On the 70th Anniversary of ANZUS, NZDF in massive war exercises

Peace Action Wellington opposes the NZDF’s involvement in Exercise Talisman Sabre, a joint US-Australian military training, happening in Queensland this week.

“The Labour government has claimed to have an independent foreign policy, but this deployment of NZ troops, in the week marking the 70th anniversary of ANZUS, demonstrates that NZ has not yet truly attained independence from US imperial forces in the Pacific,” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“The Defence Force’s primary interest in these exercises is in being able to blend in seamlessly with the US and Australian militaries. War exercises like these, along with the unnecessary new weapons requisitions are merely to have the same training and gear as the US and Australia, not for New Zealand’s security.”

“New Zealand wants to appease our traditional allies, the US and Australia, while simultaneously not wanting to bring any attention to its participation and anger the Chinese. It is an attempt by the government to have their cake and eat it, too.”

“Exercise Talisman Sabre represents a real and present danger to peace and stability in the Pacific. This massive troop build up is a show of military aggression directed squarely at China, and it is deeply provocative.”

“The US administration may have changed, but the operations of the US military have not. They serve to protect US corporate power. The US pulled its support of New Zealand as part of the ANZUS Treaty to punish NZ for going nuclear-free, but the NZDF is back in there undermining our independence.”

“As the world’s climate crisis is accelerating, we have to urgently move away from the use of military might to uphold a fundamentally unequal and racist system. We need to put our resources towards creating a just, peaceful and resilient planet for all its inhabitants. War exercises like Talisman Sabre attempt to cement the rule of the powerful to continue their destruction and exploitation. They have absolutely nothing to do with improving the lives of people or our natural environment,” concluded Morse.

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