Waihopai and North Korea

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, February 5th, 2018 - 14 comments
Categories: greens, International, Korea, us politics, war - Tags:

It’s worth asking ourselves what Goriz Gharaman was doing protesting at Waihopai. It’s the right place to protest.

Protesting against privacy incursions is not uncommon, but the bigger protest was missed in emphasis: Waihopai prepares us for war. It prepares intelligence that is usually shared among only five countries. That clarifies which side New Zealand is on: the side of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, and Great Britain.

The most likely place that war will break out in the short term is North Korea.

The last time the government released the key threats to New Zealand, North Korea wasn’t mentioned.

Under the 6th threat point – instability – I would expect it highly likely that North Korea is now on that list.

In the increasingly possible event that war is called by the United States against North Korea, Australia (like last time) will be immediately pulled in. That’s because the 2014 U.S.-Australia Force Posture Agreement may have limited impact numerically on North Korea, but the 1,250 (soon to grow to 2,500) U.S.Marines and equipment based in northern Australia would be mobilized.

What will be more useful from both Australia and New Zealand is military intelligence useful to aircraft and to space. Already, B52 bombers have deployed to the Northern Territory on exercises, and new facilities due to be built at RAAF Base Darwin and RAAAF Base Tindal could make this more sustainable. Halluva long sortie up to North Korea, but a really good option in the event of all-out or even nuclear war. Chilling way to think, but this is the scale of risk the U.S. and North Korean leadership have put us in (fyi if you want to see U.S. F-16s in action, there’s a team coming to the Wanaka Air Show this Easter).

The joint U.S.-Australia Pine Gap satellite control and intelligence gathering facility near Alice Springs proves command and control for surveillance, communications, and ballistic missile early warning satellites orbiting over the region, and would be a crucial element in all high altitude and space elements of such a conflict. Our own Waihopai facility integrates with such facilities under the Five Eyes agreement.

So it’s worth protesting at Waihopai.

Like last time, New Zealand in the event of a war in the Korean Peninsula will be asked a very direct question about whether it will provide other, more material military support. It’s time to at least rehearse the question. Many say that there are no military options with North Korea. Well, there are but they are all terrible. Just because they are terrible, doesn’t mean we have the luxury of ignoring our most likely Pacific conflict. Australia, moreso than New Zealand, may be suffering from war weariness after the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that won’t stop it happening. Just because the choices are difficult, our own coalition government would also have to face them fast.

Golriz Gharaman was protesting about Waihopai being used to invade information privacy:

The left can and should start to protest New Zealand’s role in Five Eyes through Waihopai, but they can do so by focussing on the very present threat of war.

14 comments on “Waihopai and North Korea”

  1. Anne 1


    In the increasingly possible event that war is called by the United States against North Korea, Australia (like last time) will be immediately pulled in.

    Should read:

    In the increasingly possible event that Donald Trump and co. provoke Kim Jung-un and co. into commencing hostilities, Australia will be immediately pulled in.

    For what its worth I say : that’s Australia’s problem not ours. We stay out of it.
    As far as I know we’ve signed no treaties with the USA therefore we have no obligation to support any trumped-up war prompted in the first instance by Trump’s maniacal ego.

    We might have to suck up an influx of Aussies wanting to come and live here but I guess we can handle that.

    The government makes the decisions not the spies.

    • Xanthe 1.1

      “The government makes the decisions not the spies.”

      Not sure I completely agree Anne. The government makes decisions on the basis of information (hopefully!). The spies control information gathering and increasingly engage in misinformation. WMD anyone? Spies have been shown to make these decisions and then supply the information to support them

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Its up to the government of the day to look for the supporting evidence and if they can’t find it to disregard the information. Admittedly some to do it better than others as has been witnessed in the past.

        It is my understanding the intelligence reports from both Britain and America did not refer to WMD being in existence. That was a selective term dreamed up by Bush and Blair to justify the invasion of Iraq.

  2. Bill 2

    I can’t see there being a war with N Korea to be honest. Like much else, Trump has just been a bit slow on the up-take with regards how the game “ought to” be played.

    I’m sure he’s getting lessons 😉

    That aside – Waihopai? Yup. Shut it down and severe NZ’s ties to an obviously dying empire that’s centred half a world way.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Nope, repurpose it to provide strategic intel for our armed forces, or when you close it, disband and defund the armed forces too. You can’t expect people to fight for you if you blindfold and deafen them.

  3. Ad 3

    As an aside, great to see many of the world’s top diplomats slamming President Trump over his Pentagon’s plans for smaller nuclear weapons:


    • One Two 3.1

      His Pentagon’s plans” ..

      No, Ad

      It belongs to others…whomever they are…

      POTUS does not control the pentagon…or the off ‘balance sheet funding’…

      The war machine is private enterprise…every component of it…

      That was clarified back in the 1960’s

  4. One Two 4

    Increasingly possible…

    Rhetoric creates the fear…

    You’re not seeing the repeating patterns, Ad…

    There will not be a stike on NK…

    But lots of weapons selling and finance is conducted on the ‘threat’…

  5. Paul Campbell 5

    I was flying north over Waihopai yesterday, it’s a brown dry blob in a sea of green …. And I wondered at why they had to choose a valley that points straight across the strait at Wellington …. What exactly are they listening to?

  6. Jimmy Ramaka 6

    Who are we actually spying on with the 5 x Eyes ?

    Can someone please educate me ?

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