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NZDF ‘Crisis’ An Opportunity To Abolish The Military

“The NZDF is attempting to secure massive funding increases by claiming they are in crisis over personnel and equipment. This so-called ‘crisis’ is contrived to extract more money out of the new government. NZ already spends more than $15 million a day on the military,” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“The purpose of the NZDF is to fight wars. So we really need to ask: who is New Zealand going to fight and why? The US government is pushing for conflict with China, but that is definitely not something we want. It would be devastating for all of us.”

“We have a real opportunity now to abolish the NZDF and rethink our approach to national security and defence. Instead of funneling billions of dollars to weapons companies, we should be funneling billions of dollars into our public health and education systems, building state houses and providing urgently needed climate resilience aid to our Pacific whānau.”

“New Zealand is not going to be invaded militarily. Instead, the NZDF is most often called upon to contribute to US-led military escapades with horrific consequences.”

“US wars of the past 50 years from Vietnam to Afghanistan have been unmitigated disasters. Millions of innocent people have been slaughtered and the world has been made a less peaceful and stable place. The NZDF has contributed to that instability as is evidenced by the war crimes they committed in Afghanistan.”

Tellingly, former Defence Minister Andrew Little, speaking in August 2023, identified “climate change, terrorism, cyberattacks, transnational crime, mis and disinformation, and competition in our region,” as major threats to New Zealand, none of which are the domain of the NZDF.

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“It is a myth that war solves anything. Wars benefit weapons dealers, war profiteers and authoritarian regimes at the expense of everyone else. We need only to look at the horror in Gaza to see that there will be no lasting solutions for Palestinians or Israelis. Instead, we have new and bigger problems.”

“In November 2023, the Ministry of Defence closed a request for information about replacing nearly the entire naval fleet including buying new frigates. The government gave global weapons giant Lockheed Martin $700 million to upgrade the frigates, Te Mana and Te Kaha, and the latter has only just been returned. Now they want to buy new ones. This insanity never ends until we choose a different path, one that doesn’t require we funnel billions of dollars to companies that profit from killing people.”

Professor Richard Jackson, Griffin Leonard and Joseph Llwellyn of The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, at the University of Otago, have written Abolishing the Military - Arguments and Alternatives. The book provides us a clear picture of why abolishing the military is a real and viable option. We can and should take the opportunity provided by this 'crisis' to forge a different path.

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