‘The world is bloody messy’: Jacinda Ardern urges end to ‘black-and-white’ view of global conflict
The world is “bloody messy” but must take a step back from polarisation and black-and-white approaches to conflict, Jacinda Ardern has said in a wide-ranging speech in which she addressed the war in Ukraine and rising tensions with China.
In a speech to foreign policy thinktank the Lowy Institute in Sydney, the New Zealand prime minister decried Russia’s “morally bankrupt” war in Ukraine – but also argued against the hardening of alliances, saying that the war should not be presented as a conflict of “democracy v autocracy” or be seen as an inevitable direction for other tensions between competing nations.
“In taking every possible action to respond to Russia’s aggression and to hold it to account, we must remember that fundamentally this is Russia’s war,” she said.
“And while there are those who have shown overt and direct support … who must also see consequences for their role, let us not otherwise characterise this as a war of the west vs Russia. Or democracy v autocracy. It is not.
“Nor should we naturally assume it is a demonstration of the inevitable trajectory in other areas of geostrategic contest.”
We must always be prepared to dialogue, and that is our strength, but we can’t deny the reality that our benign strategic environment hasn’t suddenly become a lot less benign.
If we are serious about an Independent Foreign Policy, we have to accept it is going to cost us a lot more.
Labour understand that…
Government to review defence policy amid Covid-19, geopolitical competition, climate change
Defence Minister Peeni Henare has launched a review of defence policy that could reshape New Zealand’s military.
In an announcement on Thursday, Henare said the Government wanted to ensure the Defence Force was “fit for purpose” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, intensifying great power competition, and escalating climate change.
Cabinet asked the defence agencies to write a new defence policy and strategy statement, due in October 2022. A statement looking at “future force design principles” is due April 2023. The prior Strategic Defence Policy Statement was produced by the Labour-coalition Government in 2018.
“The importance of this review is paramount so that we can make sure future investments are fit for purpose in a post Covid-19 environment, a Pacific region grappling with climate change and the intensification of strategic competition, and a world which is seeing a brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” Henare said.
…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 1.5% 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.
We also have the geopolitics of it.
With China building a forward military base that could cut America off…
China-Solomon Islands deal: China could cut New Zealand, Australia off from US military support – Professor Anne-Marie Brady
A Chinese politics specialist has called the deal between the Solomon Islands and China a “game-changer” saying New Zealand could be cut-off US military support.
…the real danger here is the Chinese Fishing Militia that will use it as a base to raid deep into fisheries.
We need to protect our fisheries.
I maintain we must have an independent foreign policy and that our stance must be friend to all, enemy to none, but we will urgently need to protect what is ours and acknowledge how the climate crisis will demand more civil emergency infrastructure and assets.
We need a complete review of our defence force and massive increase in spending while maintaining our soft power influence.
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