Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

F-16 Cabinet Decision Due Today

The Prime Minister is expected to announce the Government’s decision to scrap the F-16 fighter deal at a press conference today.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has already telephoned American envoy Carole Moseley-Braun forewarning her of the imminent Cabinet decision, to ensure it comes as no surprise to the United States.

The Government has long signalled it wanted out of the deal to lease 28 F-16 A/B Strike aircraft which were to replace the country’s aging Skyhawk fleet. Ms Clark is expected to announce the decision after she airs the results of consultant Derek Quigley’s study on New Zealand defence today.

An American defence official has said the cost of pulling out of the deal, which would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars over a ten year period, was estimated at between $10-12 million.

While America had lined up other buyers for the air-craft, both Australia and American governments have asked for assurances New Zealand was not reducing it’s overall defence commitment.

Ms Clark has repeatedly said the Government would concentrate on re-equipping other sections of New Zealand defence forces, especially the army.

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley today called on Prime Minister Helen Clark to make it absolutely clear to New Zealanders whether the cancellation of the F-16 contract will mean a dramatic downgrading of New Zealand's strategic defence capability prior to discussion in Cabinet.

"If the Labour-Alliance minority Government is committing New Zealand to a future without an air strike capability, then it should be telling all New Zealanders," Mrs Shipley said.

"While it is the right of the Government to determine whether or not it wishes to proceed with the F-16 contract, it is a much more significant decision than the cancellation of one contract alone.

“Potentially, it will condemn New Zealand to no longer being able to stage a balanced force of air, naval and infantry capability,” she said.




© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On America’s ‘Green New Deal’

‘Socialism’ is more of a political scare word than an objective condition. Even in the US, as Nate Silver’s 538 website pointed out this week there is polling evidence that modern Americans are inclined to treat socialism as meaning ‘equality’ rather than the ‘government ownership or control’ that Americans understood the term to mean back in the 1940s... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nelson Fire And Climate Change

The Nelson fire has been a useful warning of things to come, given how climate change will (a) increase the likelihood of reduced rainfall and drought-like conditions in many parts of New Zealand, which – obviously – will raise (b) the fire danger and (c) the cost of providing the communities at risk with the enhanced firefighting capabilities that they’re going to need. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Listening To Ocasio-Cortez About Tax

In its attitudes to tax, New Zealand has been the last colonial outpost of Thatcherism. Change, however, may be in the air. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Exit From Afghanistan

To state the bleedingly obvious, US military forces have done a good deal of harm over the past 50 years from Central America to Asia to Africa. That history is now tending to obscure the harm that’s being done by the polar opposite impulse: American isolationism... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO: