Libertarianz Defence Policy Release Reposting

Published: Sun 14 Nov 1999 05:14 PM
Peter Cresswell
Libertarianz Media Coordinator
PART 1/3
Does New Zealand Need a Defence Force?
"Libertarianz holds that the provision of a defence organisation to protect
against the use of military force against New Zealand is part of the proper
function of government," says their Defence Spokesman Robert Winefield
today. "That is, that the government exists to prevent the use of force
against individuals within that nation, and the protection against foreign
invasion is one important aspect of that."
Note that the proposed Libertarianz constitution, available on our web site,
bans the use of conscription and stops the military from operating against
NZ citizens.
Does New Zealand Need a Defence Force?
History has shown that the most militarily aggressive nations are those with
totalitarian or authoritarian governments. Examining an Atlas, we find that
New Zealand is an island nation with its Southern, Northern, and Eastern
flanks protected by Antarctica and the vast South Pacific Ocean. In these
directions there are no such nations, and our Western flank is protected by
a benevolent Australia. It is because of this that many New Zealanders
believe that we do not need a defence force at all. After all, any invading
army must come by sea and it must be big enough to occupy a territory almost
as large as the British Isles. The only overtly militaristic nations with
amphibious forces large enough for the task are Indonesia, China, Russia and
possibly India. All of which would have to come through or round Australia
first to threaten us directly.
Unfortunately, this is a view almost Napoleonic in its outlook. Two lessons
from history serve to demonstrate this point:
On the 8th of December, 1941, New Zealand felt safe from harm. On that day
in Singapore and across the International Dateline at Pearl Harbour,
Japanese pre-emptive military strikes began a campaign which brought
Australia within a hair's breadth of becoming a battleground. Had that
happened, New Zealand, too, would have been directly attacked, as Darwin
was. It took six months, more or less, for a modern military force to
advance across a hemisphere of the globe. Since then, innovations in
military technology have continued apace until in 1991, the fourth largest
army in the world was vaporised before a prime time TV audience in about 100
Military campaigns have been increasing exponentially in ferocity and
velocity throughout the 20th Century and show every indication of continuing
to do so in the 21st. But military forces which took part in The Gulf War
of1991 took much longer to train; this is why we need a standing defence
force: It takes longer to train a competent defence force than it does for a
(previously "impossible") crisis to arise.
PART 2/3
What Sort of Defence Policy Do We Need?
Defence Policy, Main Points:
1) Renegotiate all existing defence treaties.
2) Negotiate complete withdrawal from any current UN Peace Keeping Missions.
Introduce legislation preventing NZ Defence Forces from serving in future UN
Peace Keeping Missions.
3) Enter into mutual defence treaties only with Free Societies.
Such defence treaties will only permit the committing of military forces if
the rightful territories of ourselves or our treaty partners come under
unprovoked attack or verified threat of imminent military action by a third
nation. Said treaties will specifically include the right to use pre-emptive
force should a third party be shown to be preparing to attack.
4) Realign defence spending.
We recognise four key areas in the Defence Forces: the Intelligence
Services, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army. Because the threat to New
Zealand is low at present, a largely part-time military built around a small
cadre of professionals is all that is required. In fact, there is little
wrong with the current size of New Zealand's military forces - they just
need to be properly equipped.
5) Restructure Intelligence Services
We believe that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. This means having a
credible intelligence service with the specific role of monitoring foreign
military activities. Libertarianz would review the Military Intelligence arm
of the NZ Defence Forces (NZDF) with a view to improving the capability to
monitor the movements and strength of likely foreign aggressors in our
region. Such funding would include the Listening Stations currently based in
our country and re-establishing links with previous allies.
Individuals worried about government eavesdropping on internal
communications should note that Libertarianz would not prevent private
ownership of the latest and best encryption technology as the United States
and other countries do.
We will not set up our intelligence forces like the secret private armies
depicted in cinematic portrayals of the CIA, MI-5, et al. The simple
objective is to reduce the likelihood of a surprise attack, similar in
effect to Pearl Harbour.
6) Remove all legal obstacles which would otherwise impede individual
citizens from fighting as mercenaries in foreign territories in support of
foreign causes.
PART 3/3
What Sort of Defence Force Do We Need?
It is apparent from a study of an Atlas and a review of military logistics
that there are three main types of overt military action that could be waged
against New Zealand:
1) some form of aerial or naval interdiction;
2) aerial bombardment; or
3) amphibious invasion.
Thus the combat component of the Defence Forces will be arranged to respond
to these three forms of attack.
History has shown that it is always easier to defeat an army while embarked
at sea than when deployed on land. Combine this with the fact that aircraft
were the decisive weapons in all the major naval battles after World War I
and it is obvious that the best defence against amphibious invasion is a
well-equipped Air Force. Thus, the Air Force should assume the role as the
premier arm of the Defence Forces. We would replace the Skyhawks with an
effective, modern multi-role combat aircraft which could carry out airborne
interception, ground support and maritime strike.
(1) that a modern jet fighter can carry a payload similar in size to that
carried by four engined bombers in WWII. A F/A-18 E or F model fighter
bomber can carry four Harpoon Anti ship missiles, equivalent to that carried
on the Perry Class Frigates the Navy is considering as alternatives to the
(2) That most militaries buy equipment in 15-20 year cycles, so the newer
the equipment the longer its physical and military effectiveness will last.
(3) The training and salaries given to personal are probably the biggest
expenditure in the defence budget, mainly because of the short service
time -the military is almost continually training recruits. An airforce of 2
squadrons of fighter aircraft compares favourably to trying to equip a
battalion of infantry and maintain it at full strength with trained troops.
(4) It is Libertarianz' intention to keep service troops on a volunteer
basis to ensure that any NZ government seeking to deploy our troops overseas
for long periods of time would need to mobilise the volunteer service
troops, providing yet another impediment to an expansionist government.
Remember that Clinton should not have been able to go to war with Bosnia
without getting approval from the Senate and Congress as the constitution
stipulates, but he easily subverted that problem. However the percentage of
volunteer service troops allowed in each service will be lowest in the
airforce fighter squadrons because they are the first line of defence]
(5) The Navy's most effective role is maritime escort, oceanic patrol and
anti-submarine warfare. None of these roles can effectively be carried out
around the clock by land-based air units, and so helicopter-equipped
frigates will continue to be favoured for this role. This is actually the
only reason the "Frigate" class of warships exist, to carry helicopters and
destroy submarines. Every other nation uses heavier, more costly, more
populated destroyers and cruisers for surface/anti-air warfare. To this end,
we would buy a third and fourth frigate to replace our ageing Leander Class
fleet. We believe that the ANZAC/Meko class frigates are perfect for this
role. Chief among their assets are the fact they are capable of rapid
modification, should the need arise. We believe that the frigates need only
be prepared to receive weapons such as long-range SAMs and ASMs while the
threat of naval warfare is so low.
(6) The Army should have the lowest procurement priority and thus it would
be the last service modernised. This is simply because the withdrawal from
UN operations and our determination to defeat an enemy before they reach our
shores leaves the Army with a minor role in defence for the moment. Thus, in
the short-term, only urgently needed equipment would be purchased. In the
longer term, dependent on the terms of our mutual defence treaties, the Army
will be reorganised and re-equipped so that its infantry battalions and
artillery regiments are at full strength and equipped to levels found in
European/American light infantry battalions. It should be emphasised here
that the Army shall contain the largest proportion of part-time personnel to
lower the cost of mobilising a large defence force. We would also seriously
investigate reorganising a portion of the Army to create a credible
mechanised force based on a model similar to the US Army's Armoured Cavalry
Regiment. This is due to the overwhelming evidence from history that shows
mechanised forces can defeat larger armies quickly and with a minimum of
(7) It is possible then that the army may have its personnel numbers
reduced, but their firepower and mobility drastically increased. Coupled
with the fact that private gun ownership will not be suppressed, this would
provide a land defence capability far superior to our current arrangement,
where the NZ army is basically designed to do UN peace keeping missions.

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