The Armed Forces of New Zealand

The Armed Forces of New Zealand

The Armed Forces of New Zealand

The Armed Forces of New Zealand

Excerpt

New Zealand is a small country set in a remote corner of the Southwest Pacific. Despite that, the country has involved itself, through its armed forces, in many areas of international military activity over the last 150 years. It has done so not because, in the words of an eminent New Zealand historian, it was 'the Prussia of the South Pacific', but because it has believed that the range of its international interests demanded that it contribute armed forces to secure those interests. With hindsight, some of those national interests (such as the defence of empire, for example) might now appear to have been less than legitimate. But most (securing trade routes and the lanes of international commerce, the defence of basic freedoms and the preservation of international stability against those states that would disrupt it) remain as valid today as they were at the time.

This book is an examination of one New Zealand institution central to much of the way the country conducts its international affairs. The book is a snapshot of the New Zealand Defence Force at a critical period of its history. Throughout their history, the armed forces have existed as a small but professionally effective organisation. They have been able to achieve the tasks set for them by the government of the day. Today, they are still small, still professional in attitude, but there must be strong doubts as to their ability to meet the demands of modern warfare.

The picture shown in this book is of three individual armed forces searching for a role. There is little requirement for the forces in the 'traditional' national defence and security role and there is little public understanding of their capacity to contribute to wider foreign policy outcomes. When the forces are considered for use in an operational role, they are now often not able to be used because their equipment is largely obsolescent and they do not . . .

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