Deconstructing influence

Two things I have been wondering about lately.

First, New Zealand’s role in ANZUS.  Back in 1985, the NZ Labour Party barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed vessels from making ports of call, effectively shutting out the US Navy.  In 2001, another NZ Labour government disbanded the RZNAF’s air-to-air and strike squadrons, leaving it without any effective airborne defence.  Now that Australia’s Labour government has pragmatically planned for a future with powerful Chinese neighbours and a much-diminished US military presence, one wonders whether New Zealand will similarly re-evaluate its defence requirements.

Second, a witty line from Instapundit:  “If Obama were trying to wreck America as a superpower, what would he be doing differently?

I think it’s fair to pin the US’s erratic diplomacy and slipshod treatment of natural allies on the President and his administration.  As well as defunding of various nuclear modernisation efforts that are supported by the SecDef.  But Gates (and his predecessors) have long been the architects of a slow bleeding of conventional US forces, whether by act or omission.  That would likely be the case even if John McCain had won the election.  It’s certainly not something that is unique to this admnistration.

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2 Responses
  1. The problem is not the Obama administration. The problem is an America that would elect the Obama administration. Though, as you point out, a McCain administration would have been a symptom of the same problem.

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    And it is hard (nay, horrific) to imagine what would have to transpire before the American public were prepared to demand the restoration of hard power calculus.