Australia on ANZUS

January 1st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Greg Ansley at NZ Herald reports on some interesting Australian views during the US and NZ stand off on nuclear ships.

“Several Nato and Asean countries have said to us that, while disturbed by New Zealand’s policies, they regard the Americans as having over-reacted and as running the risk of creating a ‘laager’ mentality in New Zealand,” it said.

This is basically correct. The NZ policy was wrong, yet the US reaction was over the top.

Canberra did not accept New Zealand’s belief that it was not affected by a global superpower threat and that regional security did not require a nuclear capability.

With more than 40 per cent of its combat ships nuclear-powered – and “almost all would assuredly be nuclear-capable” – the US could not be expected to maintain two navies, one for global security and another for regional stability.

A fair view.

The Cabinet was reminded that the (former) Soviet Union was trying to gain a foothold in the Pacific and had turned New Zealand’s policies to its propaganda advantage.

The USSR was delighted by the policy. It weakened the western alliance, and gave them hope the West would crumble. As it turned out, it was the USSR which crumbled as it was unable to keep pace with the West.

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22 Responses to “Australia on ANZUS”

  1. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    “The USSR was delighted by the anti-nuclear policy. It weakened the western alliance, and gave them hope the West would crumble.”

    The west is crumbling, and China is building nuclear submarines like there is no tomorrow.

    And as China increases its influence in Fiji and other South Pacific regions-

    “Current Prime Minister John Key promised in 2006 that “the nuclear-free legislation will remain intact” for as long as he is the leader of the National Party.”

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  2. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    The Pax Americana means there are no consequences when Kiwis behave like stupid spoiled brats.

    Thanks America.

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    But there were consequences – we now have a far less capable defence force than we did thirty years ago.

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  4. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    NZ should follow the Swiss model: a small professional army and a highly armed population.

    Machine guns for everyone.

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  5. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    As it turned out, it was the USSR which crumbled as it was unable to keep pace with the West.

    And now it is the West that is crumbling with its decadant aging populations, commitment to non fecund homosexual marriage, infrastructure kept running by importing workers from the third world and paying for it all with borrowed money.

    Emma Maersk, the biggest container ship in the world on its maiden voyage sailed from China to the once Great Britain full of Christmas tack that Brits for Brits to buy on the plastic. It then loaded up with recyclable garbage to be taken back to China to be turned into Christmas tack for the next holiday season – says it all.

    When Americans go into space they go in Russian Rockets, the mighty USA no longer having the ability to put a man into space and that says it all too.

    I could go on …..

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  6. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    …. yet the US reaction was over the top

    With respect, that is crap. The US simply downgraded our relationship from ‘ally’ to ‘friend’. What they should have done was to withdraw all diplomatic relations and immediately impose a total economic embargo on NZ. The arrogant effrontery and treacherous actions of Lange & co were breathtaking, after the USA had saved our arses only some 40 years previously. I was amazed at the time that NZ was able to get away with it. Don’t forget that at the time the USSR had thousands of nukes aimed at the USA (and vice versa). For this and other reasons I think the early ’80s will go down in history as the time that this country started accelerating down off its first world status; a degeneration which shows no sign to date of being reversed.

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  7. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @Dave Mann
    So you are saying NZ is in financial trouble today because of it’s anti-nuke stance…. WTF?

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  8. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    No Lance I’m not saying that at all. If you read my comment you’ll see that I think the anti nuclear policy was ONE of the indicators…. not the WHOLE story.

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  9. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    “The NZ policy was wrong” uh oh, that’s some serious heresy there. Next thing you’ll be defending baby formula.

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  10. kowtow (8,468 comments) says:

    The anti nuclear policy was Soviet policy. Anti American nuclear,Soviet nuclear was always OK with their stooges in the west.

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  11. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    LOL Dave Mann thinks Americans saved the world from the brink of total destruction in WWII. I think you’ll find that the Manhattan Project was primarily a ‘European’ affair instigated by European scientists.

    Your isolation policy ensured that while every other major power was engaged in war or preparing for it, you were preoccupied with handing out cash loans and selling the latest weaponry. You were able to build an economy fit for a long war. The rest of us were not so fortunate.

    And you have the cheek to accuse New Zealand of arrogance and treachery? holy cricket!

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  12. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    New Zealand, wrong then, wrong now.

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  13. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,615) Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 2:14 am

    New Zealand, wrong then, wrong now.

    Then matey we should’ve shot Muldoon back in 59′, but we don’t do that anymore. The past can be dragged through whatever mud we want but nothing we say will change the physical events that happened.

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  14. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    New Zealand’s policy was enacted in the 1980’s after the Americans placed nuclear weapons in Europe. It was a corollory to oppostion of nuclear tests in the South Pacific. A nuclear free Pacific policy.

    It was part of other campaigns – such as for a Europe free of foreign nuclear weapons. The call for withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Europe led to the decision to remove all foreign nuclear weapons from Europe – American and Russian. So it hardly be said that the “peace movement” was a Russian front, when the Russians removed their own weapons.

    Also the western campaign led to one in Eastern Europe for Russina ground troops to go as well – and this lead to the Berlin Wall falling.

    Given what happened in Europe, New Zealand’s position was only truly exceptional in including nuclear powered ships.

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  15. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    And the ban on nuclear-powered ships was the most irrational and foolish part of the policy.

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  16. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    New Zealand built its clean green (100% pure) brand on the back of the nuclear free policy.

    In arguing for the case that we would bear unacceptable risks to our isolated environment and the resource economy derived from it, we have exploited the nuclear free policy to brand the country a nation apart from the rest of the world.

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  17. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    SPC: your claim that Lange’s anti western alliance policy lead to similar moves behind the iron curtain is delusional. Former Soviet generals and eastern European dissidents have testified that is was the Reagan/Thatcher hard-line policies of containment that spent Gorbachev into submission. The greatest “peace movement” of the 1980s was the movement of Cruise and Pershing II missiles to western Europe.

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  18. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    SPC – I’m not so sure that the nuclear free policy helped our clean green brand. I recall a study published in the 1990’s that showed that the term “New Zealand” was strongly associated with the term “nuclear” in key Asian tourist markets… without any other association. That is, they remembered NZ had something to do with nuclear, but not whether it was a negative or positive association. Not exactly a great outcome.

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  19. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,570 comments) says:

    Ha. Only Andrei (and his closested friends RB, LM and Fletch) would suggest the distintegration of the west is down to homosexuality. The earth has survived since evolution with all sorts of homosexual mammal and non mammals and we’re all still here.

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  20. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Camryn, you may be right regarding Asia, but I was thinking more of in the USA and Europe, where the (no nuclear powered ships or weapons) policy was understood as in part one based on protecting the natural environment.

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  21. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Steve Wrathall, what a simplistic propoganda buying understanding of the events, the call for a Europe and a South Pacific free of foreign nuclear weapons was a necessary declaration of what people wanted.

    This meant an alternative to a military build up to contain Russia was the choice of the people amde manifest. Sure, getting the Russians to want it too involved the USA placing missiles into Europe to gain leverage in negotiations. But once that was done – Russian hawks could agree when Gorbachov offered to withdraw their missiles from Eastern Europe in return for American missiles being withdrawn.

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  22. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    Which is all very well, but the Cold War is long over, and US possession of nuclear weapons didn’t stop al Qaeda from attacking the Twin Towers and killing three thousand innocent civilians in cold blood. Moreover, it has left Russia and the United States with massive overkill in terms of their respective nuclear arsenals, which need to be reduced and decommissioned.

    And we now live in a multipolar world, and China is our second largest trading partner. Given its demographic volume, it may overtake Australia at some point, so we should really keep equidistant. Due to the fact that China has its own restive Muslim minority in Xinjiang, Sino-American perspectives converge on al Qaeda’s containment and neutralisation, but New Zealand needs to be prudent in its foreign policy and consider how Beijing will perceive any excessive reorientation toward the United States.

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