About US lets NZ join military exercise
|August 16th, 2005||#1|
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US lets NZ join military exercise info
17 August 2005
By HANK SCHOUTEN
The United States has allowed New Zealand to join a combined military exercise off Singapore, signalling an apparent thaw in the Anzus defence standoff.
New Zealand and American forces are participating in a multi-national exercise this week, which is practising interception of ships carrying weapons of mass destruction.
Since the mid-1980s the US has barred New Zealand participation in joint exercises in retaliation for New Zealand's anti-nuclear law.
The only exceptions have been when the two countries are required to work together in preparation for operational military deployments, such as when frigates, Orions and army units have been deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom missions to Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf area.
US embassy spokeswoman Janine Burns said the US strongly supported New Zealand participation in the initiative, "so we issued a waiver to permit our military to exercise with the NZDF in this particular instance".
She was not aware whether a waiver had been issued before.
Victoria University Centre for Strategic Studies director Peter Cozens said the waiver was "extremely significant".
He said it was the first time he was aware of that such a waiver had been applied by the US Government.
"It illustrates a . . . closer government recognition of each other's position . . . Both parties – New Zealand and the US – would have had to talk about it. In this particular instance there is a benefit for both parties. It doesn't mean to say we'll have a similar one in the future, but it is a step in the right direction."
A US Navy destroyer is taking part in the exercise along with a New Zealand Air Force Orion patrol aircraft.
Australian, Japanese and British military are also involved in exercise Deep Sabre.
New Zealand Defence spokeswoman Sandy McKie understood New Zealand customs officers were also involved in the exercise along with customs staff from other countries.
She said the Orion was flying two maritime surveillance and interdiction flights.
The Australian military contribution includes a navy ship and customs vessel. The Westralia will perform the role of a target vessel suspected of transporting material for weapons of mass destruction.
Mr Cozens said the exercise showed that New Zealand and the US appreciated the need to work together in the region.
"I think it's a good sign for both governments and it signals to a broader clientele within the Indo-Pacific that New Zealand and the US are prepared to work and cooperate together for a great good."
Irrespective of any US difficulties in Iraq, "friends helped their friends out", he said.
Defence Minister Mark Burton declined to comment on whether it constituted an advance in military ties.
It was a regional exercise with many other parties and was aimed at stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, which New Zealand had long taken a strong position on.
The exercise coincides with the arrival of US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who is the highest-ranked American official to visit New Zealand since the Apec summit in Auckland six years ago.
Mr Johanns' arrival in Auckland this Sunday was confirmed yesterday by his New Zealand counterpart, Agriculture and Trade Minister Jim Sutton.
Mr Sutton said the visit would give Mr Johanns a close-up look at New Zealand's agriculture sector, particularly the dairy, meat and wool sectors.
Mr Johanns would meet Prime Minister Helen Clark during the two-day visit.
Visits by top-level American officials have been rare since the Anzus row, though some senior US senators and congressmen have made informal visits.
Mr Johann is stopping off on his way to Australia for agriculture talks.
|August 17th, 2005||#2|
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I don't know why the US can't respect another nation's sovereign right to make their own decision on Nuclear arms.
"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." - Norman Schwarskopf, Commander of Desert Storm Operations
|August 17th, 2005||#3|
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Lessening the distance between the US and New Zealand can only be a good thing. We should remember who has stood with us in the past and do what we can to encourage them to do so in the future.
I think the US should just let this issue drop about no-nukes in NZ. It is a very hard arguement to make that we don't want nukes in Iran or North Korea but we would set NZ aside because they don't want them. Granted, New Zealand is not a nation given to terrorism, but I think you can get my point nontheless.
|August 17th, 2005||#4|
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For years, Japan has had a no nukes law and didn't even allow nuclear powered vessels in their ports. I don't know if they still have the law but the US always respected their wishes.
“War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.”
—John Stuart Mill
|August 22nd, 2005||#5|
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\"SemperFi,Do Or Die!
What Makes The Grass Grow?
What Do We Do For A Living,Ladies? Kill,Kill,Kill!\".
|August 22nd, 2005||#6|
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We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
|August 22nd, 2005||#7|
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Xander, judging from your spelling/knowlage of this issue i'm guessing you may not be old enough to be the judge of whether NZ was a "better" place before David Lange.
and i fail to see how the odd US nuke Submarine would improve our society in ANY WAY AT ALL!