Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sincere congratulations to Messrs Key and Rudd and their respective governments with the news that their military Chiefs of Staff have been directed to explore the establishment of an ANZAC Ready Reaction Force in being.

Many of us have advocated such a move for years. Those of us who served with one of the ANZAC Battalions in Vietnam know the concept works. Many of us were trained in Australia; we share the same doctrine and, we have respect for each others abilities. But more to the point, New Zealand does not have the ability to deploy and sustain an infantry battalion in anything more than low intensity operations and that is a major problem. An ANZAC Ready Reaction Force would provide us with a much enhanced capability.

Key was at pains to point out that it does not mean that where Australia goes, we go too. I guess that in 90% of the time our positions will be in sync but there will be occasions where both countries might agree to disagree. That needs to be recognised.

There will be challenges to work through including the differences in pay and allowances and the fact that Australia will not be keen for New Zealand to freeload off them.

But the positives far, far, far outweigh the negatives and certainly for this old soldier it is a step in the right direction too long in the making.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Morning Veteran.

Did you see a Sky TV interview with Commodore Bainimarama about three months ago? It's there at Whaleoil's place. Apparently the Aussie CIC threatened him with dire consequences (military action) while the Kiwi CIC said something like 'Gday mate, how yer going.'

Are there a few more John Waynes across the ditch?

The Veteran said...

Yep Adolf, saw that. My understanding is that there is some debate about what was actually said at that meeting.

Certainly our Aust cousins have NEVER accepted the view espoused by 'herself' that "we live in a benign strategic environment" because we don't and, as our two countries move closer together in all manner of directions, it is both logical and practical that we explore the concept of developing an ANZAC Ready Reaction Force.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I must go back and have a look. I thought the remark was made in a telephone conversation in which the Aussie bloke said something like "Don't ever force me to put my troops up againsst yours because we'll wipe you out" or something like that.

WAKE UP said...

Inevitable, neccessary, and about time too - and aren't we Kiwis the lucky ones, because its presence will benefit us, even after the recent Labour government did its best to piss all our decent allies off completely.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Will we be known as the KeyRudd Axis?

Don't say it too quick.

Redbaiter said...

Get real Veteran. Rudd (especially) and Key are not interested in defence forces. They are global socialists, and anything they do in the short term is only designed to smokescreen their long term objective of totally disarming the west.

It saddens me to see them sucking you in so easily.

After all the betrayal you have suffered over the last few decades, you still have faith???

Wisen up man. Think about what you are defending, and from whom. Do you know??

Michael Wynd said...

How things stay the same. I am doing some research on the First World War and in early 1916 it was proposed that the Australian and NZ forces in Egypt be formed into an Australasian Army. At the time the idea was stopped in its tracks because the Light Horse and Mounted Rifles were promised to the GOC in Egypt to protect the Suez Canal and there was a serious lack of artillery to equip the divisions that would have made up the army.

I wholeheartedly support this step but with one caveat - there must be a full integration of regional security and strategic policy so that our interests are not swamped by Australia's own defence needs. There will need to be clear ROE and operational plans for the force with appropriate levels of resources, logistical, and equipment.

If this means we need to increase our defence budget then it is a positive outcome. I now look forward to the release of the discussion document by the MoD on our NZDF and what directions it will no take in light of this development.

WAKE UP said...

Michael Wynd: yes yes, details details, appreciated... but the simple truth is that the more "umbrella" we get from the USA and Australia, the better - particularly as in the last nine years we've done NOTHING to deserve it. We ain't seen nothing yet.

WAKE UP said...

RedB: the above post is a reply to you too :)

The Veteran said...

Redbaiter ... the reality is that for at least two decades years Aust has had a bi-partisan defence policy and has never held back on putting their money where their mouth is (OZ >2% GDP on defence; NZ <1%).

NZ too has a bi-partisan policy on defence .... underpinned by the simple proposition that we spend as little as possible.

One of the positives to come out of the proposed move is that NZ will be forced to 'man up' and ensure those elements committed to the joint force are properly resourced.

That is one of the (many) reasons why I support the initiative.