Defence Spending obscene opening for more wars

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There is simply no justification for upgrading any of the military equipment outlined in the Defence White Paper.

New Zealanders can remain confident that the country does not face a direct military threat in the foreseeable future. (Defence White Paper, p10, 2016)

“So why are we spending $20 Billion on upgrading the NZDF? It clearly isn’t because we need to. The NZDF says so themselves. The Defence White Paper released yesterday is a grotesque strategy for ongoing New Zealand involvement in more US wars of aggression throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and with China, and adopts an aggressive military posture totally at odds with what most New Zealanders think should be happening in the world,” says Peace Action Wellington spokesperson James Barber.

“There is simply no justification for upgrading any of the military equipment outlined in the Defence White Paper. The real threats to New Zealand aren’t US-created terrorists in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan, but poverty, unemployment, homelessness and catastrophic climate change. Stop waging aggressive wars of conquest with the US, and New Zealand will have no need to invest in new airplanes, frigates or armoured vehicles.”

“And as for the cyberwar capability, who exactly is New Zealand going to launch a cyberwar attack against? The government is touting this as a new weapon. But from real on the ground situations, against whom and in what circumstances exactly is New Zealand going to launch a cyberwar?”

“Gerry Brownlee talks about overfishing and the need to protect New Zealand’s EEZ as a major reason for an upgrade of the NZDF equipment, but quite aside from the fact that the ships they already have aren’t funded to do that work, and that new frigates aren’t the right kind of ships for that work, the current government has been flogging off most of the EEZ to international oil companies for massive exploitation, something most New Zealanders would see as a far greater real and immediate threat to the good health and security of the country.”

“The government says that is it concerned about, “marked increase in defence spending by countries across the region,” but they have said nothing about the recent US decision to sell new weapons to Vietnam. It reveals the levels of hypocrisy in NZ’s Defence and Foreign Affairs policy: it’s OK when the US does it, but not when anyone else does.”

"If the NZDF is all about peace and security in the world, why has it been involved in human rights abuses in Afghanistan and deployed to an illegal occupation in Iraq?”

“The whole of the Defence White Paper begins with the wrong premise; we don’t live on an island so to speak. We live an interconnected world. So let’s begin to re-imagine security not as their narrow idea of ‘national security’ defined by how many guns, bombs and weaponry we have, but as global security for all of the world’s people to the basics required to live a decent life with dignity: food, clean water, shelter, education and health care. New Zealanders know that we cannot shut our doors to the horror that the West’s wars of terror have caused in the Middle East: millions of refugees are fleeing for their very lives right now. A different future is not only possible, it is an urgent necessity.”

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