Many anti-nuclear reasons to oppose AUKUS

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There are multiple reasons for nuclear-free New Zealanders to be upset about Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Much of the commentary has focused on the exclusion of such vessels from New Zealand waters under our nuclear-free legislation.

However, that legislation was not just to free our territory of nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons, but to provide an example that the rest of the world could follow.

From that perspective, Australia’s purchase of nuclear-powered submarines runs in the wrong direction.

Australia says it has no plans to arm the new subs with nuclear warheads, but that could change.  Its partners, Britain and the US, have nuclear-armed submarine fleets.  Chinese commentators have warned that Australia could become a nuclear target if there was ever any doubt as to whether its subs were nuclear-armed.

New Zealand has long championed nuclear disarmament and  was an early signatory of the 1975 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The AUKUS deal violates Article 3 of that treaty, by enabling two nuclear weapons states (the US and UK) to transfer highly enriched uranium to a non-nuclear weapons state (Australia).  Up until now, only weapons grade fissionable material will work in the American-designed ship reactors.

To moderate any offence taken in Washington and Canberra, our Prime Minister said that “we welcome the increased engagement of the UK and the US in our region.”  But surely when it is military engagement it’s the last thing we need in the South Pacific.

New Zealand was a driving force behind the 1985 South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, which envisaged a peaceful Pacific, free of nuclear weapons and nuclear pollution.  It is not in the spirit of the Treaty to have nuclear-powered (and likely nuclear-armed)  submarines buzzing around our region.

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Unfortunately, even though New Zealand is not a member of AUKUS, it is being dragged into a new Cold War with China, which has a nuclear dimension.  New Zealand is spending $2.3 billion on four American P8 Poseidon surveillance planes, optimised to detect and kill enemy [read Chinese] submarines.  Currently the frigate Te Kaha and the tanker Aotearoa are on  their way to join  the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and Australian warships for 5-Power war games in the South China Sea. China is not going to be too happy.

This not what a nuclear-free, peacemaking country should be doing.  If we want to be truly independent we should break free of our military subordination to the AUKUS nations: United States, Britain and Australia.

27 COMMENTS

  1. 1. The 4 surveillance planes purpose is to detect the presence of nuclear armed subs in the South Pacific – which is the only way we can give credibility to the idea of a nuclear free South Pacific.

    2. There has been a decision on the matter of the South China Sea “aircraft carriers/atolls/artificial islands” and it it did not go China’s way – and they have said they will not abide by the international law ruling.

    We either side with the collective security of nations, and rule of international law, or we do not.

    3. The purpose of the proposed 8 Oz subs, not the 12 ordered from France, is to operate for longer periods of time at sea. Their intended purpose would be to the north (in support of the US in that theatre), unless our planes detected Chinese activity in the South Pacific.

    4. The chance of Oz getting nuclear weapons in the next 20 years is about zero, about the same as acquiring that capability without the public finding out – so any Chinese inference otherwise is absurd.

  2. Just as Japan tried to dominate the Pacific in the 30’s and 40’s so too is China today . . and Australia are correct in recognising this treat and looking to do something about it.
    We had a Japanese submarine (i-25) off the coast and it’s seaplane flying over Auckland in 1942 and again we are just leaving ourselves open to the same vulnerability again (but this time more so).

    • Every time I hear misleading rhetoric like yours I just roll my eyes, so I won’t waste one more breath, except advising you to check out John Pilgers “The Coming War with China”! Its not China that has 800 US Military Bases in over 80 Countries, its not China who surrounds America with 40 Military Bases but America does this to China?

      • You can roll your eyes as much as you want KiwiAntz . . I have written a masters thesis on this very subject in the past and it is not the US that is threatening to nuke it’s neighbours / trying to restrict access to international maritime trade routes / operating concentration camps.
        Also I think you will find that it is in fact “The Coming War On China” / that it is already 5 years old / Pilger is far from impartial.

        • Bullshit, the US had no reason to nuke Japan, the War in the Pacific was already won at that Stage, Truman did it, not to save American lives & shorten the War, but to send a message to Russia that the US had doomsday weapons of mass destruction & were are prepared to use them! In fact Plans by Churchill & Truman were made to nuke Russia not long after Japan, but those plans were thwarted when Russia developed it’s own Nukes to scupper those idiotic Plans! That’s the reward Russia got for saving the Allies from Hitler & sacrificing 23 million of its own people in the war effort to save Europe & England from the Nazi’s! And so what if the Pilgers Doco is 5 yrs old, the points made by Pilger have been confirmed as prophetic & more relevant than ever in 2021! Chris Hedges is another Journalist who will inform you about the coming collapse of the US Empire, but if you want to believe your own nonsense propaganda there’s no convincing useful idiots!

          • “That’s the reward Russia got for saving the Allies from Hitler & sacrificing 23 million of its own people in the war effort to save Europe & England from the Nazi’s!”

            The only reason that the Russians were fighting the Germans is that Germany invaded Russia and prior to that they were allies happily carving up Poland between them.

          • The invasion of Japan would have taken a combined force that would have dwarfed the DDay landings, small island Nations like the UK, Japan, Taiwan and NZ have a huge advantage in that we can concentrate our forces. Maybe learn some history and look what happened in 1066.

            As for Submarine in NZ during WW2, Auckland had a submarine net from North Head to Bastion Point, which rumor has it stopped a submarine.

            My advice, leave the war fighting to war fighters and go worry yourselves about saving some special tree or something.

            https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/historic/by-region/north-head-self-guided-walk.pdf

            • Lindsay, in 1066 the invading force (i.e. the Normans) won so I am not sure what is the point you are trying to make?

              Unless you are referring to the earlier Battle of Stamford Bridge?

  3. Just as Japan tried to dominate the Pacific in the 30’s and 40’s so too is China today . . and Australia are correct in recognising this treat and looking to do something about it.
    We had a Japanese submarine (i-25) off the coast and it’s seaplane flying over Auckland in 1942 and again we are just leaving ourselves open to the same vulnerability again (but this time more so).

    • Well dear me, NZ could have been over-run by a submarine and its spotter plane in 1942???

      This is about as realistic as most of the disingenuous rubbish Mr Brown has contributed on this topic. Which has more relevance, the verifiable information provided by KiwiAntz or the dubious claims of the person who, if really a one time academic, should know better.

      • Well the Germans sunk a number of ships in & around NZ waters in both world wars by surface action & laying Mines.

        The Japanese I Boat & it’s Recon Plane was trying to locate the Joint USN/ Commonwealth Navy Task Force & USMC Landing Force which was heading for the Solly’s which they just miss by a couple of days. Had the Japs found them in NZ, then that midget sub that happened in Sydney would happen here in NZ’s instead.

        Btw PNG & the Solly’s protects Australia’s Nth East Approaches & the Sth Pacific which NZ protects Australia’s Eastern & Southern Seaboard.

  4. Right on Keith. Your last paragraph nails it. But…it won’t happen. Our stupid Western/Christian empire cannot tolerate a cheeky newcomer and , as history shows, a declining empire is more dangerous than a rising one. So we will continue destroying everything in the name of “our” god.

  5. The tIme of peace treaties and peaceful co-existence is just about over. Haven’t you heard the war drums thumping ? Yeah yeah we moronically go out on a limb by turning our backs on our allies and friends. What does that tell everybody ? That NZ appeases China ?

    Just watch us get steamrolled at a later date.

  6. Ok Keith answer this,

    Just how you propose the NZDF to Enforce the EEZ in peacetime and be able To Defend, To Protect, To Deny access to NZ’s Sea Lanes of Communications when it becomes a 2 Way Range from either side because NZ is a Export led Economy ie if can’t Export then it can’t import?

    The NZDF struggles to do this within its current Concept Of Operations and even within it current funding. Using fancy words and being Non aligned isn’t going to jack shit at Protecting, Defending Denying, Deter or even Enforcing NZ’s EEZ.

    Unless NZ is prepared To Defend, To protect, To Deny, To Deter & To Enforce its EEZ and its SLOC. Then has to increase its funding to the RNZAF & RNZN or someone or some country is going to make that decision for NZ. I personally don’t like taking a pineapple up the ass had 25+ yrs of that from Officers and from very dumb short sighted Politicians like you & your Cohort, as I rather go down swinging as the world doesn’t owe little old NZ a living or a single cent! Remember what happen to NZ in 87 or have you forgotten about as well? When the Frogs didn’t honour its word, So do expect a one party country like China or the failed democracy of the US to keep its word?

    What happen last Thursday has became the real deal, it’s the shit sandwich that was slowly heading towards NZ and has arrived a lot sooner than expected.

    NZ from now on is likely to see more Foreign Subs, Spy Ships and other various Ships in NZ’s Area Of Influence incl its EEZ more likely in our Nth East- Eastern & Southern Side of our EEZ. Which NZ hasn’t seen since WW2 when the Germans (DKM) & IJN operated in NZ Waters when they under took offensive operations ie sinking Ships & or laying Sea Mines & undertaking Aerial Reconnaissance of Auckland & Wellington Harbour’s.

    Why? Because NZ protects Australia’s Eastern & Southern Seaboard, just like PNG & the Solly’s protects Australia’s Nth East Sea Approaches.

    Unlike you, I’ve done real Peacekeeping from Sth Sudan to my 1st in East Timor with INTERFET, I remember you & Mark on doing tour in Timor-Leste. Because you two didn’t inspire us with confidence & the both of you looked out of touch with reality when the shit gets real like last Thursday morning. As your romantic idealism that people & Nations will up the International Rules Base & the Useless Nations will protect NZ is a complete load bullocks. Because my own idealism of the social justice/ socialist values that I was brought up & the oral history of Grandma Families from NZ, Canada & UK went outdoors after INTERFET

    A couple of Navy History lessons for everyone to read up on, the Sth West Pacific Naval Battles were a very close run affairs for the IJN and the Allies. My NZ Great Uncle was up that way during the War with the NZ Army btw.

  7. “However, that legislation was not just to free our territory of nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons, but to provide an example that the rest of the world could follow.”

    That went well didn’t it.

  8. The torrent of misinformation and propaganda around China is led by the White House (Adrian Zenz), the UK government (BBC) and the Australian government (ASPI).
    I agree with KiwiAntz on the overwhelming evidence that the US has and always will be the aggressor in the dangerous and violent game of geopolitical power.
    The KISS theory should always be applied to any strategy employed by the US and its allies.
    China’s inevitable rise to being the no 1 economy in the world is seen by the US and its allies as unacceptable and a threat to “world order” according to their empirical playbook.
    The last G7 saw an indignant Biden rhetorically condemn China with his cold war poison.
    This surprised the Europeans sitting at the table but was supported by his closest allies who now make up AUKUS.
    NATO head Jens Stoltenberg followed shortly after with his “global security threat” statement.
    With the challenges facing mankind today undiplomatic brinkmanship will only makes matters worse.
    Thank you for your posting Keith.

  9. Shut the fuck up! You know nothing loser!
    Here you are bashing on your friends, who are just trying to stick up for themselves while China massively expands its nuclear arsenal, has created the largest Navy on the planet and threatens others with nuclear annihilation. YET YOU SAY NOTHING! You know what the problem is, your a religions fanatic, instead of worshiping some imaginary person, your god is the dollar. Going on about NZ nuclear proliferation like you know anything, there was once a time where NZ would have taken command of the UK’s nuclear strike capabilities if the worst ever happened. Obviously when you have an extremists like Ardern in charge, you can’t give her even the most basic capabilities because she uses them on her own people. If you love China so much, why don’t you go a visit, im sure they would love a conformist follower like yourself.

      • Don’t worry James ,,,, the person making loony statements such as ,,, “extremists like Ardern” ,,, is all yours.

        Well she’s 100% on your side ,,, in fact she’s probably more on your side than you are.

        P.s East Timor want’s to know where the Billions in aid went ,,,,, did you and the Aussies piss it away in brothels? ,,,, apparently ‘peace-keepers’ left more than a few bastard children behind too.

        Job well done and now you can go work for the Indonesian generals who plundered East Timor ,,,,, you could act as security and shoot anyone trying to organise a union on a Palm Kernel plantation.

        …. and still have time to warn us about China in your spare time.

        • “P.s East Timor want’s to know where the Billions in aid went ,,,,, did you and the Aussies piss it away in brothels?

          You are asking if I personally pissed away billions in brothels in East Timor?

          If so then I can safely say that no I didn’t . . I am sure that is something that I would remember.

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