Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pure waste

That's the only way to describe NZDF's planned purchase of a satellite system:

New Zealand's Defence Ministry has begun calling for tenders for a sophisticated wideband military satellite system that will guarantee "a seat at the top table" with any US led military activity.

The ministry launched a request for tender asking for companies to bid on the provision of certified Wideband Global Satellite Communications (WGS) equipment, necessary training, and associated support to the New Zealand Defence Force.

It will also include ground stations in the North Island and on ships.

As the article makes crystal clear, the primary purpose of this purchase is prestige: "a seat at the top table". And that is not a proper function of our military. But its secondary purpose is interoperability - or, in English, making it easier for us to participate in America's wars. As I've previously argued, this doesn't serve our interests either. Instead it just makes us a better vassal, while directly undermining our long-term independent foreign policy.

We should not be wasting money on interoperability, and we should not be wasting money on prestige. Instead, our military spending should be focused solely on what serves our interests - not those of the USA.