The true cost of an Independent Foreign Policy 


If we are serious about an Independent Foreign Policy, we have to accept it is going to cost us a lot more.

I believe that the climate crisis means we need a vastly larger military to cope with civil disasters and if we are attempting to distance ourselves from China and America, we need to make a decision to dramatically lift what we spend on the military for purely defensive capacity.

How would we go about defending the realm of NZ and all our economic exclusive zone?

Currently we spend 1.1% of GDP on our entire military, to defend the full realm of NZ and pursue an independent foreign policy, I argue we need to push that up to 3%.

Note – NZ should only build up its military to defend our full territory (NZ islands, EEZ, Ross Dependency, Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue). Any upgrade of our military is for purely defensive purposes, not for military adventure or invasions.

We can’t pull away from America and China and pretend there is no cost to being Independent.

With the climate crisis looming, we need that debate now.

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  1. The NAM (Non Aligned Movement) still has 120 odd member countries long after the Cold War ended. I include the wiki summary of member states. Needles to say NZ is not a member still being aligned to US and British imperialism via 5 Eyes and various other international trade agreements and military alliances. Remember in the the “Nuke Free” 80s the yanks did cut us off ceremonially, but never fully excommunicated NZ.

    I say NZ should join and help reboot NAM and mutually beneficial bilateral trade and cultural agreements within it. Getting on with people has to trump any amount of military might. But sure in a climate disaster world the grim reality of defending borders where necessary has to be part of the calculation.

    • I don’t believe that the word defence as in defensive measures means the same for me as it does for you, Martyn, or any other combinination of competing ideas. We make fun of the government a lot because I believe monolithic organisations need to be taken down a peg or 2 – when ones own farts smell fragrant, that is when a reality check is most needed.

      But one of the most fundamental defensive principles is that fear can lead to a lot of terrible things. Most military or economic leaders are lead astray by fear, whether that be facing the coldness of a human rights court or media gaze or a soilder fearing the enemy so much that they try and commit extra judicial murder.

      The entire collapse of the American, British, Roman or eventually the Chinese economic and military system was and will be driven by the fear of a rising power.

      While this simple concept of humanity has been challenged in recent times by the psychology and numerology fields there are still some truths to calculating power.

      It’s clear now that the foundation documents of a nation it’s constitution will have a profound and last effect from birth till death. This is why in a kind and affluent society people will try and pass laws and introduce cultural practices that protects the population during these formulating times.

      We try and defend the people from the basic evils like preditors, hunger and a lack of education. Some people take it a step further by trying to defend against anything remotely related to failure and discomfort.

      A soldier how ever goes completely in the opposite direction thrust into an environment so terrible that only a savage could survive in it. Like many political elites the soldier class are extremely pompous in there nature. But unlike any noble ideology NZDF training facilities are located in New Zealand’s most inhospitable areas.

      For the most part New Zealand has been less developed. What New Zealand has in excess is easily exploited water resource – a basic component essential to all life. The problem is setting up a market for NZ water is everyone has some sort of requirement for that resource. The only way we could get that water to the international market was to allocate New Zealand’s essential resource to the international market and it turns out these deals are not great because it turns out that dealing with exploiters is extremely risky and there’s a severe lack of laws and regulations. And then checkout diplomacy is always waiting to bail out this exploitivitive operations.

      This is the product of a world that has seen a lit of death and struggle and have a lot of pride in there past hardships and this is what entrepreneurs worship. A few generations after European settlement New Zealand went from a lush vibrant environment to one of the most populated and polluted nations in the OECD and is essentially a political and trade hub for the South Pacific.

      This is what essentially European Colinisation is known for, the exploitation and Land resource and human capital. This isn’t a bunch of bandits they’re a professional organisation designed to hunt down purates and bandits and NZDF has been distinguished by its peers in the military world as an organisation that does this the best.

      It wasn’t enough that NZArmy soilders sought revenge in Afghanistan they had to create a type of fear that would paralys any thoughts of reprisals and at its root was fear, the fear of bring attacked or someone getting the better of them.

      This to me, is not defence, and neither are concepts such as power projection, boots on the ground, or soilders doing savage things would I consider that as the opposite of defensive measures. These are the same fears that would make Orange Children strip search socially disruptive children. Just defeating your enemy isn’t enough for these people you have play with them, toy with them so that they will never come and retaliate against us.

      So this is New Zealand’s democratic thesis and generations continue to add to it. With decades of trying it turns out there is no way to create the perfect force, no way to make a reaction force that can react to any and all situations and arrive just in time. NZs area of responsibility which is greater than its economic zones is just to vast for New Zealand to control with fear so there will be no creations of am overwhelming amount of force. It’s not about having a massive military all though it is. It is about making New Zealand’s enemies fear that use.

      New Zeanders if they recognise it or not hope to create the same fears in their enemies as they did when they were scared children and under control. To the non savage, fear is the only thing that works at motivating people which of course is a very toxic and backwards view that comes from New Zealand’s colonial past. Itz basically a broken toy. People who do not have the same scares do not fear the same attacks as we do but most importantly they’ll never be able to kill innocence on command.

      I guess I truly don’t understand others because I feel like I’m a lot different from most. It’s just really difficult to face your fears and overcome them. This means that I have other things I’m my life besides fear which makes me interested in things and curious. I think we need to embrace fear, the fear of war before NZDF can grow. When I see NZDF soilders I do not see them as savages but someone who I won’t behind my back, protecting me. In other words instead of seeing an extremely efficient fighting machine NZDF is viewed as something that could lose control and will instead be a thorn in The Green Party.

      When settlers first saw Maori and the lands they occupied, instead of seeing something that could end poverty, they saw the enemy. Instead of using New Zealand’s water resource as a vital component, they used it as coercion.

      For people who live by fear and deny violence will only attract more fear and violence because there’s nothing more dangerous than the damage caused by fear.

      So when we talk about defence, people who fear the most are dictatorial and authoritarian who try and control there surroundings and primitively strick out even if they aren’t threats.

      So this is what I believe defence is. Not so much what type of sword, Frigate, bomb or what ever a soilder wields it’s the misuse of force that is indefensible.

      • This has to qualify as the longest waffle I’ve seen in years… I would have thought that any intelligent commentator would have learnt early that using assumption piled on more assumption is the best way to make ones self irrelevant.. You’ve succeeded brilliantly in proving that.. I’m finding it increasingly depressing seeing the sheer weight of self serving drivel that passes for political/social debate here in NZ.. It’s about what’s good for our future, not what gets you off… Try to remember that boys and girls..

        • It takes one form of intelligence to say that an analysis is wrong, and another form of intelligence to say what the correct analysis should be. There has been some fringe type people who want to restrict NZDF to history books but is that justified. stefan has his own views about me personally. If I have the stefans view correctly then he proposes that all my views must begin with a categorical statement about a mental projection of future NZDF requirements. One categorical statement is that climate change is a fucken threat to humanities existence, another catatogorical statement is that nuclear war is a fucken threat to human existence. And now, the stefan proposes we rewrite those into a hypothetical or perhaps a quasi hypothetical which contains no terms to the extent that NZDF ought to be disclosed. I mean fuck right off cunt.

  2. The latest Manning / Buchanan podcast is worth a listen. There are some good suggestions on how we should handle our foreign policy and how we might influence things (almost in Lange style).
    I’m not holding my breath though.
    We’re just as likely to get a few Wellington bureaucrats who’re more focussed on their own career development and work-life-balance dictating the game, having captured their Munster, than we are doing anything useful.
    But then again, Nanaia Mahuta could probably pull it off provided she’s got a fully functioning bullshit detector and the neo-libs at the cabinet table don’t get in the way.
    What are the chances?

    • The stakes are very high in those circles, so Nanaia will likely be hung out to dry unless there is some public back up for her.

      • Yep agreed. And it’s our job to help provide that public backup as best we can according to our capabilities.
        Thank God for MMP (not perfect though it is) which enables us to send messages – even IF some of them are too arrogant or fik to understand them.
        I still can’t bring myself to vote Labour next time after giving them a lifetime of support, nor Grunt for that matter because of their treatment of lesser beings.
        Ultimately ….. They’ve got about another 18-24 months to woo me (and indeed most family members) back …… in that space, going forward

  3. Are you suggesting Martyn that we should have a military capable of defending our shores against America or China?
    Get real .
    We should accept and acknowledge that we cannot , but behave independently in all matters political and economic. And support the UN and trust that it will support us.
    The international reputation of either or any of the world’s major powers attacking us would be irredeemably squandered . And that is our only protection. Our own reputation as an independent honourable nation.
    D J S

    • I’m suggesting we defend our realm – shrugging and allowing our fishing grounds to be plundered isn’t much of a solution

      • Fisheries protection is an entirely different matter and does not require a massive increase in defence spending.
        D J S

          • Yes all 5,000 fishing vessels all manned by the peoples liberation armies navy personnel.
            2500 have already stripped and causing problems off the shores of South american nation on the Pacific coasts to the point eastern south american nations are joining their military forces to protect their economic zones.

          • Thats interesting and disturbing Martyn, but it will take an international effort to prevent China or other fishing nations from blatantly transgressing economic zone law.
            D J S

            • Kwik Kwestion @ D J S (curiosity is getting the better of me):
              Have you listened to the latest Manning / Buchanan podcast?
              T B 2

              • I have now Tim thanks. The security council’s veto is criticised for creating a stalemate that prevents popular policy from proceeding.
                While this is obviously true it also prevents those major powers from doing something like invading us. the other members would veto it.
                Mind you the US doesn’t care much, they do what they want wherever they want, but they are close to becoming universally recognised as a pariah , and at some point they will presumably want to recover some international respect. It’s one thing being the world’s leading military power but against the entire world that might not be enough.
                D J S

      • Look at Switzerland as an e.g. of the level of self defense. Germany could easily have defeated the Swiss, but the Swiss defence meant it was NOT worth the loss and effort versus the benefit of winning.
        The Swiss still had to heed German needs, but only to a certain extent.
        That is the level of self defence we need. i.e. negotiate a sensible neutrality, that respects the ‘might is right’ dynamics of a situation.
        Presently we are simply just Americas (and arguably Britain’s) bitch.

  4. Agreed 100%. I believe we should be a Sweden, a Denmark, a Norway and a Switzerland of the South Pacific. I’ve always said we should emulate those country’s and pick the best policy’s from all of them. And that includes a defensive military that is separate and beyond the Five eyes agreement. And if the Five eyes country’s don’t like it and wont supply that military?, – then we approach Russia or France , or Germany for their hardware.

    But first we have to rid ourselves of the foul, stinking, neo liberal greedies and their rotten edifice that has plagued this country like anthrax poisoning for 36 years.

    THEN, …might we even climb out of the suffocating shithole these treasonist’s have created for the majority of New Zealanders.

  5. China can do pretty much anything it wants these days, including flying military aircraft directly over Taiwan with increasing frequency.

    The emaciated ‘eagle’ of America can squawk as much as it likes, China really doesn’t care. Nor does Russia (though they’d prefer to not have to fend of yet another failed attempt by America to control the narrative and he outcome).

    Since NZ is going broke faster than a gambler at a casino. So where the money is to come from for increased military spending is something of a mystery, other than yet more money-printing of fictional currency, which then devalues the currency already in existence.

    The other ‘small’ matter is this: with global oil extraction well past peak, where does the oil come from to run all the proposed increased military?

    The fact is, the whole game is almost over, a bit like the last five minutes of a game of Monopoly, in which most of the players can’t get enough income to pay the rent on the competitors properties they land on. One person ends up with everything.

    The big difference is, this isn’t a game, it’s real life, and the politicians are treating it like it’s a game, fucking-up everything they touch, and with no accountability.

    • Agreed with most of what you say, BUT STILL, there are some simple things one can do to protect a country and make it awkward for the invader, who then would rather negotiate an outcome, for relatively little cost. If you’ve no cards to play, the result of a negotiation isn’t going to be very favourable.
      e.g. The Swiss have every tunnel, ever village, every important node protected. The populace have in the main, all been through military training. They all know what needs to be done. No ones career is affected negatively by doing national service and the regular follow ups.
      So any one invading has to REALLY need or want the country and have it intact to invade. So like the Swiss in WW2, they negotiated an agreement with Germany, that looked like neutrality, BUT with some serious limitations, which they were ‘happy’ to accept for not being bombed into submission or invaded.

      • Ah, but the important thing about Switzerland in WW2 was that BOTH sides of the conflict wanted a safe place to store stolen goods and gold and fiat money.

        And there is NEVER a shortage of traitors and self-serving liars when there is personal gain to be made by exploiting a situation.

        ‘The Experiment’ clearly demonstrated that the vast majority of people will go along with torture if encouraged to do so by someone ‘in authority’ and other experiments have clearly demonstrated that EVERYONE lies when it is expedient to do so.

        That leaves anyone with a thought for the future or consideration for the common good with quite a ‘problem’: the system as a whole is controlled by and run by sociopaths and sycophants, with intricate systems in place to ensure nothing is done to upset the status quo arrangements; hence, whichever political party is in power, almost exactly the same political-economic-financial arrangements are strictly adhered to.

        The fact that those very same political-economic-financial arrangements are not just a dead-end but are actually in the process of rendering the Earth uninhabitable for humans does not occur to anyone in ‘the system’, and their entire narratives are predicated on various falsehoods centred on economic growth forever on a finite planet (impossible), continuous -or even increased- extraction of energy and resources when both are well past peak (therefore impossible), and continued polluting and degradation of the environment (still possible and very likely).

        After centuries (you could say millennia) of continuous looting and polluting we have finally reached the end of the line.

        There is NO recognition of that fact anywhere in the political establishment and all so-called planning is predicated on mathematical, geological, chemical and physical impossibilities. Which is exactly what one would expect from a system set up by and run by criminals and clowns.\, the banking system being legalised crime.

        If you have any doubts about what I have written, I suggest you read the Climate Commission’s proposals for dealing with Planetary Meltdown: it’s almost entirely bollocks from start to finish, and includes numerous mutually-exclusive statements, including proposals for making hydrogen from natural gas (a CO2 emitting process) in order replace natural gas, as a means to reduce carbon emissions.

        I have no doubt in my mind that pointing out such chemical impossibilities to the Climate Commission is futile because the Climate Commissions mandate is to keep the masses believing the system has a future when it doesn’t, and scientific realities do not fit with that agenda.

        Thus we are headed straight off the cliff, led by banker-subservient liars and fools, with the US very likely first to fall off the cliff edge… probably later this year, 65 years after the first explicit warning was given by an eminent oil geologist M King Hubbert (the warning unheeded, of course).

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