Labour wants 'impotent' armed forcesCultural Affairs
The effect of Labour's intention to 'radically restructure' the armed forces would effectively make New Zealand a non-participant in world affairs, Hon Marie Hasler, Deputy-Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committee, said today.
"Some Australian leaders already see New Zealand as a 'grasping country' in matters of security and Labour's plans would only confirm this perception," Ms Hasler said.
"Although Miss Clark accuses New Zealand of having a 'cold war mentality', it is in fact Miss Clark whose mind is still dominated by the anti-American sentiments of the cold war era.
"A stark reality of today is, that it is a very disorderly world with conspicuous and destructive conflicts from Kosivo to Chechnya, Papua New Guinea to East Timor, and other dangerous tensions throughout Asia.
"War is an inevitable part of the human condition. If this is not so, exactly why does Miss Clark find peacekeeping forces necessary at all. Peacekeeping forces are, after all, highly trained, disciplined and armed military personnel, and presuppose the existence of standing armies and navies.
"The whole essence of our defence strategy should be as a partner of, and contributor to our traditional alliances with Australia and the United States," Ms Hasler said.