Defense White Paper – 2010


The Editor, The Wellingtonian, Wellington

Dear Editor,

Gordon Campbell hits the mark in describing the tone of the new White Paper on defense as a “misty eyed deference to our old ANZUS allies”, and in gleaning some of the indicative phrases in it: “like-minded states”, “sharing of risk”, “operations around the world”.   The White Paper thus  recommends NZ being involved in military actions in support of the US military to escalate our already enormous support at the Waihopai satellite spy station.

Quite apart from a list of dangers this would expose NZ to in the immediate term, another question should also be asked as to what effect this would have on our nuclear free policy.  The USA retains thousands of nuclear weapons which form the heart of its military strategy.  This despite there no longer being the excuse provided by the cold war and despite the 1996 World Court decision that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal.

To be now involved as the White Paper describes, and perhaps brought closer with the Wellington Declaration (Clinton’s recent visit),  with the military adventures of the USA in Afghanisatan, Iraq, The Phillipines (and where next, Iran?), makes us complicit with their military strategies (based on nuclear weapons) and thus compromises our nuclear free status.   How long can NZ claim the moral high ground on nuclear weapons as we continue to live with the contradiction of this complicity?

Sincerely, Richard Keller


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