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					New Zealand’s Strategic
Perspective

  An enigmatic approach to
         strategy?
An imperial past

• The legacy
• Since 1840: 100 years within
  imperial umbrella
• Upheavals: WWI, WW2
• End of British Empire:
  continuing collective security
  arrangements 1945-2007
Strategy: practice

• Not a vacuum
• Practitioners: do strategy, however
  imperfectly, in the face of constantly
  altering conditions…
• Strategy over four decades…
• Flexibility, continuity, discontinuity,
  seeking advantage.
The New Zealand
Strategic Context
• Tension of apparent/actual
  remoteness.
• Extent of NZ’s direct geography.
• Thin dimensions of NZ’s trading
  interests: thin and long threads,
  easily broken.
• Alliances (CP, ANZUS, FPDA), direct
  obligations, indirect obligations.
Northern & Southern
extensions…
• Cook Is. & Nuie & Tokelaus
• Ocean area larger than F & T.
• Sub-antarctic: Ak Is, Campbell
• Ross Dependency beyond 60 dg
  south
• Australian Antarctic Territory
• More than half Antarctica…
• North Pole…
Improvisation

• Strength, merits & difficulties of
  No.8 wire.
• Recognition of NZ priorities.
• Constantly fitting in… with
  whom?
• Mutual interest, seldom single
  interest business.
Gaining strategic
advantage
• Is different for NZ than for
  larger powers.
• Maximisation of gains and
  minimisation of losses.
• Taking measures to do this, &
  letting advantage fall NZ’s way.
Collaborative, collective

• Underlying approach to use of
  the armed forces: dictated by
  necessity;
• NZ does not have the economic,
  diplomatic, or military strength
  to easily act alone.
• Both actual (geographical) &
  conceptual.
NZ armed forces in
transition…
• RNZAF, RNZN, NZ Army
• 3 professional services: operational
  synergy
• With other armed forces…
• Own patrols…
• Interoperability between our own
  services & with others is the key.
• Strategic intentions signalled
  partially by capabilities maintained.
• Unspoken assumption: USN, ADF.
Foreign Policy & operation
of the armed services
• Foreign policy is not just trade,
  although trade is a core
  strategic requirement.
• The Austronesian (ANZ + Pac Is)
  neighbourhood;
• The wider realms: distant
  places, varying roles…
Promotion of NZ’s
interests
• Grappling with different matters
  in wide variety of places.
• Gaining long-term advantage.
• Working to prevent diminution
  of those interests.
Future directions for
NZ’s armed forces
• Patrol of the bits of the neighbourhood that
  belong to NZ + assisting others in distant
  places…
• From tropics to Antarctic: a necessarily
  Australasian series of enterprises + other
  powers (US, France, Britain…)
• Flexibility to be increased.
• Frequency of MRCs: less lead time.
• Low level/small campaigns/wars; larger
  ones.
• Awareness of the unlikely possibilities as
  well as the likely (CTKP).
• Breadth & depth argument: future will
  require both.
Where & how
• Bipartisan approaches &
  differences…
• The local, the regional, & further
  afield…
• Geography is king: physical &
  human.
• Breadth of NZ’s commitments
  exemplifies our requirement for
  engagement: ultimately this comes
  down to freedom to trade & direct
  security.
Shaping the practice of
strategy
• Political context: within & outside NZ: sets
  boundaries.
• Absolute requirement to reflect as well as
  to practice within the daily pressures.
• If the practice of strategy becomes
  defunct: risk of becoming an adjunct of
  others powers’ strategy.
• To a degree NZ is always vulnerable to
  that consideration.
• NZ response has generally been to take
  cases on merits: strengths & flaws in this
  approach.
Friction, chance…

•   Murphy
•   The irrational
•   No-one has a monopoly on wisdom
•   Fast moving pace of events require
    thoughtful contemplation of all sorts
    of circumstances (most of which
    won’t occur) long before an
    eventuality arrives.
Consequences of
strategy…
• The foreseen & the
  unforeseen…
• Less directly difficult when
  strategy done with partners…
• Likely to be more difficult with
  unilateral action.
Dealing with unfavourable
circumstances

• An inability to be able to
  effectively respond, not just NZ
  but crucially, other usual
  partners…
• Dec.1941 one manifestation: 5
  mths in 1942 an absolute
  vulnerability.
The Nuclear future…

• Proliferation.
• Terrorism.
• Nuclear war.
• WMD troubles.
• Major regional conflict interventions
  involve nuclear armed powers.
• Nuclear power.
Interstate limited war
• One state against a collection
• Collection against collection
• Flexiblity of coalitions: less trouble
  about getting formed & started:
• More difficult to end.
• Long term commitment…
• Discretionary warfare: Middle East
• Necessary war: Australia
• Other commitments along the
  operational spectrum…
Intrastate trouble
• Greater the trouble, the more intractable
  the problems are???
• Help under these circumstances.
• Management of intractable situations…
• Long term commitment.
• Discretion: to go in, to leave, to stay out.
• Outcomes: serving NZ’s interests + those
  of the international community.
Use of resources in
direct assistance
• Economic
• Diplomatic
• Military
• Deleterious effects: to effectively
  contribute, need to minimise ongoing
  damage to NZ’s own resources.
• Increase in size, number of
  platforms, capabilities.
Next 40 years…
• Position of the United   • Demographic
  States.                    alterations.
• China/India rivalry.     • Economic depression.
• Reg. nuclear war.        • Environmental shifts.
• China/Taiwan Korean      • Simultaneous conflicts
  Pen.                       on different levels of
• Fiji.                      war.
• Pac Is.                  • Political change in
• Possession of maritime     major states…
  estates.
• Middle East.
• Indonesia.
The bleak future

• The disruptive world.
• A disrupted neighbourhood.
• Military, political, economic,
  demographic, climatic
  upheavals in series…
• Weak powers even at a distance
  will be challenged.
Being prepared
• To avoid being merely reactive.
• To minimize impact of situations of
  disadvantage to NZ.
• Contributions: military, diplomatic,
  economic, political, social.
• Keeping challenges away: distant
  solutions are better for NZ: assisted
  by physical geography (but in
  modern warfighting, distance is not
  an absolute guarantee).
Into the murk…
• NZ has some discretion thanks to
  geography & two shields…
• Setting priorities but considering the
  widest range of possibilities,
  however unlikely.
• Bedrock geography: NZ is a maritime
  nation, & needs maritime partners
  (great & small).
• China, India, US, Russia, Britain,
  France, Germany, Japan, SE Asia,
  Austronesia.
Conclusions
• NZ’s strategic perspective is
  custom-made.
• Promotion of distant peace &
  security protects NZ’s vital interests
  abroad (trade) & at home.
• If the sea is a highway, NZ needs to
  be the secure farm at the end of the
  road.
• This will only be the case with
  careful attention to strategy, &
  continued good fortune.