw a spanner in the works, big time, RL.

          His erratic ranting "isolationist / then Amerika uber alles" bent was so strong I seriously doubted that the US under his watch would even bother to come to the aid of a little "no count" anti-nukes country like NZ, should it ever come to our being seriously threatened by an aggressor.

          Should the PRC ever seriously embark on a serious bid for global dominance, then I certainly want us to be firmly in the Western liberal democracy strategic club.

          Economically, China is keeping us afloat. That's why I want our trade negotiators to go hell for leather right now, looking for alternative markets asap.

    • McFlock 9.4

      We'll never be in a position to be more than a lego defence force in major-power politics – clip onto other efforts.

      Even if we spend money on nukes ourselves, good luck with keeping on top of defeating things like ABM countermeasures.

  10. Pohutukawakid 10

    Aukus = Orcus was a god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths in Italic and Roman mythology. (Wikipedia)

    The French will be very unhappy and they have a nuclear strike force!

    • EE 10.1

      And what to call the submarine?

      ScoMo the Sub..
      BoJo the Sub..
      What about JoBo the Sub?

      No wonder Jacinda didn't want a bar of it.

      • woodart 10.1.1

        by the time its designed, redesigned, keel laid down, launched, fitted out, sea trials etc, scomo will be long gone. by then ,aus may have a P.M. with chinese ancestry, and a chinese name. hah! what is the aboriginal word for throwing valuables into water?

    • Gabby 10.2

      Orchis = testicle.

  11. Whispering Kate 11

    No sooner the US has vacated Afghanistan it is now sitting twiddling its thumbs looking at the world map and wondering where it can poke its ugly thumb into a hornet's nest and stir up shit somewhere else. Didn't take long did it – the timing is perfect and not surprising. Now it has its beady eye on China and lordy me what a big show that will be. Oodles of dosh for the arms industry – there is lots of dosh to be made and not before time for the US. Their leader is looking frail these days and their country is rife with internal problems but it still has to meddle and create mayhem on the world stage. Yes, we need to remain neutral, keep our heads below the parapet and keep the hell out of it all.

  12. Stephen D 12

    You could well be right. That military industrial complex has to be fed. Pretty much every state in America has at least one major employer linked to it.
    Eisenhower was on the money.

    • Whispering Kate 12.1

      Yes Stephen you are on to it. We need to, as a country stay out of it. Meddling with China is on another scale all together and bodes ill for the planet as if we haven't got enough to worry over.

  13. Marcus Morris 13

    There is another perspective to this whole unhappy development. Kim Hill had a fascinatingly awful interview this morning with Andrew Cockburn about his recent publication, The Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine and the quote below is from the RNZ web page


    “In his book The Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine British journalist and Washington editor for Harpers magazine Andrew Cockburn gets behind the motivations behind the America military being stationed in more than 800 locations worldwide. From the end of the Cold War in the 1980s to Afghanistan today, the answer, he writes, is not upholding democracy, but money. The self interest of those who control the war machine.”

    This latest development fits that profile perfectly. The UK's involvement reflects the nations desperation in wishing to remain relevant on the world stage. Apart from giving some kind of moral justification it difficult to see why the UK involvement is justified except to bolster its own weapons industry.

    While it is now three years old the table referred to below and the statistics it portrays begs the question “How many of these huge warships are required to cover the world's surface area”. I thought that that was the justification for the extraordinarily expensive Trident.


    Someone above mentioned “hypersonic” missiles. In his talk this morning Andrew Cockburn suggested that had never been tested, let alone developed.

  14. newsense 14

    So Peter Dutton and Boris Johnson are going to be get some nuke toys and are now the white knights of human rights? Geez, I can understand the tentativeness about engaging with a totalitarian regime, but a major attraction of this seems to be glee of insulting the European allies, particularly the French.
    The British rather following the Toby Wotsit model of diplomacy, only with no Simon Pegg around to make them cool…

  15. Gezza 15

    I posted this on Open Mike today, but maybe this is the better thread for it. AlJazeera tv has been carrying this development as one its main news items all day.


    “France said late Friday (local time) it was immediately recalling its ambassadors to the US and Australia after Australia scrapped a big French conventional submarine purchase in favour of nuclear subs built with US technology.

    It was the first time ever France has recalled its ambassador to the US, according to the French foreign ministry.

    Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.

    He said Wednesday’s announcement of Australia’s submarine deal with the US is “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”.

    … … ….

    Macron & Co are obviously really peed off.

    Wonder if it’ll beome a NATO crisis?

    Macron was shown at a Presser somewhere really spitting tacks, tearing strips off his underhand allies.


    • Gezza 15.1


      The White House has just issued its first official response to Macron’s tantrum:

      “WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The United States regrets France’s decision to recall its ambassador from Washington and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve differences between the two countries, a White House official said on Friday.

      France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after Australia struck a deal with the United States and Britain which ended a $40 billion deal to purchase French-designed submarines.”

    • RedLogix 15.2

      The big deal is not so much the subs themselves – which whether built to a French or American design – but the AUKUS defense alliance. That's the serious change and on this the French have only themselves and their own shipbuilders to blame for not seeing this coming. Contract or not, they should have seen the ground shifting and acted to protect their position much sooner. Whining about it in public now is mostly a weak attempt to extract the most compensation methinks.

      It's my guess that long before Australian sailors commission their own sub – which is at least a decade off – there will be at least one major sub base here in WA at Garden Island servicing both US and UK vessels. There is already a substantial marine industry here (the existing Henderson Marine Precinct is surprisingly extensive) and would be an extremely strategic location in the Indian Ocean. This is what's really pissed the CCP – that their attempts to intimidate Australia away from it's traditional defense alliances has been treated with such a firm rejection.

      • Gezza 15.2.1

        Makes sense to me, RL.

        Some of Chris Trotter’s 2c worth (from the FEED page segment):

        “…If all this sounds like one of those paranoid Aussie television series, then it only goes to show that if you want to tell the truth – write fiction. AUKUS is proof positive that the Anglo-Saxon world has lost its nerve. It is the twenty-first century equivalent of circling the wagons against the Native Americans. The US faces an array of enemies it is no longer certain it can beat – not without destroying itself at the same time. Equipping the Aussies with nuclear submarines (and other things) represents the moment in the Western movie when the grizzled old wagon-master reluctantly places a six-gun in the eager hands of a twelve-year-old. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t think of it, but there are “Injuns” out there, and the wagon train needs every gun it’s got.”

        “All of New Zealand’s recent history, however, suggests that not being in the room is a situation which the New Zealand Defence Force will deem intolerable. It is also highly likely that a significant number of senior bureaucrats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be equally disturbed by our “no show” at the AUKUS party. They will be worried that Beijing, observing these developments from afar, will see a gap just large enough to accommodate a big, fat Chinese diplomatic lever. The “Deep State” (the military, key players in the state bureaucracy, and the national security apparatus) is unlikely to tolerate New Zealand being separated from its “traditional allies” for too long.

        New Zealand’s prime minister, and her nuclear-free team of five million, should fasten their seat-belts: the next few months look set to give them all a very bumpy ride. As if fighting Covid-19 wasn’t enough, Jacinda should prepare for her very own anti-nuclear moment.”

        • RedLogix

          And my comment in that thread:

          RedLogix said…

          Although I often appreciate Chris's long view on NZ politics, it must be a tough sometimes seeing some of your most cherished causes from the 80's crumble before your eyes. It turned out that an apartheid free SA didn't become a place you'd want to live in, and that if we hadn't closed the door on nuclear power 40yrs ago we probably wouldn't be fretting about climate change.

          And worst of all discovering that the nice happy place the hobbits enjoyed in their far-off corner of the South Pacific, was being quietly protected by those imperialist Yanks you hated so much.

          Overall CT's audience seemed to have pushed back on his reflexive 80's anti-US rhetoric. In the aftermath of Vietnam this held a lot of meaning for the activists of that generation – but the ground has shifted since then.

          What I find saddening is watching pundits who I've long appreciated, twist and swing all the while trying to avoid saying out loud that a NZ which refuses to defend itself or openly commit to a western security alliance – will ultimately have no independent future as a free and open society. The place names will all be in Mandarin, and the vaunted team of five million won't even be remembered.

          PS Wayne Mapp’s comment in that thread is especially interesting given his real world expertise and experience.

          • Gezza

            Thanks, I’ll have a read of Mapp’s opinion. 👍🏼

            • Gezza

              OK, Yes, have now read his comments below Trotter’s opinion piece. As you say, they ate worth paying attention. His comments on procurement of future Navy assets make sense. He clearly took his Defence portfolio seriously & has kept up with developments.

              I see from a quick Google that he has been very vocal on multiple media re AUKUS over last couple of days. A lot of hits off his name + AUKUS.

              Peeni Henare, the few times I have seen him comment on Defence matters, seems rather out of his depth at present.

          • Gezza

            PS: What do you personally think the chances are of the PRC now playing real hardball with Oz/China trade – for example by immediately looking for other sources or iron ore?

            • Gezza

              *of iron ore! 🙄

              • Tricledrown

                China owns big shareholdings in mining in Australia it will be interesting if China sells up and stops importing Coal,Iron and other minerals.

                That would make it harder for Australia to buy overpriced arms.

            • RedLogix

              The immediate problem for China is that they have only two options for iron ore – Brazil and Africa.

              The large Vale operations in Brazil are still recovering from both COVID and the massive tailings dam disaster from a few years back. And while China is heavily investing in their neo-colonial empire in Africa, they still face the same old geographic obstacles and logistical nightmares that have always plagued that continent. And however you cut it both of these sources face added transport and security costs over and above Australia.

              Also there is a massive push internally in China to expand their own recycling, plus with the instability in their construction industry at present – the Evergrande story is a symptom of this – demand is shrinking. All this shows up in the drop in ore price, plus say things like the 25% decline in say FMG shares this past few days.

              The hyper prices of the past year could never be sustained but for at least the next 12 – 24 months there will still be ore bulkers sailing between Australia and the PRC. Unless of course Xi Xinping lets his ego run away and he turns the bombast into actual bombs.

              Hell at some point the AUKUS alliance may reasonably decide that sending ore to a nation that’s running such an oppositional stance is no longer a good idea.

              • Gezza

                “Hell at some point the AUKUS alliance may reasonably decide that sending ore to a nation that’s running such an oppositional stance is no longer a good idea.”
                … … … …

                Yes, but at what likely cost to their economy?

                It’s going to be interesting to see whether Xi’s China will content itself with aggressive complaining language in the diplomatic arena alone, or whether they decide to also now retaliate in the trade arena. They’ve sure indicated in the recent past that they are fully prepared to introduce trade muck arounds for Oz as punishments.

                • RedLogix

                  Already in the past year we've seen major disruptions to a number of AU exports to the PRC – wine,, barley and meat are some that come to mind. I'm sure there're more.

                  And this all started with that preposterously ill-judged list of '14 Demands' – that stepped right outside of the normal bounds of diplomatic negotiation and straight for the jugular. Any Australian govt was going to tell them where to shove it.

                  From the Australian perspective there's considerably more to this situation than mere words. And yet by trying to make an object lesson of a nation like Australia that the CCP perceives to be unable to strike back – they've burned off virtually any commercial and political trust across the entire globe.

                  It's kind of odd really – the CCP likes to make sophisticated long-term plans to dominate the world, yet at times it behaves like a three-year old throwing a tantrum when it doesn't get it's way. It does my head in.

                  • Gezza

                    Having successfully assumed far more personal power than any of his predecessors, Xi now seems to be operating like an ancient Chinese emperor at the height of their powers.

                    I seriously wonder whether we can put it down to the old saw about absolute power now having corrupted his thinking absolutely?

                    Aljazeera tv often shows video of him presiding over CCP conferences, & reviewing troops, standing up as he’s driven along their ranks, standing up, in front of a car-mounted battery of 4-6 microphones, presumably to make speeches exhorting them to be operationally ready to fight any “aggressors”.

                  • Ad

                    I'll get a post going on China, CPTPP, RCEP, and nuclear subs.

            • Tricledrown

              China owns big shareholdings in mining in Australia it will be interesting if China sells up and stops importing Coal,Iron and other minerals.

              That would make it harder for Australia to buy overpriced arms.

  16. Brendan 16

    Well we can say what we like about this agreement however the NZ Nuclear Free Zone act does permit the following: (see s12)

    1) Innocent passage,

    2) Travel through straits

    3) Ships and aircraft in distress.

    Just remember that if we annoy the USA they might just sail a sub through Cook Straight just to make the point! – and there is nothing we can do.

    • Gezza 16.1

      Tbh I don’t know how thoroughly NZ can cover its 4,000,000 square kilometre EEZ.

      I’ve always assumed that, notwithstanding our nuclear-free legislation & well-known NF-stance, there has always been the odd nuclear-powered sub quietly transiting at least the outer margins of our territorial waters, completely undetected.

      If they don’t need to surface, & whichever country they’re from, how would we even know?

      • Obtrectator 16.1.1

        "I’ve always assumed that, notwithstanding our nuclear-free legislation & well-known NF-stance, there has always been the odd nuclear-powered sub quietly transiting at least the outer margins of our territorial waters, completely undetected."

        Yes … like the Rangers protecting The Shire, who also were often mistrusted (though in their case, entirely without justification).

  17. Gezza 17

    “AUKUS: New Zealand labelled ‘a joke’ after nuclear-free stance blocks Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines

    … Now Australia’s Sky News host Chris Kenny has gone on the attack, accusing New Zealand of sitting back and letting our allies do the work.

    “Not very neighbourly is it,” he said on Friday night. “Just exposes what a joke our cousins are across the ditch when it comes to defence and security.

    “I think they just want to hide over there and hope that no one turns up. But I’ll tell you what – if China turned up then Australia and the US couldn’t help out because our vessels would be banned from their waters. It’s really that silly. It’s strategic laziness, bludging on your mates.”

    Kenny then played a video mocking New Zealand’s ‘100 percent pure’ ads, with captions showing us having ‘0 percent airforce’, ‘0 percent navy’ and ‘0 percent infantry’.

    The video was then cut with footage of New Zealand being invaded by armed forces while military aircraft scream through the sky.

    “100 percent there for the taking,” the captions finished. “100 percent too easy. 100 percent ours.”

    … … …

    Bloody wanker. It’s not like NZ was even consulted. And our limited ability to defend ourselves with our limited population, & comparatively teeny economy & Defence budget has always required us to rely on military alliances with bigger allies.

    It’s not like Oz could defend itself on its own from a full-on Chinese attack, is it?

    If NZ was ever seriously militarily threatened by an aggressor, our Nuclear-Free legislation would be “gone by lunchtime”.

  18. Scud 18

    I wouldn’t read to much into that muppet Chris Kenny’s Tea Leaves, I can’t even stand reading his pieces in the Oz Newspaper here in Darwin on most days btw.

    NZ can actually Defend itself, but it requires a whole new approach that NZ views it’s Defence Force, Foreign, Trade, Aid Development Policies & the various NZ Political Party’s have to swallow a few dead rats, the RW dropping it’s Tax Cuts Manta, the Left in particular the Greens & the Labour left on its Attitude towards the NZDF and its personnel.

    It can be done if everyone in NZ is willing to do it & make those necessary sacrifices across all Sectors of NZ?

    I’m scribbling down some notes for a possible post on the subject, but I’ve to got reply to Adrian of the Afghan Shit Sandwich. Haven’t forgotten about you mate, been a tad busy fighting fires.

  19. The biggest advantage nuclear (powered and not necessarily nuclear armed) submarines is that

    they have very little need to surface in a life time of 20 to 30 years.

    Consumables like food, routine maintenance will require surfacing at safe bases.

    They can remain submerged for long periods and launch missiles.

    They are difficult to detect and capable of sustained high speeds.

    Does NZ need them? I doubt it.

    I would be very surprised if none have ever prowled NZ waters.

    • Gezza 19.1

      “I would be very surprised if none have ever prowled NZ waters.”

      Same here. We have an EEZ of at least 4,083,744 square kilometres (1,576,742 sq mi).
      If a nuclear-powered sub transits our maritime territory without surfacing I imagine it could probably easily do so undetected.

      • Jenny how to get there 19.1.1


        18 September 2021 at 10:56 pm

        ….If a nuclear-powered sub transits our maritime territory without surfacing I imagine it could probably easily do so undetected.

        The Ardern administration has 'pledged' to spend $20 billion on our Defence Force. The same time that this $20b for the military was announced, our public health system was under extreme pressure from almost a decade of underfunding by the previous National government.

        The government must think that this huge $20b spend up on the military must have been of vital neccessity to prioritise it over our groaning and historically underfunded health system.

        A good chunk of this $20b will be spent on the navy. I would expect that with this eye watering amount of cash being splashed about on them, our navy would be at the very least up to the task of detecting an illegal nuclear vessel in New Zealand waters.

        Following such discovery, a diplomatic protest to Canberra should swiftly follow, with a cease and desist order. Including just the slightest implied hint of diplomatic retaliation if they don't take heed and continue to flout New Zealand law.
        (If the Aussie owned banks, who take $3.5 billion out of this country every year, even remotely think that their excortiating profit taking might be put at even the slightest risk, I am sure they would draw Scomo aside to have a quiet whisper in his ear.)

        • Gezza

          Thanks Jenny. My point is that 4,083,744 square kilometres (1,576,742 sq mi)bof EEZ is an awful lot of ocean to cover, & our navy fleet has probably never been able to patrol it all at once.

          I'm not sure how much capability our P3 Orions have to detect deep-water, silent-running nuclear subs. I suspect they have to drop sonobuoys in likely locations.

          I've had the impression that such NZDF vessels as we have been able to staff & put to sea, & the Orions, have mostly focussed on monitoring overseas fishing & surface vessels – which they presumably can identify locations of & track onshore by monitoring their radio & other electronic signals.

    • Gezza 20.1

      Very interesting article. Last two paras seem to sum it up:

      "On the eve of a recent tour of the region, where he attended an annual Asian security conference in Singapore, the US defence secretary Ashton Carter vowed to frustrate any Chinese efforts to limit the movements of American vessels in the South China Sea. “The United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world,” Carter declared in Pearl Harbor. And to this, he joined another vow. “We will remain the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come,” he said.

      Unsurprisingly, in China, people have begun to take a different view of the future. “In 10 years, our GDP will be bigger than the US, in 20 years our military spending will be equal to the US,” said Shen Dingli, one of China’s most prominent international relations scholars, who I met in Washington.“Thirty to 40 years from now, our armed forces will be better than the US. Why would the US defend those rocks? When you have power, the world has to accept. The US is a superpower today, and it can do whatever it wants. When China is a superpower, the world will also have to accept.”

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