Saturday, January 12, 2008

ZenTiger Outright Lies #6: Cut Defence Spending

[From Sir Humphreys Archives - with updates]
The Greens are claiming the EB brochures are filled with outright lies. I'm having a look at the claims, one by one, to see how the EB may have formed their opinion.

Outright Lie #6: Cut defence spending by 50% and disarm our forces

Let's cut to the chase. Keith Locke said this at a Green Party Conference:
The Green Party has announced at its annual conference that it will campaign to halve spending on defence from $1.6 billion to $800 million. "We see this cut as a 'peace dividend' providing much-needed money for social and environmental projects," said Green Party Defence Spokesperson Keith Locke, speaking at the party's annual conference in Wellington this weekend.

"The saving will come from disbanding the offensive capacity of the Defence Force.

"We'll save $650 million by removing the frigates, their support ship Endeavour, and the air strike force.

"Another $70 million can be saved by disbanding the SAS and the expensive and irrelevant anti-submarine capacity in our air force and navy.

"A final $180 million could be saved in unifying the three services, eliminating duplication across the senior brass, and shifting the focus from big land operations to peacekeeping, civil defence, disaster relief and fisheries monitoring.
So that's pretty much a direct hit. On their web site, they had this snippet: To mark Hiroshima Day on the 6th of August '99 we launched a new web section on our Peace Dividend - our plan to save $800 million dollars by halving defence spending. What would you spend the money on? Hospitals and schools? [Source]

But to look at it another way, that was a press release from 1999, and they may have changed their policy? (And would this mean canceling their "Peace Dividend" projects ?)

A visit to the Green Policy List on their web site finds many policy statements, but NONE on Defence [as at Sep 2005]. On the issue of Home Security, they want to abolish the GCSB and close its two signals intelligence bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana. They have been on record being very happy dismantling our Strike Wing, resigning from the Sirius project:
"Why should we waste hundreds of millions of dollars equipping the Orions with a cutting-edge anti-submarine capability ... When did we last see a hostile submarine around New Zealand's coast?
It is a fair opinion, when speaking of defence capability, to use the term "disarm our forces" to put forward the idea that if our defence capability is wound down too much it will be almost useless. That is not to say a token defence force will not exist. The Greens use this very logic all the time: when the Greens say there will be no public transport under Brash (and JF pretty much said that recently), she was trying to get across the idea that Public Transport needed more money thrown in to improve it, and continuing with the same expenditure will leave a token transit system. That is opinion. And so is the EB statement that a decrease in spending will effectively disarm our defence capability. To refute their point by taking the meaning that they want to disband the armed forces completely is disingenuous. Apparently, they just want to hamstring it.

Ironically, Jeanette's rebuttal [source] could almost be considered an "outright lie":
We do not suggest disarming our forces. The "50%" claim is based on our 1999 opposition to National buying F16 fighters. Currently we support some refocussing of spending towards creating a civil defence, peacekeeping and resource protection capacity. We believe it is possible to phase-out the two frigates and introduce vessels more suited to the South Pacific, creating some savings. We also support raising New Zealand foreign aid budget almost three-fold, from the current 0.24% of GDP to 0.7% of GDP. If this package of Green ideas was implemented, the amount of money the Government spends on making the world a safer place (defence, peacebuilding, foreign aid) would not decrease.
The 50% claim wasn't just based on the F16 fighters, as I've proven. Note also, the Greens want to redefine what defence spending includes. They want to add in the cost of civil defence and foreign aid to the defence budget. They want to increase foreign aid threefold, and then add that in to the defence budget and call it "peace building" and therefore part of defence. I find this spin astounding. We all know "defence" is a euphemism for "attack", so to redefine defence spending as anything that makes the world safer, seems a little naive. Defence Capability is for the time the peace keeping initiatives fail Jeanette.

The next time Kiwi soldiers are asked to die for their country, we'll simply get them to throw bundles of cash at the enemy, thus averting another Hitler taking over the world.

Verdict: No real defence to this one. Greens are Guilty.

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Source: Greens to Halve Defence Spending

Related Link: Back to main post

3 comment(s):

MK said...

The stupidity of the greens never fails to amaze. It's the same thing here in OZ, i think they want some sort of bicycle army or something. What these retards don't understand is that without men with guns, planes and bombs, you can't have a schools, hospitals or a green head quarters to come up with stupid ideas.

Fortunately for us, it's only a few morons who'd vote for them, still too many in my opinion i think.

Nick C said...

"We'll save $650 million by removing the frigates"

Are these the same frigates they want to send to on a vigilante mission to hunt down some japaniese fishermen? Perhaps they should rethink their 'peace dividend' stance.

ZenTiger said...

It is Nick - rather ironic really.

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