The Instigator
larztheloser
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
LiberalJoe
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

New Zealand should abolish their defence force

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
larztheloser
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,338 times Debate No: 21347
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

larztheloser

Pro

I'd like to thank everybody who reads this debate. I know the topic is a bit strange. Nevertheless, I hope that whoever takes this will be willing to actually have a serious discussion about it. That means: do not take this debate unless you're going to finish all the rounds, and do not take this debate to troll it.

To clarify the motion, "New Zealand" refers to the New Zealand Government, and the defence force refers to the New Zealand Defence Force - including the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, but not the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. Abolition would be a process that would happen gradually over the course of a few years, as military assets are sold and so forth. Otherwise all words in the motion have their usual dictionary meaning.

Being a citizen of New Zealand I recognise that I may have a unfair advantage in this debate, so my opponent may go first (if they choose) and gain the benefit of an extra round. You'll have 8000 characters to make your case every round, and 72 hours to post them.

Good luck!
LiberalJoe

Con

Well, I congratulate you on creating such a unique topic. This debate should prove to be very interesting, considering I have never been to NZ and I live in the US. However, I have relatives "down under" and I am somewhat knowledgeable about your fine nation's politics and history.
So, carry on!
Debate Round No. 1
larztheloser

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting, and choosing to forgo starting.

Let's start with some background. The New Zealand army is essentially nothing more than 4,500 light infantry, with a small number of support vehicles, 2000 reserves (most of whom are currently in college), and about 500 civilians. Their main weaponry is about 105 NZLAV tanks and a variety of light machine guns. Very few in the New Zealand army wear any armor. The New Zealand navy is twelve ships, only two of which have any fighting capability (both of them frigates). One of those two is currently broken down (http://www.nzherald.co.nz...) leaving just one ship to defend New Zealand from attack. The airforce has about 62 aircraft - 5 Kaman Seasprites (helicopters) being the only weaponised planes, although there are also 6 Lockheed Orions that could be weaponised. Anybody who knows anything about the military can see that such a force would take five minutes to be destroyed by any major nation in the world. Take the Australian defence force for comparison. They have 59,023 active personnel, with 257 ASLAVs and 51 M1A1 Abrams AIMs. Their navy has 12 fighting ships and 6 submarines. Their air force has 95 active combat aircraft, being Hornets and Super Hornets. Australia is not an atypical defence force. It's just that New Zealand's defence force sucks. (All these facts are from the respective Wikipedia articles, by the way - I don't have space to source them all individually)

Summary

NZ

Australia

--LAV tanks

105

257

AIM tanks

0

51

Army personnel

~4500

~59,000

Combat ships

1

12(+6)

Combat aircraft

11

95

That's about as clear as it gets - our defence force sucks compared to other developed nations.

My question is: why are we spending millions (http://www.nzdf.mil.nz...) on the maintainance of a defence force that cannot defend us?

If we accept that the New Zealand defence force sucks, we are left with two options. Either we can increase defence expenditure, and become a modern militarised society, or we could abolish the military and become a modern pacifist society. I contend that only option two is sensible.

Firstly, New Zealand is a nation with economic challenges. We were actually once the richest nation in the world, per capita. Now that title has long been taken from us. Spending all this money does nothing to help our economy. It gets stuck in assets, as we funnel our hard-earned dollars overseas to fund foreign weapon manufacturers (we don't have any weapons industry, nor the raw materials to build weapons). On top of just our effort to get our economy back on track, we had a big earthquake recently that you might have heard about. Our economy cannot suffer a massive increase in defence spending.

Secondly, other nations, and our own people, would resent our militarisation. It's the same thing as with Iran - other countries will mistrust our intentions if we build up a big army, navy and air force. But who would hate us if we chose to be peaceful? If the 200 or so New Zealanders pull out of Afghanistan, that won't mean the Americans won't win there. If our middling force pulls out of East Timor, that won't mean the Australians can't do their job there. New Zealand has a long history of Nonviolence. We threw out nuclear weapons and American ships, on the basis that we don't want to be militarised. The US were temporarily annoyed, but the rest of the world looked up to us for that. But it's a double standard to claim that we don't want to be militarised and yet we maintain a military. Domestic support for a larger military is very low right now, as is demonstrated by our recent election, where the warmongering "Act" party that believes in spending more on military recieved only about 1% of the vote.

Thirdly, the pacifist route would free up much beautiful land for national parks. For some silly reason the military bases are all in pristine locations with beautiful natural features, such as in the central plateau, or the high country of the south island. Much of "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed on military land. Our strongest industry is tourism. There's no better way to boost that than abolishing the military.

Fourth, New Zealand could engage more effectively in international diplomacy. There can be no question that diplomacy is better than war, and New Zealand are kind-of everybody's second best friends, making them very well-placed to take this path in international politics. That is undermined when we have a big army - countries will want us to pick sides. We have to take a more active role in fighting other countrys' wars, and that's bad for because it means we can't be do neutral negotiation, only fighting. It also means that even as we prop up our national security with money, we anger others giving them a reason to go to war with us.

Fifth, we face no current or long-term threat. There is virtually no chance of anybody wanting to attack New Zealand, so why prepare for a war we will never fight? Not since the New Zealand Land Wars, a civil war of about 150 years ago, has New Zealand been attacked. Our war memorials are not full of people who have died defending New Zealand - they have mostly died attacking Turkey at Gallipoli, or fighting in France in World War two, or helping the United States in Vietnam and so forth. The New Zealand Defence Force has never defended New Zealand, and in the forseeable future, will not defend New Zealand even if they become competitive.

Sixth, the military has a huge human and environmental toll. Even in times of peace, soldiers who deal with dangerous weapons often die from random malfunctions in the equipment, or mines that they forgot to disarm during military exercises, and so forth. People die in the army much faster than elsewhere, even if the army is not at war. Besides that, the military hurts our pristine environment. It can't be good for our endangered Kiwi birds if all manner of weapons are being blasted in their home environment. As well as hurting conservation, it fuels climate change, destroys possible tourism cash cows, and pollutes our land, water and air.

Seventh, it means the military could hold our government to ransom. Don't let New Zealand be the latest in the series of military coups we've seen around the pacific. It's no secret that the nations with the world's biggest militaries also have governments that are friendly to the military all the time, even if those nations claim to be "democratic." The military generally supports things like human rights violations and genocides. Every human rights violation or genocide of the last thousand years or so was carried out by a military force.

Eigth, it means we have veterans. Don't get me wrong - I still want to support and thank existing veterans for their service. But no young lad should be subjected to the psychological horrors that the military alone provides. Being in the military has been linked to several mental issues later in life, besides the immediate and long-term physical harms of weapons exposure. The effect of this is that countries with more military spending typically have a higher crime rate - and if not, that's almost always because it's the military committing the crimes. The correlation is 99.6% strong among industralised nations such as New Zealand (http://www.realeconomy.com...).

For these reasons I concur with the 1994 Human Development Report by the UN, which stated nations should provide "security of people through development, not arms; through cooperation, not confrontation; through peace not war."
LiberalJoe

Con

Oh. Cool.
Debate Round No. 2
larztheloser

Pro

Yeah. I am cool. Vote pro or else you're not cool.
LiberalJoe

Con

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
larztheloser

Pro

Sounds like a bad idea to me. Vote pro!
LiberalJoe

Con

Why vote Pro when you can vote... Con! C'mon, you know you want to!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Trappin 4 years ago
Trappin
I would like to do this debate, if possible. Unfortunately, a liberal ruined it and didn't really provide anything of use (usual case in any debate or argument).
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
Hey F16, I was going to write a big answer to your question, but maybe this is better debated. Would you like to debate?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
This was a very interesting argument in favor of abolishing the NZ defence. My questions is this: While New Zealand may not have the same defence capability as Australia, there are many countries that have worse military capabilities than New Zealand. I am certain New Zealand is not the worst. So, theoretically, shouldn't they all abolish their defensive forces? Isn't something better than nothing? Yeah, there are economic costs but they could prove worthwhile in case of an attack.
Posted by ahopele 5 years ago
ahopele
Pro obviously won. If i could vote for Pro I would. However I'm new to the website and can't vote until I enter 2 more debates. Shame.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
This is a unique topic. I might take it if I can research enough on the NZ defence forces before someone accepts.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Yep 5 years ago
Yep
larztheloserLiberalJoeTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: SERIOUSLY WHAT IS UP WITH TROLLS THESE DAYS
Vote Placed by Mimshot 5 years ago
Mimshot
larztheloserLiberalJoeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious troll is obvious.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
larztheloserLiberalJoeTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: ....do i have to?
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
larztheloserLiberalJoeTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by Xerge 5 years ago
Xerge
larztheloserLiberalJoeTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented a case, but con did not...