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NRT: Shifted

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, June 18th, 2014 - 21 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn on our already secretly changed foreign policy.

Yesterday, we learned that the government was reviewing its future contribution to peacekeeping missions, with an eye to turning us into an American footstool. As I pointed out, this would be a major shift in our foreign policy, and one we need to stop. Unfortunately, we’re too late: Cabinetagreed to the change last October (see ERD Min (13) 11/3). In secret, without consulting the people on behalf of which those troops will be deployed.

Reading that paper, there’s also another bombshell: they want to send spies on peacekeeping missions. The new criteria ask:


Which agencies are so sensitive that their possible presence needs to be redacted for “national security”? (Hint: it is unlikely to be the Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

so, National has – in secret – completely changed our foreign policy, removed a major check on foreign troop deployments, and agreed to deploy spooks on peacekeeping missions. Given that latter bit, the UN would be wise to reject any contribution we offer as a trojan horse for US intelligence gathering.


21 comments on “NRT: Shifted”

  1. emergency mike 1

    This is a shocker, thank goodness we have intelligent public informed by our upstanding media who focus on the important issues:

    TV1: “Cunliffe: ‘I did not tell a lie’ about Liu”

    TV3: “Does Labour remain confident in Cunliffe?”

    Stuff: “Cunliffe: ‘I didn’t lie'”
    “Is Cunliffe finished?”
    “Cunliffe’s catastrophes”

  2. blue leopard 2

    I would have thought this spells the end of National’s chances of getting re-elected.
    Surely New Zealanders won’t stand for this.

    • karol 2.1

      Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of Kiwis aren’t very interested. Sending spies on peacekeeping missions, and as puppets of the US, just isn’t something they take very seriously.

      Spying on private citizens might exercise them a bit more.

      But, of course, a lot of the cause of apathy is the way the media have been feeding people senasationist trivialities, celebrity culture gloss, etc.

      I don’t know what it will take to show a lot of Kiwis the seriousness of this shift.

      • blue leopard 2.1.1

        This is how the right-wing operate – or should I say the elite – they slowly shift the guidelines and rules behind the scenes and people don’t notice. If they do, it is so small as to seem innocuous, however each step takes us further away from our interests. I have downloaded the document referred to in this thread’s article, however sadly it isn’t clear to me what they have changed.

        I would, however suggest paying a lot of attention to this type of backdoor activity by the National party. This is so totally the way they shift the power to favour the elites’ interests and it is how we lose, slowly but surely, our interests/rights/democracy.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of Kiwis aren’t very interested.

        They may be concerned about it – if they heard about it and the majority haven’t. Government by secret cabal.

  3. Will@Welly 3

    Anyone reading this would surely veto a vote for us on the Security Council.
    We are the American’s dirty little lap-dog.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    You know, this new Pope is actually starting to grow on me:

    “But since we cannot wage the third world war, we make regional wars.

    “And what does that mean? That we make and sell arms. And with that the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies – the big world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money – are obviously cleaned up.”

    And we have a money trader for a PM.

  5. Molly 5

    I understand that the rebuilding aspect of past Defence Force work is going to be diminished as well. As the US and Australia is unable/unwilling to come on board, rebuilding/infrastructure work in the Cook Islands is not going ahead.

    However, we do have enough money to play a couple of war games with our allies in PNG. Since National’s deliberate disaster of a civilianisation project the culture and the focus of our Armed Services continues to change – from peacekeeper, civil defence and rebuilding efforts to assisting one of the most bullying nations in the world.

    • Wayne 5.1


      I think the change is derived, at least in part, from the experience of the NZDF in Bamiyan province. The problem (which was very evident to me on my visits to Bamiyan) is that the NZDF does not do development aid very well. Their expertise is security. Sure the NZDF can build clinics and dig wells, but they don’t really have a longer term perspective. That really is best done by NZ Aid.

      So if there is a shift, I take a certain amount of responsibility for it. From about late 2010 NZ Aid took the lead in Bamiyan on reconstruction.

      So the plan is for the NZDF to focus more on security issues (even in the context of peacekeeping). After all the military never gets deployed unless civil order has comprehensively broken down. And in the more secure environment that the intervention is intended to bring about, civil aid organizations will get on with civil reconstruction.

      I had not heard about the issue in the Cooks, but I can’t imagine that it ever had much to do with the NZDF. In fact I thought that NZ and China were doing a big water purification project there. There was intended to be a joint NZ, Aus, US project on sustainable electric power (as I recall). But all of this is done by NZ Aid.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Wayne, – your visits to Bamiyan province do not quantify the success or otherwise – as experienced by those who live there – of rebuilding efforts. And NZ does do rebuilding extremely well – see past projects in the Pacific, where NZ had complete control.

        Working alongside the frankly unapologetic invader of Afghanistan is going to put more than a few problems in the works when trying to get projects done that actually help inhabitants of an occupied country. Don’t you think?

        The current divisive and violent scenario in Iraq was predicted by many – even as the war there was being promoted. That is how obvious the long-term use of predicated warfare is to many.

        The current focus on “security” will have a similar effect. Our country will not be made more “secure” as a result. If we lose our ability to decide where our troops should be sent, we will continue to provide cannon fodder – for those whose intentions are hidden, and often in direct contrast to the NZ public’s position on sovereignty and human rights.

        You forget how security is achieved by allowing people in their own countries to feel secure.

        Rebuilding and civil aid does this effectively. Aligning with countries that use indiscriminate use of drones to perform remote acts of terrorism does not.

        Why is this so hard to understand?

      • Ennui 5.1.2

        You have to answer a basic question: what the hell is a Defense Force doing performing civil aid / engineering etc? Their job is as enforcers, gun men on steroids! Armed men don’t go to “war” zones to be nice!

        • Bastables

          Winning hearts and minds, engendering Civilians to look on our presence as a “good” and for them not to switch to insurgency and kill UN and NZ defence force pers.

          Being the Good guys in fact as well as name, being a “New Zealander” should not stop when you pop on a uniform.

          It’s why you have CMA dets (civil military assistance detachments). We’re supposed to be there to help, not conduct live fire exercises on random “natives”.

          That’s why we have Civil aid and Engineer’s on peace keeping missions.

          • Ennui

            Sounds that we are “lovely guys” Bastables: if so why do we need the uniforms and guns? Lets just wander into war zones like lovely Franciscan monks doing good. Obvious answer I suppose. A little cynicism may be required….why do we need to win hearts and minds? Is it because we turn up with a pack of uninvited uniformed men carrying and using heavy ordinance?

            • Bastables


              Yeah you sort of miss the point that in combating insurgency we have to be seen, perceived and actually win hearts and minds by avoiding shooting randoms, detaining randoms and generally avoid pissing off the people we’re obstinately helping.

              I like how you miss my first sentence that simplistically describes why we have to be seen and act as good guys. Unlike Franciscan monks we’re not involved in suckering people to converting to our faith either.

              I think you find we’re not supposed to just randomly wander into available war zones so chicken hawks such as your self can indulge in jingoistic masturbation fantasies, which is the point the blog by Notice and features is highlighting.

              Speaking as a ex NZ army per that actually had carry out peacekeeping. We were quite good at achieving our mission while managing to be lovely guys and avoid being “gun men on steroids.” Why don’t you tell me about your warcrime tendencies and breeches of ROE’s chicken hawk.

              Edit you might want to check the history of NZ peace keeping, it includes incidences of a Signals Sqn being deployed unarmed overseas. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/36091/peacekeeping-in-bougainville-new-zealand-way
              Of course that NZ army was not run by govt focused on becoming the US’s attack hamster.

              • Ennui

                so chicken hawks such as your self can indulge in jingoistic masturbation fantasies lovely imagery, can you describe in detail please what doing that is?

                If it upsets you that I “denigrate” the concept of being “good guys”and doing good it is not because I don’t think we should be doing it. I just don’t think it is what the military is for. As a soldier you might consider that wrong, my family, all of us for four generations have been Navy so we might consider ourselves equally qualified to comment.

                What I agree with you on is, Of course that NZ army was not run by govt focused on becoming the US’s attack hamster..

    • blue leopard 5.2

      @ Molly,
      I will just warn you in case you are unaware of it (but you probably are anyway), that despite Wayne’s work experience (or perhaps because of it) he appears challenged in understanding the complexities involved with international politics.

      A few days ago he wrote:

      “But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action.

      As you can see, he fails to acknowledge that if UN decisions are ignored this undermines the UN’s legitimacy and that leads to less ability for States to cooperate and make collective decisions with the aim to avoiding conflict than is already the case.

      I consider this a fairly serious omission to have made.

  6. Bastables 6

    It might be a expansion to include the GCSB, but the NZ army has previously operated overseas with it’s own Intelligence pers and Electronic warfare detachments from the Signals Corp as part of “peace keeping forces.” Uniformed “spooks” have been integral to the army depending on threat level or more correctly; our appreciation of the threat level. Army int tends to be focused on external threats as opposed to our inwards facing GCSB but one presumes the information collated by NZ army finds it’s way up command chain to our Allies.

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