We shouldn’t be surprised at last week’s defence assessments which argue for more defence spending and closer relations with “traditional allies” (European countries) in plans to contain and isolate China.

The assessments were produced by our defence establishment of conservative Eurocentric officials who hated the break with the US when we developed our anti-nuclear policy in the 1980s. They were appalled we were ejected from ANZUS and terrified at the prospect New Zealand would have a much more independent foreign policy and not automatically follow the stars and stripes.

These people – New Zealand’s deep state – have co-operated closely with the US for many decades. They are the people at our end of the “five eyes” spying alliance with “likeminded European countries” – the UK, USA, Australia and Canada are the other four. These are the people who grease the wheels of our co-operation with US global strategies – put on public display so obsequiously when we raided the Kim Dotcom mansion on behalf of corporate Hollywood in 2012.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year they have seized back the initiative driven New Zealand hard back into the US orbit. In the space of 18 months we have had two Prime Ministers attend NATO meetings, have supplied military hardware to a war on the other side of the world and now have promised to dramatically increase Defence Force spending at the behest of the US.

They are determined to bury the last vestiges of any independent foreign policy we may have thought we had.

What is surprising though is that the new alignment in the US strategies against China have been so warmly endorsed by Defence Minister Andrew Little and the Labour government. As former Prime Minister Helen Clark says New Zealand is “abandoning its capacity to think for itself”.

Andrew Little’s announcements on Friday are helping to divide the world into competing camps. This is precisely what happened before the First World War as European countries split into empires pitted against each other with irresponsible, rising rhetoric deepening the divide and fanning resentment and hatred of the “other side”.

Wars always begin with words and Andrew Little delivered some of those words on Friday to the delight of the US and the dismay of China.

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However Little’s words are not the voice of New Zealand. We must reject attempts to pressure us into the US camp. We must rebuild our voice as one of reason, responsibility and independence rather than mindless camp followers of the most brutal and destructive empire humanity has ever seen.

We must firmly reject being any part of AUKUS.

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