NZ Left Out of the AUKUS Military Initiative

Credit: Original article can be found here

NZ Left Out of the AUKUS Military Initiative that was Not
Formed for Defence

By Mark Rais

The recently
announced military alliance between the United States, the
United Kingdom, and the government of Australia is related
to strategic and vital sales of naval weapons capability and
not a unique new defence strategy.

There is
significant rhetoric whereby some New Zealand media are
calling for an end to our nuclear policy to ensure we are
not left out of these military alliances. The recent remarks
go so far as to suggest that New Zealand being left out of
the AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) alliance poses a threat to our
safety.

To these particular idealists I submit that
neither the United States nor Australia have any documented
plans to provide military protection for New Zealand in the
event of a regional conflict or direct invasionary
threat.

This is based on the strategic principal
whereby any expansive conflict that involves New Zealand
directly, would have already engaged both the United States
and Australia.

The belief that during theatre wide
conflict either nation will redirect operational forces to
assist New Zealand is naïve at best. Their own strategic
initiatives would focus on aggressively confronting enemy
forces at their homelands or countering any engagement
against existing strategic posts, seen as essential for
winning the war.

Therefore, it is a more reasonable
strategic position for New Zealand to posture as primarily
neutral, and not engage in any direct conflict — given both
its military expenditure levels and the likelihood that a
regional Pacific conflict will immediately be robust and
multinational.

The United States has and will likely
continue to call on New Zealand SoG community and other
specialised services if and when needed. This has been and
continues to be a more strategic and functional
cooperation.

Moreover, if a regional conflict were to
break out, it is conceivable that New Zealand being excluded
from the AUKUS military alliance potentially offers a better
opportunity for defence and de-escalation.

A
superficial review of the primary players in the South
Pacific region, including Japan and the Philippines, helps
to contextualise the vastness and intensity of any regional
conflict, were it to break out.

There is little
possibility that any direct military engagement in this part
of the world would remain minor. The AUKUS alliance
validates this further, as regional players are
significantly expanding military weapons systems and
capability.

Nearly all of the regional players in the
South Pacific are armed substantially for prolonged
war.

Perhaps the question should not be why New
Zealand was left out of the recently announced AUKUS
(Australia, UK, US) military initiative.

Instead the
question to raise is what will be New Zealand and Canada’s
role as international players going forward? Will they use
this as an opportunity to redefine their roles as more
neutral nations, or instead be drawn into the growing
rhetoric that prefaces war?

Other Scoop articles by
Mark Rais:

· Clash of Super Powers in an Age
of Global Conflict

· Leaders disparage NZ
Covid response while their citizens die

Mark
Rais is the creator of the think tank Trend Analysis
Network, writer for the technology and science industry and
volunteer senior editor for an on-line magazine. He has
published several books and written numerous articles on the
topics of macro-economics, technology and
society.

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