EDEB8 - Ultimate Online Debating
About Us   Debate    Judge   Forum

The NZDF should be scrapped.

0 points
0 points
adminadmin (PRO)
Due to a recent death in my computer family, and the other computer being a little ill, my ability to post this first round is somewhat limited. Seeing as I have previously already provided a case on this topic elsewhere on the site, I hope my opponent doesn't mind if I simply repeat the substantive points of that case, and move on to responses as I continue. Practically none of the case requires an update anyway.

I'd also like to thank my opponent for his willingness to engage in this difficult yet important topic.

Our Defence Force
New Zealand's defense capabilities are the stuff of mockery and satire.

Our army has over a hundred LAVs. They cost $750 million to buy, and it cost us $700,000 to deploy just 3 of them overseas, where they proved really costly to run. The only reason we did deploy them is that our previous models were so crappy, two people died as a direct result. Still, a small bomb or anti-tank missile easily rips an LAV of this class to shreds. They can't even cross a small river. Despite this, the army is currently procuring almost 200 new MHOV transporters (we still don't have the aircraft to actually move them anywhere, nor any use for them really). We have about 320 other small cars, 6 "combat tractors" that we also can't deploy, and that's it! Even our standard assault rifle is being replaced currently because it's too useless (Project IWRP).

Our airforce has a few helicopters, the NH90s. They have proven to be completely unusable for any of the purposes for which they were purchased. These cost a lot of money and we can't deploy them. Our defence minister has personally asserted that they're really hard to use - indeed, nobody can figure it out. We're currently in the process of replacing our aircraft with the new A400M, which is super expensive, and frankly, already appears to be unsafe. It's the latest in a long line of wasteful spending. The only other thing we have is a single transport aircraft. Since 2001 we've had no air combat capability at all, nor do we ever plan it.

Our navy has two combat ships (Mana and Kaha), both of which have seen practically no service and which are both currently undergoing an expensive "midlife refurbishment" project. They cost $1.5 million per day at sea to run, and have never done anything useful. We have a multi-role ship (Canterbury) which we purchased for a lot of money, and which from the get-go was full of deficiencies. The project to get her mostly working again (Project Protector Remediation) is still ongoing. Other than that we have a tanker, and two offshore patrol vessels that are apparently significantly less capable than the Sea Shepherd Greenpeace volunteer ships. Just last January, three run down old fishing boats easily outlasted these vessels. The fleet also occasionally has helicopters, the Seasprites, which are also currently being replaced by a newer model.

New Zealand military equipment - looks cool, isn't practical

It's always the same old story: we buy some semi-expensive kit thinking that will make us look cool, when in fact it only makes us look stupid. The shameful thing is, by 2020, everything (except maybe the ship Mana) needs replacement anyway due to depreciation.

In short, our defence capabilities are practically zero. We have thrown a lot of money around on trophies, but they're useless.

Our Defence Needs
This is New Zealand:

As you can see, our hemisphere contains Australia, Indonesia, and a few pacific islands. It stands to reason to question, then, who exactly we're defending ourselves against. Nations maintain militaries primarily because they expect to be attacked, but New Zealand's government - by their own admission - don't. None of the nations that can attack us are hostile.

Even supposing, say, that the United States suddenly decided they hate our guts and want to invade us. Actually doing so would be rather difficult. The terrain is hardly conducive to the movement of equipment for one thing. Just getting here past all that ocean would be a mission in itself. Australia would be an obvious base of operations if they could be convinced, but even then, the costs of the mission would be enormous. If the US thought the terrain was difficult in Vietnam, NZ is about a thousand times worse. Nor does the US stand to gain anything in either political terms, or in resources, in this hypothetical scenario. I'll come back to why wars happen later.

New Zealand does, on the other hand, have a vast number of extremely important and underfunded defence requirements that fall outside of the scope of conventional warfare:
  • Being so isolated, New Zealand has a unique biodiversity that needs to be protected against invasive species. Biological attack on our environment is our #1 threat.
  • In particular, our fisheries are frequently invaded by foreign boats that come here to nick our fish.
  • Our land is quite prone to natural disasters, such as volcanoes, floods, cyclones and earthquakes.
  • Cybersecurity is in urgent need of a review.
  • Our environment is also prone to man-made attacks requiring relief, such as fires and oil spills.

Christchurch earthquake, MV Rena wreck, Tangiwai disaster, Whanganui floods

These all share a number of important characteristics:
  • They are largely accidental
  • They are dangerous
  • International cooperation is high
  • They are environment-dependant, and
  • They are not in any way helped by our defence force

The recent Christchurch earthquake was a case study in this last point, where the defence force felt the need to help out, only to get in the way of relief efforts, leaving people trapped inside buildings for longer rather than doing anything useful. We spend millions and millions of dollars on this force, and this is the only domestic security it has been involved with in some decades. Indeed, never in New Zealand's storied history has the New Zealand Defence Force actually been successful in defending New Zealand.

To defend against these threats, we don't need guns and tanks. We need an effective civil defence. The problem is we don't have one. The government hasn't spent a cent on civil defence for over a decade. Meanwhile we quietly spend over $3 billion every year on the defence forces. You read that right. Three. Billion. Dollars.That's more than our ministry of education and all the roads in the country put together get. For literally no benefit to our nation whatsoever, that's a huge waste. We've got to ask ourselves - do we get 3 billion dollars in value from the NZDF?

What is the real justification for the NZDF?
The main reason why we have a military still isn't because we actually need one. It's because everyone else is doing it.

Recently our (conservative) government announced we're spending far too little on defence forces, and unveiled a budget to drastically increase defence spending. The (liberal) opposition's response was... that this budget doesn't go far enoughand that we need to increase defence spending even more. But when it actually comes to deploying this military, pretty much everyone's opposed. The recent deployment to Iraq, for instance, was opposed outright by the opposition and only supported by the government due to an apparent threat by the five eyes intelligence network, the Prime Minister initially being outright opposed, then suddenly labelling the limited deployment as being "the price of the club". In fact, despite there being numerous conflicts around the world, the New Zealand army stays out of almost all of them. When it does send people, it usually sends hardly any, and they're almost always in non-combat roles.

It's not that we want to fight. The sole reason we're spending billions on the NZDF and nothing on civil defence is that we want to show the world how much we're spending, not because we have the will to actually use it. We don't intend to go to war, we don't have to go to war, and we certainly do not need to go to war. My model is simple: scrap the defence force. Get a working civil defence instead. We'd probably have more than enough money left over for economic development, better education, conservation, better health services, and a lot more. To a tiny nation such as New Zealand, three billion is a LOT of money.

Why do wars even happen?
When people make decisions about stuff, they look to two things: the cost, and the benefit. A war is generally waged when a cost outweighs the benefit. Invading New Zealand is high cost, low benefit. There's simply no government that would launch a direct assault on New Zealand.

The way a war would MOST likely happen in New Zealand is not by an invasion, but by sabotage to bring the country down from the inside. The NZDF doesn't deal with this at all - the police do. Unlike foreign invasion (if you don't count British colonization which was largely accepted by the peoples living here already), New Zealand does have first-hand experience with state sabotage. It seems to happen every 50 years or so, most recently in the 80s when we were attacked by the French.

Examples of ships sunk by sabotage by a foreign government operating in New Zealand

This is a useful method for attack, because the cost is relatively low and the chance of a payoff is higher. But again, our police is radically underfunded. So far as the public knows, state sabotage has never been successfully prevented in New Zealand through government action. Instead we spend our money on trophies like fancy ships that don't actually work. Most recently, cyber warfare has become the preferred state sabotage vector, and no LAV will stop a cyber attack. Biological attack, disaster relief - the NZDF is well suited to none of these roles.

Internationally, the benefits to war are decreasing. Human development is improving. As it does, the incentives to attack New Zealand only decrease. If fighting is to attain a benefit, and people have already attained that benefit, then there is no longer an incentive to fight. Just as wealth solves violence, however, so does violence create poverty. The cycle between violence and poverty is now globally the main reason for poverty's continued existence. Every gun and tank thus contributes to keeping violence alive in the world. But still, it is an issue more easily solved than ever before.

Our future is, as such, actually very bright. Why then are we wasting billions of dollars every year on a military we don't need and can't afford, and not spending that money where it can best be used?

Breaking the cycle of poverty
There are other reasons for poverty's continuation - the structure of global trade disadvantaging the third world - but these are becoming increasingly more minor. The main reason is and remains war.

The problem is that this is cyclical. War causes poverty, but poverty also causes war. The less stuff people already have compared to others, the greater the potential gains of launching an attack, making war seem more attractive. This is not the case in our world. We are becoming richer, and this model for why war happens correlates with empirical data. We know that more peaceful countries have higher economic growth. As resources become less scarce, we lose our incentive to fight. The truth is the world is not becoming more violent, despite what the media would have us believe. The world is safer than ever. The past decade was literally the most peaceful decade in human history.
That decade was no anomaly. It is indicative of a long-term trend.

What's happening to war?
As Stephen Pinker points out:
In a historically unprecedented development, the number of interstate wars has plummeted since 1945, and the most destructive kind of war, in which great powers or developed states fight each other, has vanished altogether. (The last one was the Korean War).

Of course, this doesn't mean violence has always declined. The long-term trend, however, is one towards peace. This isparticularly true of interstate conflict, with almost all wars happening today being civil wars. The Institute for Economics and Peace, who produces the Global Peace Index report, has found two key factors that are true of conflict today, and becoming more and more true as time goes on:
  1. Armies and Governments Are No Longer Our Biggest Threats to Peace"Breakdowns in peacefulness are becoming more decentralized, and peacefulness relies more heavily on social structures and non-state actors as opposed to exclusively governments and formal militaries... In short, the nature of peace is changing... the trend of declining militarization and international war implies that we have made progress in solving 20th-century problems."
  2. Non-Violent Methods Are More Effective (and More Peaceful) Than Violent Ones"non-violent movements are twice as effective in achieving their political goals as violent movements... internal conflict, in all its forms, demonstrates that people are unsatisfied with their governments, economies, and social structures... it’s encouraging to know that peace is profitable—and possible."
These findings make sense in the context of the economic analysis I brought you earlier, especially in the previous round. The reason the world is becoming more peaceful is because the haves are rising, and the have-nots are declining. Further, because war is a deadweight loss, it is considerably less effective. Where it is waged, it is no longer a matter of nationstates fighting with tanks and ships, but civil unrest such as the Arab Spring.

What they didn't identify but should be abundantly clear is that not only does none of this apply to New Zealand, since we are reasonably prosperous and are mates with all nations around us, but also:
  1. New Zealand's military cooperation with a foreign power would do little to nothing to aid or remedy this situation - cyclical reasons for violence and poverty would remain forever in such regions because of the military presence. Our military intervention would be ineffective.
  2. New Zealand's need for a military will decrease no matter what we do, according to long-term trends and sound economic theory.

Russian-made statue of some guy turning swords to ploughshares, a classical symbol of the ultimate triumph of human development over war.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-04 05:52:33
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
My condolences to my opponent on his recent bereavement. I hope his other computer pulls through. 
Welcome judges to another exciting debate, on an important and topical resolution. I've watched my opponent argue this resolution several times and it's my hope that, as a fellow kiwi myself, I might be able to enlighten not only the judges, but also him as to the importance of a country like New Zealand maintaining an Armed force. 

Who are the New Zealand Defence Force? 
Quite simply, the NZDF is made up of three separate but united combat forces, the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. My opponent has already done an admirable job of describing the form and function of these three wings and I don't have too much to add to this - although I will be correcting his rather bleak view of their usefulness and effectiveness as we go. 

What are the stated aims of the NZDF?
As one of the least corrupt countries in the world, we need look no further than the NZDF themselves to see why they exist. According the NZDF's own website their mission is:
"To secure New Zealand against external threat, to protect our sovereign interests, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, and to take action to meet likely contingencies in New Zealand’s area of strategic interest." - NZDF 
To be better understand WHY the NZDF must continue to exist, we should examine these goals in more detail.

"To secure New Zealand against external threat..." 
In his round, my opponent has posted a slightly misleading image of New Zealand's geographic location. He's exaggerating the isolation we enjoy down here. Let me reciprocate by posting the same image from a slightly different angle...

Maybe not as isolated from this angle...
If you can't spot us, that's us down in the bottom right hand corner. What this image shows us is that if a country from Asia wanted to aggressively expand into the Pacific, NZ has a handy chain of islands connecting it to the mainland, and making it a easier target than my opponent would like to admit.
In fact this strategy was already employed by Japan during World War II.

"...to protect our sovereign interests, including the Exclusive Economic Zone..."
There are a number of things which fall under the umbrella of Sovereign interests, but the one I'd like to highlight is the fact that New Zealand, although itself small, is figuratively the protective big brother for several of the smaller Pacific islands. Some of these, like the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue are actually New Zealand territories, while others are sovereign nations in their own rights, like Kiribati, and Samoa - which New Zealand has a formal obligation to provide military defense for under the 1962 Friendship Treaty
For us to scrap the NZDF, would also mean reneging on our contractual obligations to our friends and neighbors. And that's not cool.

"...and to take action to meet likely contingencies in New Zealand’s area of strategic interest."
Under another alliance New Zealand has, this time with Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, the Five Eyes Alliance have divided the globe into spheres of influence and responsibility. New Zealand has it's region it is responsible for, and part of that is being the "first responder" if the need arises.

"Likely contingencies"? Take another look at that map. See that dirty great mass of emptiness floating next to us, looking like that guy who's been held back two or three grades and hangs out with you because he makes a nice shade on a hot day? That's Australia. They are the third largest producer of Uranium in the world, responsible for over 10% of the total. They have an island roughly the size of the continental USA with a population roughly the size of Florida. 
In other words, they have a very large source of one of the most desirable minerals in a paranoid world, and it's sitting in the middle of a football field with only two people guarding it. 
While New Zealand itself may not be much of a target, to think that we could not be caught up when one of our closest neighbors and allies is attacked is naive at best. 

In short, the NZDF's mission statement is sound and proves that they have a role to fulfill. 

Is the NZDF effective? 
This is an important question since it forms a large part of my opponent's argument. His position is that it is variably, ineffective, unsafe, unsuitable, overpriced, outdated and too small. 
It's important to understand that these things do not equal an argument to scrap them. They equal an argument that the NZDF should be reorganized - something which my side wouldn't necessarily contest. 
It's no secret that past governments have both helped and hindered the NZDF to the point where we have often been stuck with aging or defunct tools of war. It seems crazy that for an island nation responsible for the fourth largest section of Ocean, our navy effectively consists of two boats capable of anything more than spraying the enemy with water. 
If my opponent wishes to argue that the NZDF should significantly adjust their structure, or that the government should review the amount of money they budget for it's upkeep - he'll get no argument from my side. However, that's not what he's suggesting.
He's suggesting that because it's broke, we should throw it away. That's a weak argument. 

Is the NZDF needed?
Yes it is. It was needed in the Boer war in 1899. It was needed in the First World War of 1914. It was needed again in the sequel in 1939. It was called on for the Korean war and again for Vietnam, and for many other smaller conflicts throughout the 20th century. It WILL be needed again, and it needs to be ready. 
In all of these conflicts, our contributions have been effective and when we were called upon, we delivered as well or better than nations ten times our size. 

NZ must be able to demonstrate its commitment to its allies.
As a nation we have responsibilities. Some of these are local, such as our commitments to aid and protect our island neighbors, and some of these are global, such as our commitments to demonstrate our dedication to the ideals of democracy and human rights as a peace keeping force for the UN. 
These responsibilities necessitate that we be able to make an effort to defend ourselves before we ask others to come to our aid. They necessitate that our men and women be constantly able to train and hone their fighting skills, so that when the time comes, we can contribute meaningfully. 

War is not a goal, however it is a reality. When the time comes our nation must be ready. The NZDF should not be scrapped - the resolution is negated. 

NZDF recruitment drive sees a large increase in recruitment from the burgeoning Hobbit population. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-05 02:40:05
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
My other computer is now in a critical but stable condition. It feels just good enough to be able to draft this.

We both seem to agree the NZDF is structured poorly
My opponent asserts the correct response to this is to restructure the military. As such, he is effectively proposing a counter-model. Mere assertions that with some modifications the NZDF could be made to work just don't cut it. If my opponent is indeed going to run a counter-model, he first needs to explain what it would actually take to make the military work, and then justify that.

Alternatively, if my opponent wishes to defend the status quo, he must explain why we are throwing out billions of dollars on a defence force that doesn't work. It's a bottomless money pit, and suggesting we should stop throwing our money into it for almost literally zero returns is not inherently a weak argument.

New Zealand fires live rounds at snow, just to see what will happen. Also, we totally picked the right camouflage for this terrain. Totally.

External threats
My opponent has argued that external threats may arrive from Asia through island-hopping. I'd like to make a few remarks on that.

First, the notion of conventional warfare, where a navy, army and airforce with uniformed officers march against one another, hasn't really existed since the interwar period (and for that matter, didn't exist prior to that period either). With that, there are a number of impacts, notably that wars of that nature are not a reality now, and won't be in the future. It's silly to prepare for one. The most likely threats to New Zealand's security are simply not remedied by throwing more cash into that bottomless money pit.

Second, there's quite a bit of space to hop. In World War two, Japan tried exactly this strategy, and after years of advancing still wasn't anywhere close to New Zealand. The closest they really got was various air raids on Darwin in Australia, a distance of no less than 5,320km from our capital city. Put that into perspective, Tokyo is roughly 9,271km away. Japan led one of the most successful military campaigns in their history, destroying Pearl Harbour and handing the British a disastrous defeat at Singapore. Still, they only came less than 45% of the way towards us after all that bloodshed. Even most modern intercontinental ballistic missiles would have some trouble reaching us all the way from Asia. This was reinforced by the fact that, we now know, the Japanese had no immediate intention of attacking New Zealand at all, simply for the reason that it was too far away.

Third, the nations that would need to be hopped through are some of the best-equipped militarily in the world. Australia's army alone dwarfs anything New Zealand has to offer. They have hardcore weapons, impressive intelligence (sometimes) and lots of manpower. If all that doesn't stop invaders, they're also fairly cute, fast moving, and can strike like a ninja from the dense bush. And that's just the animals of Australia!

Once you factor in the people, Australia alone is probably one of the most guarded places in the world. Add to that every single other nation between us and whoever might hypothetically attack us, and it's really not so easy to launch an offensive against our country.

Fourth, we don't believe that if some natural resource such as Uranium is the goal, a ground invasion would necessarily be the most likely way it would be achieved. Even in the era of conventional warfare, the traditional model was illustrated by the German attacks on phosphate ships leaving Nauru, which led to the German capture of hundreds of prisoners. In today's world of asymmetric warfare, we think it's much more likely that some uranium ships will go "missing" to pirates than that some foreign government will actually attack Australia. This is consistent with the changing global nature of violence and peace that I outlined in the previous round.

Protecting our sovereign interests
At the outset, we have some agreement here that New Zealand has an obligation to protect its sovereign interests. I would in fact like to extend this argument even further, by pointing out that New Zealand has a rather unique obligation to do so under the principles of the treaty of Waitangi, which (in part) broadly empowers the crown to protect New Zealand's natural assets - and I think symbolically, that applies not just to the Maori who signed the treaty, but to all New Zealanders. That, along with the Friendship Treaty, our obligations to protect part of the Antarctic, and much more, are things that my case in no way de-emphasizes.

The problem is that our military makes us less secure, not more. It means we are wasting resources that we are using on a bottomless money-pit, and not using them on protecting our sovereign interests.

Let me briefly make a point or two about the Friendship treaty. Nowhere does it obligate us to provide military assistance. Article 5, which is most relevant here, merely mentions "assistance" without being terribly specific about what form that assistance may take. Under article 4, that decision needs to be made in the best interests of the people of Western Samoa. We need to consider their requests for assistance, sure, but the best assistance we can offer them is not to send them tanks and guns (not that we really can right now, either).

As a big brother myself, I know firsthand how important it is to be responsible. Responsibility sets the standard for littler brothers to follow. Do we really want to teach these fledging islands how to waste their money on some bottomless money pit? Or do we want to show them how to be peace-loving, self-respecting nations that care about their people and their environment first? Right now, we can't even get our own nation in order. We are putting more and more money into buying more and more cool trophies.

Things that will actually protect our sovereign interests fall more or less under the umbrella of civil defence, which has been my model all along. For example, New Zealand should provide relief if a natural disaster strikes Samoa, sure. But are the defence force really best placed to do that, or a specialised civil defence? I think the answer is clearly the latter.

Five Eyes Alliance
First, ever since New Zealand broke from the ANZUS treaty, the five eyes alliance has had very little relevance to our nation. We're largely still a part of it so we can access intelligence, in return for which, we simply put up some satellite receivers. This allows our security and intelligence service to have to do very little and cost little money, while giving us access to a lot of intelligence. That's cost effective for us, but it doesn't extend to military contribution. It's an intelligence sharing network, and that's it.

Even if it did, what sphere of the world would we respond to that Australia, also being part of the Five Eyes Alliance, could not respond to far better than we could ever hope to? Perhaps we might be able to react to events happening in some small part of the southern ocean, I'm not sure, but frankly I don't think New Zealand could be particularly bothered even if something did happen.

As for the notion we need to help if Australia is attacked:
1. They won't be, because conventional war is dead
2. Australia can easily deal with just about any threat anyway
3. Even if Australia was attacked, we don't have like minerals worth taking (not much anyway... we have a bit of oil but it's really not that much). As I said in the previous round, New Zealand is high-cost to attack with low benefits.
4. Frankly, my opponent has way overstated the value of raw uranium. Anyone can easily buy it on the open market for $35/pound (at current prices). It's not even particularly regulated. I just can't see any foreign government invading Australia because they cannot be bothered paying $35 for a pound of uranium. By comparison, gold is about $1050 per pound right now (and that's relatively low for gold). Here's a fancy price chart for uranium that apparently updates regularly:

It's refined uranium that everyone wants to get their hands on, not random rocks from an Australian desert.

Was it needed before?
I responded to this at length in my previous debate. Put shortly, our record in combat is fairly average. We've won some, we've lost some. It's nothing particularly special. We don't have great victory day parades... indeed, our most militaristic tradition is ANZAC Day dawn parades, where we mourn those that died in one of the most tragic military disasters in our, and perhaps world, history. What success we have made must be weighed against our losses, and the truth is, the campaigns that have been our most successful, have also been our deadliest. For instance, relative to our population, New Zealand made a bigger sacrifice in the second world war than any other commonwealth nation, including Great Britain itself. It's not a price we should have to bear, especially since none of the Axis forces ever seriously contemplated attacking us.

The marvellous thing is that we don't. We no longer need to march off to protect the colonial British Empire, or stop some guy with a moustache from taking over Europe. Those were the wars of the past. This is the present, and we need to plan for the challenges we will face in the future. The real threats to this country are not military threats, and at no point has my opponent contested this.

War is not meaningful
It's an oft-tossed-around phrase that war is made in the minds of men. It is an artificial construct. It is intangible. It is not real. As such, it is not certain.

The world no longer has the incentives for war. We are already seeing the end of war as we knew it, right now. That should be a wake-up call that we need to get prepared for peace, not for war. Truth be told, our bottomless money pit is full enough already, and enough of our hobbits have died. What we lack is everything BUT the military. Giving hobbits a better education, for example. As a wise wizard once said:

Some believe that is is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I've found.
I found it is the small things - every day deeds by ordinary folk - that keeps the darkness at bay.
- Gandalf

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-07 14:19:56
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
So great to hear the good news about my opponent's computer. On with the second round!

Why can't we make it better?
My opponent appears to be very quick to rush to the conclusion that something is not able to be saved. New Zealand has invested billions of dollars into the NZDF, not to mention over a century of development. Just because both sides of this argument can see that there are some problems with the current structure or make up of the NZDF, it does mean that scrapping this investment altogether is the most logical course of action. 
The NZDF should not be scrapped because we've already invested so much into it. 

Counter models- can it even be saved?
My opponent has suggested that I need to give some idea of a counter-model before my side's argument can be accepted. This is wrong and actually borders on a wee bit of clever misdirection. 
Here's why: If my side shows that there is a NEED for a defense force, then it follows that the NZDF should not be scrapped.   

But in the spirit of this debate, I'm going to engage this topic a little anyway. 
 - The NZDF can be run effectively because other countries do it. 
Measuring "efficiency" in a country's armed forces is a tricky exercise, and to be quite frank, not one it's easy to get reliable information about. A country is hardly going to shout its weaknesses to the interwebz after all. 
However, it can be said, that there are several countries in the world who successfully manage to maintain an armed force appropriate for the size of the country and made up of appropriate equipment for a reasonable budget. 
      Israel is often lauded as one of the best run Militaries in the world, thanks largely to the way it is organised. As a country almost continuously under attack, it clearly has no room for inefficiencies. That they are still comfortably standing is testament to the fact that they have systems that work.
     The Netherlands has had a long decorated history when it comes to military affairs. After over 400 years, they have done a lot of work to refine the way their systems run. They currently operate on pretty much the same budget as New Zealand and this extensive study found that they were very well regarded by other nations they served with.   
     Norway operates its military on effectively the same budget as New Zealand despite having 5 times NZ's GDP. Norway has only slightly more people than New Zealand and yet has their military ranked at 33 while we languish down at 80. Clearly there are some thing we could learn from the Norwegians. 

My point here, is that improvement IS possible. We CAN get (literally) more bang for our buck. Maybe the current system should be scrapped, but the NZDF should not be. 

- If I were running the NZDF...
It should be noted that neither side in this debate is qualified to postulate the most effective way in which the NZDF could be run, however that's never stopped billions of armchair coaches before so...
CON would suggest a moderate increase in defense spending. We'd advocate that the NZDF should make a subtle shift in focus to devote significantly more funding towards the Navy. This would be done at the expense of the Army's Cavalry and Infantry units, but mostly at the expense of the Air Force, which should be reduced to troop carriers exclusively.
It's our belief that this redistribution of funds would better reflect the "home court" environment we operate in, and our obligations to our Pacific neighbors. 

 It's cool guys - no funding cuts for your unit.                                                                           The Uruk-hai experiment was not really that effective. 

There IS an external threat
My opponent brushes aside the threat of island hopping being an effective way to reach New Zealand for an invading army. The evidence he cites is Japan's attempt at controlling the Pacific during World War II. I'm going to note that his evidence here was quite false as well. Japan got a LOT closer to NZ than merely bombing Darwin, Guadalcanal was one of the bloodiest battles fought in the Pacific and that's only 3000kms away from Wellington. There's even some evidence to suggest that Japan sent submarines into New Zealand's coastal waters.
And if you can't easily place Guadacanal on a map today, that's because it's better known as the Solomon Islands - yet another Pacific Nation that New Zealand is sworn to protect. 

Maybe that island hopping strategy was closer to working than PRO thinks?

I'd like my opponent to consider a potential island hopping attack like Japan's one, only instead of being launched by Japan, how about one launched by China? 
A country a lot closer, with a whole lot more people and a WHOLE lot more firepower. In fact China is already starting to flex her muscles in the Pacific. Not so much island hopping, as BUILDING HER OWN ISLANDS! A country with the resources to construct her own islands as a means of extending her territory will have no problem moving an attacking force to New Zealand or more likely one of the smaller nations we have sworn to protect.

If that's not good enough, consider Indonesia. Australia certainly has been! 250 million people, the most populated Muslim country in the world and less than a two hour flight from Darwin. Indonesia already has an established history of including some significant religious radicals within it's population. Several aggressive attacks have been launched from there already. It's worth noting that Indonesia is ranked one position ahead of Australia on the Firepower index, and that she has over ten times the population and only a tiny fraction of the land mass. The USA certainly considers it a serious threat. They have one of the largest US Army bases on foreign soil in Australia's Northern Territory. If WWIII were to be launched along religious lines, NZ would be right in the thick of it - especially considering we are an ideal launching base to attack Australia's only populated area, her east coast.
And to say that Australia, the country with the fourth least population density in the world is one of the most guarded places - is clearly ridiculous. 

How to best defend our Little Brothers?
Both sides in this debate agree that we have an obligation to defend, not only our sovereign interests but also those smaller Pacific neighbors we have treaties with. In his argument here, PRO shifts this to us needing to set an example for them. His contention is that Pacifism and fiscal responsibility is the best example we can set for them, therefore we should disband our defense force. 
No. That's not right. 

Our job is to be there to protect them from the Chinas of this world who would bully them. We may not be the largest force in the world, but we've made a commitment to the South Pacific that we, along with Australia, will ensure that they don't get pushed around again, like they were during WWII. 
It's beyond the scope of this debate to argue whether Pacifism is a better course than Violence. I call on PRO to stay well clear of pushing this misleading agenda. 

The Five Eyes
This alliance is very distinct from ANZUS, which NZ is not a member of any more.  Contrary to this, NZ is a very active member of this one. In the Five Eyes Alliance described in the previous round, each member has been allocated a "sphere of influence" which they are responsible for. Australia can't pick up our slack because, quite frankly, they have their own job to do, and can't waste their time and resource doing ours for us. 
Surely Isolationism/Pacifism/Chillaxing is a better way to go?
Judges, PRO is making a strong case that because War is bad and wasteful, ware should be abolished. The first step in this is that standing Armies should be scrapped. 
I urge you to disregard these arguments. I will not be responding to them as they are not in keeping with the spirit of this resolution. 
PRO's only valid arguments for the NZDF to be scrapped are that:
 - it's inefficient/ineffective
- Australia will protect us. And probably all the other places we were supposed to protect too. Probably.

War may not be the best way. But it has always been here and it's not going away any time soon.  
And since my opponent has given us an LOTR quote, here's one from me!

Vote CON!
We already have the NZDF. There has been a need for it in the past, there is sufficient cause to anticipate a need for it in the future. 
We're already invested in it. Scrapping it now makes no sense.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-10 04:43:37
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
This is the final round, less the reply speeches. I look forward to it.

We've already invested a lot
Let me deal with this very briefly. When a ship is sinking, the logical course of action is to jump on a rescue boat and get off that ship. Probably the least logical course of action is to remain onboard as the ship goes under, simply because it's a very expensive ship.

The same principle applies to life in many ways. We might have invested in some bad stocks, and we might lose a lot of money on them. Still, the correct response is to sell the failing stocks, and salvage what pennies you can, rather than watch as your remaining money evaporates simply because you invested so much initially (or in the NZDF's case, spending more money on the failed stock). We might have a failed relationship - somebody whom we've spent a lot of time and effort and money on, but things aren't working on. Sometimes it's just right to move on and find something else that's more worthy of our time/effort/money.

It's true that we've invested a lot into the NZDF. While that might make it a bitter pill to swallow for the investors into the NZDF (the greater New Zealand public) that their money has been so carelessly misused, it is certainly not an argument for keeping the NZDF. If the NZDF has costs that outweigh its utility, we should scrap it, regardless of our prior investment.

Other things that somebody invested a lot in, but which turned out to be wastes

While my opponent has made the beginnings of a counter-model at this point, it is too little, too late. Remember that he cannot both agree that the NZDF is inadequate, thereby ignoring roughly half of my opening substantive argumentation, and not run a counter-model. If he simply wants to argue that there is a need for a defence force without running  a counter-model then that's fine, but then he needs to respond to my remaining analysis, which he probably won't because he's invested so much effort into this.

My opponent began by showing that other nations have efficient militaries - namely Israel, Norway and the Netherlands. I see the Netherlands as somewhat different than the other two. Norway and Israel are both nations with active military conscription. Civil liberties are simply incompatible with a strong armed force. The Netherlands, too, HAD military conscription until recently, when it was abolished (mostly). International regard for the Netherlands is based on past military affairs - more so than current policy anyway - and that's why they are so well regarded. Besides this, NEW ZEALAND is well regarded, so much so that other nations entrust us with their safety. All three also spend significantly more money on their defence forces. The Netherlands spends 5 times as much as New Zealand, Norway 3.5 times, and Israel about 9 times. When you factor in purchasing power parity, these figures exaggerate further. So it simply isn't true their budgets are the same.

More important than this, however, I bought up in the first round that the real threats New Zealand actively faces are not met by the defence force. None of these nations have these threats - they are unique to New Zealand. Because our circumstances are different from, for instance, Israel, we cannot simply copy Israel's military and expect to be well-protected. Israel's systems, in turn, were developed in the context of their nation, and are unique to their situation - that's why they work so well for them. It makes no logical sense that we can do something in our context just because other countries can do something in another context. Australia mines more uranium than we do, but just because they can do it doesn't mean every other country in the world can do that, too.

As further evidence of our uniqueness, here's how we're using one of the last allied planes to fly in Vietnam today - as a hobbit-house.

All this is therefore hardly evidence that our procurement could be improved, but even supposing it could... what exactly would we use our superior procurement for? I mean, buying less trophies and less money down the bottomless money pit? So long as we aren't actually using our armies, they're still a deadweight loss to this nation. As such, nzlockie's entire counter-model is missing one crucial component: the benefit of its implementation.

As for the specifics of the model, where con advocates for an increase in defense spending with a refocusing on the navy, con is again extremely skimpy on how exactly that will make things any better. He claims it aligns better with our "home court environment" and pacific obligations, but never attempts to explain why. Even if he does do that (bearing in mind I cannot respond to his final round material), there's a few very obvious problems with this approach:
  • ships are much slower than planes, limiting our ability to help our Pacific neighbours in a prompt fashion. In general a navy solves for none of their threats, and this does nothing for increasing our capabilities to help these nations.
  • we have numerous direct threats to our nation. Only one of them - Illegal fishing in our territorial waters - is helped by the navy.
  • this argument is particularly exclusive with the remainder of my opponent's case, where he suggests that New Zealand faces an imminent danger of being struck in a conflict at any moment, since a modest naval upgrade and downgrade to the rest of the NZDF is hardly a sufficient standard for an adequate defence of this country against such a threat.

We find that several other nations, though they are in unique and different situations, have abolished their militaries and seen virtually no negative impacts from them. For example, Iceland abolished their military, and yet still keep close defense relations with other nations such as the United States. Costa Rica, a nation of a comparable size to New Zealand, is one of the most respectable, fastest-growing-economically and progressive nations in Latin America, yet they abolished their army with no harmful consequences at all, despite many wars frequently happening nearby (including one that forced their neighbour, Panama, to disarm as well). In general, the only times when armies are re-established is not because of some war where governments suddenly need to scramble a militia together, but because of internal strife, as we can see happening now in Haiti. This is hardly a factor for New Zealand, given our long history of stability.

Costa Rica moments after abolishing their army

Costa Ricans are still cheering to this day

External threat
First of all, the Solomon Islands (and Guadalcanal in particular) are more like 4000km away, not 3000 as my opponent stated. For the record, the Japanese did send a few reconnaissance submarines with floatplanes around the place, but that was probably more closely connected with the fact that there was an American base here at the time they wanted to spy on. They sent the subs over, let the floatplane fly, had a good look, and then moved on. By contrast, the Germans, despite ostensibly fighting on the other side of the world, sent four destroyers and a sub to New Zealand, sinking several New Zealand ships in the process. Why everyone focuses on various late-war sightings of Japanese subs and not the Germans, who actually performed what might be equated to terrorist activity around New Zealand's waters during the war, makes no sense at all to me.

Though the Japanese did indeed engage in a battle roughly 10% closer to New Zealand than Darwin is from Japan, a strike against Australia would still certainly be required for an attack against New Zealand, as the Australian mainland would otherwise still be in the way - thus, it remains accurate to say that Darwin's raids were the closest the Japanese came to a New Zealand attack, and that the Japanese had an absurd amount of conquering still to do before they came near us, despite their successes in the conflict. The Solomon Islands are barely within our hemisphere.

The overall aim of this point was to show that island-hopping is not easy, rather than provide any detailed historical analysis. The Japanese tried it, with all their might and resources. They failed. In fact this was the most successful execution of this strategy in world history. Even then, a much more plausible attack vector against New Zealand was by sabotage, as indeed happened. If that was the case then, it is even more so true now, in this age where the nature of warfare has changed from uniformed officers and giant tanks, to small-scale insurgency and cyber-espionage. If that's the trend now, we can extrapolate the continuation of these phenomena into the future with certainty. As such nzlockie first needs to respond to the issue that such war is extremely unlikely to happen - especially to New Zealand, of all countries.

As for China, they're not building new islands if you read pro's article, they're reclaiming land on islands they already possess. Much of our capital city is also built on reclaimed land - this is nothing new at all. To reclaim the entire Tasman Sea, however, I should think to be a little far-fetched if China could indeed be bothered. Unlike small additions to islands, such as the addition of ports for ships, the Tasman Sea is very large, and quite deep. And Indonesia? Australia cares about them because they're the boat people who keep trying to immigrate illegally ... they don't get anywhere near New Zealand with their cheap rafts because we're too far away. Pro's own source on Islamic radicals notes that they are not very popular in Indonesia and, despite a few high-profile headlines, the majority are very moderate. His source on Australia's considering them basically talks about how Indonesia is fast become Australia's #1 ally.  Even if they suddenly decided to fight a war on religious lines, New Zealand is not a strategic capture point even if it was easy to capture (which, as I've said countless times, it is not). We're far further removed for Australia's east coast than Indonesia itself. It's plain fearmongering to suggest this, given that such a war hasn't been waged in over half a century, and there's no indication that one will ever be waged again.

Finally, population density has nothing to do with how guarded a place is. Ten people huddled together are not inherently more secure than one person by himself, if that one person has a gun and the ten people don't.

Sovereign Interests
First of all, we just don't accept that China's goal here is to be the schoolyard bully for the hell of it. China is merely acting self-interested, and since pro has more or less accepted that war is in nobody's interest, we don't think China will pursue military expansion. They may use sabotage, diplomacy or other tools, but probably not war. It should be noted that pro has dropped all contentions arguing that Australia is a great place to invade in this round. If anything, we've harmed the sovereign interests of the Solomon Islands more than China ever has or will in the foreseeable future, for example when we ran the Stateroom program out of the embassy in their capital. Which brings us on to this:

Five Eyes
Once again, this is not a military alliance. I know it's not ANZUS, what I said was that we don't have military ties since ANZUS. The five eyes is nothing but an intelligence sharing community. We allow them to use satellite receivers here, and in return we get access to their secret intelligence databases. This is James Bond stuff, not GI Joe stuff. Even if it was, New Zealand has no GI Joes anyway. Even my opponent's own plan for our military would undermine their ability to respond to a five-eyes thing if that were real. But it's not.

The five eyes has never acted as a military alliance, and the so-called spheres of influence my opponent mentioned clearly don't exist. Otherwise 1) he'd have told you where they are and what New Zealand is responsible for, and 2) we'd overlap with Australia - you literally cannot have a sphere extending from New Zealand that doesn't hit Australia first, excepting the French territory of New Caledonia (funny though it would be if New Caledonia turned out to be the only nation in our mythical sphere of influence) - but then Australia's sphere would inevitable cover this too. We are so remote that it makes literally zero sense for us to cover anyone, if Australia can cover someone and proximity is the alleged basis.

War has always been here
No it hasn't. War hasn't been here since the New Zealand Land Wars 150 years ago. War as my opponent understands it hasn't existed on planet Earth since the Korean War stopped over 50 years ago. The last few years have seen the dying gasps of war - insurgency in places such as Iraq and Syria being the most high-profile.

This whole argument is inherently absurd anyway. It's like the riots following layoffs at a typewriter factory... "typewriters have always been here! We must keep the typerwriters!" No we don't. Sometimes the world at large simply moves on from things. The only question is whether we want to be leading the charge or not.

What this debate should be about
The most disturbing thing, for me, about the way our defense spending is conducted in this country, is that nobody's asking what we know our defence requirements are, for instead they appeal to convoluted hypotheticals that appear day-by-day to be more and more like fantasies. Instead, we throw money into a bottomless pit, wait for it to churn out a trophy that costs more money to keep, all because others have bigger trophies than us. Even the New Zealand government doesn't expect New Zealand to be attacked. And if they don't with all their secret intelligence, then why should we? The cost-benefit calculus for why wars happen no longer applies in our case.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-12 21:14:23
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
Judges, welcome to the final round. 

My esteemed opponent opened his final round with an analogy of a sinking ship. It's not a crazy analogy. In fact it actually fits both of our positions quite well.
The NZDF as it currently stands has some inefficiencies - both sides agree here, although we differ on the degree of these inefficiencies.
My opponent, having learned that the NZDF is "sinking" considers the logical course of action to simply abandon it.
Remember this scene?
The decision to abandon a boat when it is sinking has serious consequences, in this instance, it STILL cost many people their lives. 
Now if the boat can't be saved, then the decision to abandon is, as my opponent says, logical. You are definitely doomed if you stay, if you abandon ship, you MAY be saved... or you may be doomed any way. 
But is the NZDF a ship that can't be saved? Or is it just a a ship with a slow leak? A slow leak that may yet be plugged? 
Is the decision to abandon ship the right call, or is it more logical to try and save it first?

In my previous round, I gave examples of three different countries that are successfully maintaining an appropriate defence force in an appropriate budget. 
My opponent misses my point with the countries I've chosen, but I know you, dear Judges, will not.
My point was never that we should copy them, my point was only that systems DO exist that allow a country the size of New Zealand to successfully maintain a defence force. 
Since I feel like I've proven that we do have a need for such a force, and more importantly, since we've already invested in it, if we CAN save it, the logical thing is NOT to abandon it, it is to save it.

In short, my opponent is too hasty in giving this force up. 
We'll rehash this again before the end of this debate, but let's look at what he's proposing we give up.
- We throw ourselves on the mercies and good graces of anyone who decides they'd like a slice of our Pineapple Lumps. 
- We rely on uneven terrain and bad weather to keep the baddies away.
- We cease to be seen to "do our part" when international combat duties are legitimately called for.
- Instead we expect others to stand up and defend our shores and interests, should the need arise.
- We make the above decisions not only for ourselves, but for all those other smaller countries within our region of the Pacific that we've sworn to protect.

Counter Model:
I disagree with my opponent here. I'm not going to repeat everything I said in the previous round, but given the resolution, I do NOT need to present a counter model. I'm not qualified to do so any more than my opponent is qualified to tear it down.
What I have done is shown that other countries make it work.
We used to have compulsory conscription, many people would love to see it brought back. Increasing our Naval force is an extremely logical move given our position in the Pacific. Guarding our territorial waters against illegal fishing, (a role performed by the Navy) is hugely important, not only for us but for our smaller neighbors. And it's a problem that is far more frequently occurring than a physical attack. 
But here's the thing Judges, my job here is not to come up with an iron clad plan for how the NZDF can be run more efficiently... my job is to prove that it is so important that it is worth saving. 

New Zealand is the greatest country on earth. We were the first to the top of the World, we were the first to split the atom, we were the first to realise that our home lives could be SO much easier by simply giving women the vote. We invented the Tranquilizer Gun, the Electric Fence and the Jet Boat.
When the world was threatened by a power too great for any one nation, we carried the Ring to Mount Doom and destroyed it, thereby saving the world and earning every man, woman and child of this great country the right to bang on about it for eternity.
If Norway can run an Defence Force then so can we.

External threats to New Zealand:
My opponent seems super eager to prove that there is no way that New Zealand could be physically invaded. This is clearly crazy. 
As has already been stated, Japan made it right up to our front yard in WWII. Japan.
China and Indonesia are FAR closer than Japan, and are far bigger than Japan. To try and insinuate that they would be incapable of EASILY reaching and invading our shores is ludicrous.

He then brings up Germany and points out that not only did they make it as far as little old New Zealand, they actually took the time to sink a few boats while they were down here!
Are we really that far removed form the world, when we could be reached by a nation literally half the world away?!

Judges, the odds of New Zealand being a target on an aggressor's radar are not great.... today. HOWEVER, to suggest that there is no scenario where we may be drawn in to a conflict situation in the South Pacific, and even possibly on our own front door... is to ignore history and to roll the dice on a potentially life and death issue when we don't have to. 

Also one little point, China is too building islands and is already flexing her muscles where she thinks she can get away with it.

The Five Eyes Alliance:
This alliance is a Military alliance and comes squarely under the jurisdiction of the NZDF.
Although it is public knowledge that this alliance divides key sections of the globe up in terms of responsibility, for security reasons, the exact divisions of responsibility are not public.

War has always been here:
150 years? Cute. But not even true, even when you just look at New Zealand - which is not what I meant.
As my opponent stated himself, both Germany AND japan visited our waters during the last World War. The citizens of NZ were also touched by war in every other conflict our ZNZDF has been involved in since then, including , most recently, our SAS troops deployed to Afghanistan.

My point with this statement, again misinterpreted by my esteemed opponent, but clearly understood by you dear Judges, was that War is an ever present reality on a planet where bad men want to take your stuff. Our tiny country has fought valiantly, bravely and successfully in both of the global conflicts to touch this Earth.
There's a phrase we mention each Anzac Day when we remember those terrible times... when considering whether we should disband our only military defence force, we would do well to remember it now.

OK, you have to admit, THAT was a pretty good ending right? Vote CON!


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-15 07:23:14
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
Firstly, I'd like to thank the Judges for taking the time to consider the issues raised in this debate. I'd also like to acknowledge my opponent and thank him for the enthusiasm he's displayed when attempting to construct a case for the resolution. 

I'll be using this final round to sum up the total case for my side. CON's position in this debate is that the New Zealand Defence Force should NOT be scrapped

There exists a need for the NZDF: "To secure New Zealand against external threat..." 
We showed that New Zealand is not as geographically isolated as PRO alledged. It would be entirely viable for a nation such as China to directly attack New Zealand as an act of war. It was pointed out that the Island Hopping strategy was successfully used by Japan during the Second World War to occupy a large number of South Pacific Islands, many of which fall into the category of countries and territories that NZ has sworn to help protect, should such an attack ever happen again. Although New Zealand's shore was never attacked, it was also pointed out, (by PRO!) that Germany and Japan both carried out wartime missions within NZ Territorial waters, and that Germany actually even sunk some boats. 

There exists a need for the NZDF:"...to protect our sovereign interests, including the Exclusive Economic Zone..."
We pointed out that New Zealand, although small in land area, is responsible for the fourth largest Marine Territory in the world. We also have several treaties and agreements with other smaller Pacific neighbors to protect them with our Military should the need arise. This promise has allowed them to function without their own Military.
To abandon our military would also be to abandon our promises to them - something our side does not agree is a good idea. 
It was conceded by PRO that the NZ Navy is currently responsible for protecting our waters against illegal fishing, a practice which, while not strictly combative, is still an invasion. 

There exists a need for the NZDF:"...and to take action to meet likely contingencies in New Zealand’s area of strategic interest."
We pointed out that New Zealand would likely be drawn into any conflict where Australia was attacked, given our shared history and alligience, but also because we are handily placed to launch attacks against the Eastern coastline - which hosts roughly 75% of Australia's population. We raised two probable causes for such an attack - namely to control Australia's mineral wealth, and also in the event of a full-blown Religious war.
Any suggestion that this threat is imaginary or unlikely must be weighed against the fact that the USA has one of their largest overseas bases in the Northern Territory of Australia. 
Clearly, SOMEONE thinks it could be an event worth planning for!

The Current Status of the NZDF
My opponent spent a great deal of his first argument pointing out all of the flaws in the existing NZDF. In his opinion it is dog beyond help, it needs to be put out of it's misery. 
My side does not agree. Although we don't have quite as bleak a view of it as PRO does, we agree the current state is not ideal. 
Where we differ is that, because we see a need for the NZDF, we do not agree that it should be scrapped. 
We have over 100 years of history with the current Military. Our forces have served faithfully and well in every major conflict of the 20th century.
Instead, we propose that we investigate, evaluate and revamp. 

Our side pointed out that NZ has a military obligation as part of the Five Eyes Alliance, involving the UK, USA, Australia and Canada. 
We also pointed out that as a UN Member and, in fact member of the UN Security Council, we have an obligation to be seen to support those other countries who are championing the same rights we enjoy. We have served along side other Nations in a number of military operations, not least in both World Wars. We have fought and bleed with these other countries. We have saved their lives even as they have saved ours. New Zealand ought not become the country that now sits back and expects others to commit the lives of their young men and women to protect OUR way of life, where we decline to do so. 

PRO's plan of giving up on our Military all together fails to address what will happen should War yet again threaten our way of life. His position is that it probably won't happen and if it does we can just keep our heads down. Even if someone does notice us down here, Australia will protect us. 
The Hobbits of the Shire thought much the same thing. Gildor Inglorion, Noldorin Elf of the House of Finrod reminded them that even though they were isolated, there is nowhere on Middle Earth that is truly out of reach of Evil:

But it is not your own Shire. Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out. - Gildor, Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring

We made this really impassioned speech at the end of Round Three which brought up poignant and patriotic imagery aimed at pointing out that War sucks but when duty calls, we need to be ready. Again.
If you skipped it in your hurry to get to this bit, you should go back and read it. It was cool and ended with a picture. Classy. 

Is it able to be saved instead?
PRO demanded that we be able to prove the viability of saving the NZDF. Our contention is that this is far beyond the scope of this debate, as none of us, debaters nor judges, are placed to be able to accurately define something like this. The ensuing arguments over one plan's viability would only distract from the actual resolution that the entire project should be scrapped. 
As evidence to show that it WAS theoretically possible, we submitted the Militaries of three very distinct countries as evidence that what we trying to achieve IS possible. 
Israel, Norway and the Netherlands all have successful and efficient militaries. They achieve this through a number of different means - forced conscription, increased funding, diverting resources to focus on specific combat tasks; all of which NZ is able to replicate, should we agree that the NZDF is worth investing in. 

When PRO missed the point and assumed we were talking about simply copying the moves made by these respective countries, we pointed out that this was NOT what we were suggesting. Our commonsense approach would be to copy the logical thinking which has caused these countries to make the moves they've made. Our proud nation is situated in the largest body of water on the planet, so logically it would seem that our Military should reflect that of a force operating in this environment. 

The resolution is that we should scrap the NZDF. My opponent's responsibility is to argue the affirmative case for this drastic, and not easily reversible, course of action.
His primary case has been that it's not being run terribly well at the moment and that we don't really need it anyway.

- My side has shown that we've needed it in the past, and that we have every right to anticipate needing it again in the future.
- We've pointed out that it's possible to run a defence force efficiently; countries which are not as clever or good looking as us have done it, and PRO has given no reason to suggest that we can't do it either.

Scrapping 100 years and billions of dollas of investment into our Military Forces leaves us completely at the mercy of other nations and, possibly more importantly, unable to contribute in a combat role when called upon. PRO hasn't given a satisfactory rationalisation for this that doesn't make us come out looking like weak-kneed pussies. And we didn't bust our guts becoming the most dominant force in the hardest team sport in the world to come off looking like that!

Judges, the burden in this debate is clearly on PRO. They need to convince me that removing our ability to defend ourselves and those we are responsible for is the right course of action. Given that they can't assure me that war is any less likely this century than it was last century, where we saw the greatest loss of life in human history as a result of men killing each other - I remain unconvinced.
Thank you again for your time and consideration. 

Vote CON!

This is what PRO thinks the NZDF should be reduced to. Not cool PRO. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-17 03:42:44
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I'd like to thank my opponent for the opportunity to complete this debate at last.

In the final rounds of this debate, my opponent advanced several new substantive contentions. It would be unfair of me to address these, so I hope judges will disregard them. Instead, let me briefly tell you why I've won this debate.

This is a debate about costs and benefits
My argument has been that the very real costs to New Zealand of maintaining a defence force trump the uncertain at best, and criminally false at worst, benefits it provides to our nation.

To summarize it broadly, my opponent's position on the costs faced by the NZDF has been rather inconsistent. He's agreed that maintaining the New Zealand Defence Force is an absurdly huge burden on our nation, yet claims it might still be salvaged somehow. Quite reasonably, I asked him to provide an argument for this contention - to tell us how. His response, first of all, looked a lot like my model... and second, he never told us how it actually reduces costs. He simply asserted this. The only evidence behind all this is the fact that "other nations do it", which is both silly because he also agreed other nations are in a completely different position, and second, it's the same rationale that got us into this mess in the first place. As I pointed out in my very first speech, the only reason we have a military at all is because other nations do it - literally nobody expects this country to be attacked except, apparently, my opponent.

While he's arguing all that, however, my opponent seriously undercut his own position when he then argued that it's precisely because the costs are so high that the NZDF should be kept. That's a different position from his earlier reorganization of the NZDF to reduce costs and inefficiencies - and one which is, I think, fundamentally more flawed because it only solves half the problem. The missing part of the problem is that our defence force has costs that are spiralling rapidly out of control and it's reducing our ability to invest in things that we really, really need. And as for the other half, he still  hasn't provided any mechanism for how it would actually work. He's got no solution that increases the benefits, nor has he an argument for it.

Let's briefly revisit my case to this point. I examined, in some detail, the present state and capabilities of our defence force, and what that costs us. I showed that our money is going to defence force trophies, while we have real tangible threats to this country, most of which the defence force cannot, by its nature, address. I further showed that the lack of justification for the purchase of these trophies is underscored by our extreme reluctance to use them. These are very real costs - as I termed it, it's a bottomless money pit that we have an obsession with.

At the outset, I attacked the notion that the defence force continues to provide a benefit in this day and age. I explained that the global nature of violence is changing. Large interstate conflicts are becoming increasingly unlikely, and are generally expected to fade away. I explored this in considerable depth. Con's only counter-point was a hypothetical invasion by China of Australia which was, by his own admission, for the time being incredibly far-fetched. Nor did he provide any argument for why that might change in future, he just felt the assertion was enough.

I further would argue that New Zealand is so naturally defensible, that we have never been at a serious threat of foreign invasion. My opponent disputed this with the example of Japan in world war 2. I argued that this was not the case, and there was considerable engagement in this line of argumentation. While I don't deny that a foreign invasion is possible, you have to remember that Japan ran one of the most successful military campaigns in history, as did the Germans. And neither drew a battle plan for an invasion of this country, outside of small acts of sabotage that I alluded to in my first round (which incidentally, our defense force was helpless against). In fact the only reason they were even interested in us at all was because we were part of a larger army trying to shoot them. Even my opponent admits New Zealand's uneven terrain etc makes us difficult to invade, not to mention the fact that we are surrounded by strong allies, and are mates with some of the best militaries in the world - including a large US base directly between us and asia, and the army of Australia.

So then - what is the benefit of the NZDF, in light of the very real opportunity cost?

Con brought up our alliances. He did not prove that any of them obligated us to provide military assistance, nor did he show that doing so would be of any benefit to our country whatsoever other than some rough appeal to "uncoolness". This was true of both the pacific and the five eyes alliance. My opponent simply asserted this was "common knowledge" but couldn't find one measly source to back him up. That's the only constructive material on this point con still has standing.

Lest We Forget
This line comes, primarily, from the Great War, the "War to end all wars", of World War 1. The point was that we should not forget just how horrible the war was, and the terrible cost and sacrifice our country suffered. It was not to say the dead were glorious, but to say that their death was tragic. Unfortunately, we did forget, and marched off to world war 2 anyway. That was horrible too. It was tragic. We fought in Korea, Vietnam - it got to the point where Vietnam soldiers were actually told, on returning, that they were not allowed to talk about their terrible experiences there. And then at some point it finally sank in - lest we forget. All those people died at Gallipoli because they believed that by fighting this conflict, they could end war. That was the propaganda of the time. The only way we can honor their sacrifice is by having peace. Although we still for some reason maintain a military, the days of a trigger-happy New Zealand public - or government for that matter - are over. Therefore both our need and desire for an army is gone. As was written, at the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we shall remember them.

Thanks again to my opponent and I wish him the best of luck in the judging.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-08-19 23:52:28
| Speak Round

View As PDF

Enjoyed this debate? Please share it!

You need to be logged in to be able to comment
@Stag I don't think you understood what I said. I never claimed this was a"fair" result, in fact I inferred that it wasn't when I said that this price is worth it to have a site where there are no ties.

See, I'm OK with living in a flawed system because I believe there is no such thing as a perfect system. This result is unfortunate but I'm OK with it. I believe the way forward is to encourage more judgements, THAT'S the real crime here.
I could care less about the result, what I care about is that this was a good debate right through to its conclusion. It deserved to be judged. Awarding me a draw is not the result im ooking for.
Posted 2015-09-13 06:08:10
Really? 6 times now? And were they bugs that were fixed?

BTW, I deducted roughly 50 elo from myself in the early days of the site to over-compensate for bugs. And happy to do it again.

Can't count as a loss due to database inconsistency in some situation, would if I could.
Posted 2015-09-13 04:25:11

Well I literally pointed it out half a dozen times. Several times public and several times private. You gave me ELO and the win, but after everytime you would never count it as a loss or deduct ELO from yourself.


Doesn't make them right. The price to pay is that someone undeserving gets a win, and the reality is that neither of you deserve to win with a tie. Therefore neither of you should win. Simple.
Posted 2015-09-13 04:22:53
I'm a fan of no ties, even if this is the price we have to pay for it, it's still a better system than allowing ties.
Posted 2015-09-12 20:24:32
@Stag - can you show me the two debates? There has been no change so if true, this would simply indicate a bug, nothing sleazy.
Posted 2015-09-12 19:55:39
You don't deserve to win this debate with a tie.

It is an integrity absence move and quite sleazy. Another reason why ELO has to go, so this site will no longer be polluted by self absorbed score mongers.
Posted 2015-09-12 17:35:12
@Admin changes the rules to help himself.

Two debates with him, the same rule applied, but the win went to con. He was con both times. He has failed to negate his elo from either the team debate or individual debate.
Posted 2015-09-12 17:33:54
Pro always wins in that circumstance. In 4-ways, it's always OG.
Posted 2015-09-10 12:02:35
Both Pro and Con had the same number of points. How did you determine who is to win that debate?
Posted 2015-09-10 12:01:25
What do you mean?
Posted 2015-09-10 08:33:50
how to determine when there is a tie?
Posted 2015-09-10 08:32:43
@STALIN yes. There are no ties.
Posted 2015-09-10 08:00:33
Pro wins when it was tie?
Posted 2015-09-10 07:59:21
I LOVE your first round argument BTW. When you think about how much money we spend on defense and what we have to show for it, it makes you wonder why people are so bothered about a piddly $27M on a new flag.
Posted 2015-09-10 03:57:04
Haha yeah its disappointing. Especially since this is about the third time I've lost to you when the same number of people have voted for either side!
Posted 2015-09-10 03:54:22
Dammit. I was hoping for at least one judgment on this. At least one.
Posted 2015-09-10 02:12:47
The New Zealand special forces is hard to judge like you said. With that said, from what I do know, it is impossible to assign the NZSAS any presitge when other special forces have a far longer and more extensive military track record
Posted 2015-08-20 03:50:06
All my information is accuarate. I search around all over the internet. Wikipedia is probably what I use 10% of the time, but when I do, I verify the statistics with the references at the bottom of every wikipedia page.
Posted 2015-08-20 03:47:25
Knowing you Stag, you're probably getting your info on the NZSAS from Wikipedia.
And you're probably looking up the Australian SAS.
Covert troops are just that, covert. It's pretty hard to judge them let alone compare them.
Posted 2015-08-19 21:11:18
That kind of excessive training and discipline seems like hell. The system literally has no respect for the individual. They want them to become cold machines that only think about killing, and once they have done that, they push them even harder to make them more effective at being a killing machine.

Military suicide is a huge problem in Russia and China, you can watch a couple documentaries on it. I don't blame them, that isn't any way to live.
Posted 2015-08-19 20:03:55
There have been roughly 8 hostile full-engagements involving the NZSAS in the past 40 years. The NZSAS has conducted nearly 150 missions that did not result in armed combat. Judging the effectiveness of the NZSAS from 8 engagements is really hard to do, but from those 8 engagements, the skill of NZSAS infantry in battle was mediocre.

Admin posted a picture of Leonidas from Sparta. I know a thing or two about Spartans. Their training took years, and involved ritual daily physical and psychological torture. A lot of special forces units in East Europe derive their name from Sparta, including Spetznaz and Elite Polish SF, because the dedication it takes to become a special forces member is comparable to the training of Spartans.

I like the standards being high though. 12 hours of fitness and weapons training, 6 hours of psychological torture and physical beatings, and 6 hours of sleeping on cold metal floor (no beds for SF). Follow that routine, and you will be apart of an elite Spetznaz VMF unit within three years.

Posted 2015-08-19 20:00:31
Also your guys SAS doesn't have a huge military track record. I compared the battle engagements the NZSAS has been in with other Special Forces ISAF units operating in Afghanistan, and the NZSAS pales in comparison. In varying contact situations,NZSAS has lost men in light skirmishes with untrained militia units wielding late 40's era Soviet weapons.
Posted 2015-08-19 19:47:07
To be critical, the SAS doesn't even match up to the top tier elite military units featured north of the equator.
Posted 2015-08-19 19:38:07
Haha, I'll be sure to pass your sentiments on the next time I'm working with them!
Posted 2015-08-18 06:58:40
Allow me to translate that into language everyone can understand.

Our SAS =

The rest of the NZDF =
Posted 2015-08-18 06:51:15
@Stag - it's like you don't even read the comments. PRO's contention, (which I don't disagree with) is that the NZDF would be better served shifting its focus from combat operations to Civilian operations - Policing/Civil Defence and Coast Guard duties for example.
The majority of NZDF staff are already trained to do these things to a certain degree so, while some retraining would certainly be required, over a fairly short length of time, the majority of those 15,000 jobs would simply be restructured.

The NZDF is not like the US Military which, in my experience, is far more specialised. Even our general infantrymen are trained primarily to perform policing and civil defence jobs in addition to the normal killing people stuff. That's because, as PRO says, it's FAR more likely that the NZDF will be called upon to serve in a Civil emergency than a combat situation. Our SAS are pure killing machines, but the rest of them would likely find the transfer pretty easy.
Posted 2015-08-18 06:28:01

You act as if there are job openings readily available to move 15,000 people into. New Zealand has incredibly slow job growth judging from both developed and undeveloped standards, and your government warned that the volatility of the economy could lead to job loss.

If you disband the military, thousands of poeple would be unemployed. Even though there are over 20,000 open jobs in New Zealand, many of them require specific credentials that not everyone in the military industrial complex has.

That is the harsh reality of things.
Posted 2015-08-18 03:16:24
The Native American thing is old though. They formed armies and brigades. They raided villages and attacked camps. They had their fair go at war, and they lost.

Many nations have been conquered and subjugated. The Apache, Iriquois, Navajo, ect. They are not special just because they are a minority.

Oftentimes they had outnumbered are armies in both manpower and technology, since they were constantly being used as proxies between the UK and France to destroy the independence of the early United States.
Posted 2015-08-18 03:09:18
In the history of the United States, there has only been one non-formal act of aggression against Native American nations.

It is hard for you to understand, but in the United States and Canada, Native Americans were divided into sovereign entities with set borders.

The United States had diplomatic relations with several nations, which all eventually declared war and were destroyed. The one exception is the Cherokee Nation.
Posted 2015-08-18 03:04:59
NZ companies already design and produce specialist equipment used in Civil Defence and Coast Guard applications. That's existing industry.
If we move those 15,000 jobs from the Military into those other areas, (as PRO is advocating) the economic impact of disbanding the military will be negligible.
Your "loss of jobs" argument is not as strong as you think it is.
Posted 2015-08-18 02:17:26
Funny, the Germans also said the Polish declared war on them first.

I think you'll find that not every single tribe in America was forcibly removed from their land in that way.

Also, if a military-industrial complex was a psychological disorder, your mind would be the reference for it.
Posted 2015-08-18 01:43:35
There has always been money to be made in weapons. Unlike Australia, New Zealand buys guns directly from other countries, whereas Australia buys the weapon design specs and builds the guns themselves for most of their history. You guys are literally throwing money AND jobs down the toilet.

It would be really easy for the NZ government to contract a capitalist. Buy him the design specs, he will hire people indigenous to New Zealand, and will make a lot of money selling those guns back to the military at a higher price
Posted 2015-08-18 01:41:38
@admin The whole Native American oppression thing gets old. Unlike with the British, Native American tribes declared war on the United States.

Posted 2015-08-18 01:38:35
Huh. I always thought the reason for America's obsession with God and Guns was initially so that they could oppress the indians. Now I'm starting to wonder if laziness on the farm might be another reason too.
Posted 2015-08-18 01:34:00
Also agricultural based economies are very volatile. Other countries have the capacity to out produce everything you make, and have the economic power to install lower tariffs. It is the same principle that leads many big businesses to monopolize.

Nearly every country has some form of military industry. Even New Zealand, although it is barely even existent outside a couple smaller companies. There is money to be made selling guns and ammunition. A lot of money to be made.
Posted 2015-08-18 01:29:42
No, the NZ military industry does have a profound influence on your economy. It employs over 15,000 people like I said, some of which are full time soldiers, and New Zealand has several military naval companies.
Posted 2015-08-18 01:24:20
Haha - it's a good model!
I'd vote for it! Just not when my side is arguing the opposite. ;)
Posted 2015-08-18 00:42:49
It's always nice when your opponent understands your model :)
Posted 2015-08-18 00:41:17
And as I said to you when YOU were debating this topic, PRO's proposal has little to no impact on the job situation. He's basically advocating that the combat military be shifted to Policing/Civil Defence/Coast Guard type roles.
We buy almost all our gear from overseas anyway, so most of the job loss would be more likely to occur there!
Posted 2015-08-18 00:39:08
Your focus on jobs resulting from the military only demonstrates how limited your understanding is of the job market down here.
The Military machine creates a TON of jobs in countries that produce products used by the Military, and may even be viable in a country that produces the minerals needed to produce products for the Military... but in an agricultural country like NZ where we grow wine, sheep and film awesome movies... not so much.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:36:14
The fact that things like, "expand the native militia" appeal to you only proves my point. If my counter model did NOT include things that resonated with the Judges then they don't think my counter model works so therefore PRO's case looks stronger. I didn't want to waste my space arguing for things that would make sense to the likely judges when I know damn well that those kinds of plans wouldn't fly down here.

Much better to focus on the fact that a successful counter model exists and that focusing on finding and developing that is preferable to scrapping the whole thing.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:31:46
I do not think anyone was expecting a 20 page publication on NZDF reform, but a couple solutions that addressed the issues admin brought up would only of helped your case.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:27:40
The military is more than an institution. It is an industry.

Over 15,000 New Zealander jobs are tied to the military-industrial complex, and a couple 100 jobs overseas. New Zealand has very tight job growth. A rise in tariffs, or a general decrease in market prices, could cause your economy to quickly lose thousands of jobs. My original plan when I debated this with admin was to make this pretty abundant.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:26:26
No, my opinion on my strategy still stands. I didn't want to sucked into arguing specifics of the "how"- that was never the original resolution. It places too much BOP on me and lets PRO off.
It's hard to run a straight neg when you're PRO, and me presenting a developed counter model would have just made his job easier.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:25:38
Maybe if you argued spending cuts, manufacturing your own weapons to create jobs at home and to save money, decreasing the armed services branch and expanding the much cheaper native militia, ect.
Posted 2015-08-18 00:22:26
I wasn't looking for a huge reevaluation of the New Zealand military. I could do without specifics.

What I really wanted is something more fleshed out than "increase the navy"
Posted 2015-08-18 00:19:47
Given how much Stag, Swag and Krazy love debating the relative merits of anything military, what should have happened, what would happen, etc etc - I knew that not going into a huge theoretical exercise of coming up with detailed accounts of potential threats and detailed plans of how I would spend the NZDF budget was going to cost me points, and probably the debate... but I didn't care.
I stand by my argument as it stands, that, given the fact that other countries can do it, it's simply not relevant.

I decided it was far more important for me to stay on task and not allow the resolution to be shifted into, "CON's idea for how the NZDF should be structured is a good one."
I enjoy debating Admin and I like to think I'm getting better at working out which of his arguments I should spend my time debating and which ones I need to let fly past me. Either that or I've become completely paranoid and I'm looking for misdirection where there is none!
Posted 2015-08-17 20:55:33
Sure but I can't both deny the problem and advocate solving it in a strong case.
Posted 2015-08-17 14:28:44
I can't explain why it would be better, because it just is.

When problems present themselves with a reform, you can deny their existence or offer solutions. Respected leaders tend to offer solutions over denial, and that is why people respect them in the first place. Using the same principle, those who offer solutions are more convincing than those who deny the problem.
Posted 2015-08-17 14:26:22
Why do you think that would be better? That falls victim to the same contradiction I pulled con up for.
Posted 2015-08-17 14:10:47
I think a straight negative was a bad strategy. You can defeat arguments against your case, but also offer solutions to those same arguments instead of just declaring them baseless.
Posted 2015-08-17 14:07:48
Yeah, but I mean, it's onus pushing isn't it ... I'm trying to turn my case into a straight negative. Con was totally right that I tried to shift the BOP on to him, however successfully you see that attempt at forcing a counter-model on to him. To that end a strategy of just refuting all his claims while pushing that burden at every opportunity basically kills his attempt at making a non-positive case when he has admitted fault in the system.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:33:48
You would of done well to argue buffing up the police or even maybe the New Zealand millitia.

I come from a place that has the most ineffective police force in America, yet also the largest volunteer militia in the States.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:33:33
You would of done well to argue buffing up the police or even maybe the New Zealand millitia.

I come from a place that has the most ineffective police force in America, yet also the largest volunteer militia in the States.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:33:28
You would of done well to argue buffing up the police or even maybe the New Zealand millitia.

I come from a place that has the most ineffective police force in America, yet also the largest volunteer militia in the States.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:31:30
@admin Yeah, once I do a hard post I can make a better judgement of how in depth counter plans were.

To my knowledge, your civil defense arguments didn't actually resolve the issues that come with having no military (such as threats from other countries and lack of an arm on the international stage).

I think you put to much into being able to refute NZlockies objections, instead of offering solutions to what you could reasonably suspect judges were going to be convinced by.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:28:05
I have accepted positives and negatives in both arguments, and right now I am mostly just weighing them out. Both sides have rejected all objections to what they are advocating for, except NZlockie a little when he admitted that the NZDF was flawed.

I didn't do a hard read yet, but this debate will come down heavily to how well NZlockies argued NZDF reform.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:19:47
I thought both my plan of reinvesting into civil defence and con's plan of beefing up certain parts of the military were more detailed than what you described.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:17:58
Although it might not look that way, I actually think this debate is extremely close. It has certainly kept me engaged.

I am pretty sure I know who is going to win. Both sides needed more detailed plans than just abolishment vs status quo.
Posted 2015-08-17 13:16:16
I loled at that picture.
I thought it was masterful move and was disappointed I didn't think of it first. .
Posted 2015-08-17 03:45:38
When people talk about the abolition of Costa RIca's military, it is imperative that I mention that like almost every other Central American nation, their police patrol around with ballistic vests and military grade rifles.

Figueres was a bit of a hypocrite anyways. He instigated a civil war which killed 2000 people to overthrow Teodoro, a political moderate... using a military, which he soon abolished after he took power. He later expanded the internal security forces to become better armed and more repressive. That is your typical banana republic dictator enacting mandates out of paranoia.

BTW, the second picture has Costa Ricans carrying air horns wearing football jerseys. Seems legit...
Posted 2015-08-16 06:21:09
Just my personal opinion, but ignoring the affirmative "war morality" argument is a poor strategy
Posted 2015-08-15 01:22:53
New Zealand will go down in history as the nation in which the LOTR's was filmed...
Posted 2015-08-13 01:15:43
I love the fact that we've managed to sneak a LOTR reference into every round so far!
#meetingourquota #tourismnewzealand #neverletthemforgetitwasfilmedhere
Posted 2015-08-12 22:24:05
I am more specifically arguing against the claims that New Zealand was never under threat, and is never at risk for attack. Admin's actual case is good. There are a couple things I would of done differently, besides the obvious, but it is pretty good.
Posted 2015-08-11 01:36:44
It's ironic to me that you're arguing this case harder in the comments section of this debate than you were when you were actually the participant of your own one!
Posted 2015-08-10 22:35:31
The argument that nations would not be aggressive towards New Zealand because it would be costly and hard to take is outrageous (serious on this one). New Zealand in actuality is relatively easy for a nation to take. It also isn't that costly. Countries that maintain standing armies are already paying to maintain their military. They do not lose money by using their military.

The exception would be countries who do not have a large standing military, and have to raise on to effectively wage war. That is not the case with most nations anymore.

There ARE costs associated with fuel, transportation, and family dues, but this is chump change for most nations.

Also, the comparison to Vietnam is ridiculous. For starters, Vietnam was a country with a population of around 50-60 million during the war. New Zealand has a population of 4 million people. Secondly, Vietnam was a guerrilla war, not conventional warfare. Even if the army were to be defeated, and an insurgency started, all it would take is eyes on essential targets before these areas of resistance are bombarded by naval artillery and subjected to airstrikes.

I don't exactly get the associated difficulty. 2000 soldiers could easily take over New Zealand's major population centers of Wellington and Auckland supported by an actual airforce and navy.

Finally, making an argument that New Zealand would be to difficult to invade, while at the same time making an argument to dismantle the NZDF, is basically saying, "Well, it would be hard to defeat our 4000 man standing army, so lets just make it even easier."

Posted 2015-08-10 21:09:14
The geographic isolation argument doesn't do much for me either. That argument simply doesn't work anymore in modern military terms.

With no coastal defense, a task force of one destoyer and frigate, plus a squadron of attack submarines, could destroy New Zealands entire military infrastructure, and bombard the rest of the countries economic focal points, forcing your guy's country to capitulate within a couple of days.
Posted 2015-08-10 16:22:45
Australia and New Zealand were actually prone to an invasion that was planned for about a year.

The Battle of the Coral Sea was designed specifically with the intent of blocking off US naval forces from Australia and New Zealand, by the establishment of the Truk-Makira line.

US forces tried to breach the Truk-Makira line in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Truk, and the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Happening Simultaneously, the Japanese landed at the port of Rabaul and established a military base, then took their army and advanced on Port Moresby, the last stronghold of naval resistance, preventing a full on Japanese invasion of Australia (and New Zealand)

The Australian army made the Japanese fight hard for every inch of New Guinea, despite being numerically and technologically overwhelmed.

Port Moresby was eventually put under siege by the Japanese. The Australian RAF turned back the Japanese Air Force at Port Moresby. This, along with US success at Guadalcanal, made the invasion seem unrealistic, since Japan would have to divert resources to defend the Torres Straight, and this would be under full knowledge that the US were going to launch an offensive on Yamamoto's fleet.

Australia and New Zealand would not exist for long if any of these three things held true...

- The Japanese had never declared war on the United States
- The US had lost the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Guadalcanal
- Australia dissolved its army before the war

Posted 2015-08-10 16:19:20
@Admin came strong on the first debate, good luck!
Posted 2015-08-03 15:18:03
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

There are no judgements yet on this debate.

Rules of the debate

  • Text debate
  • Individual debate
  • 3 rounds
  • No length restrictions
  • Reply speeches
  • No cross-examination
  • Community Judging Standard (notes)
  • Forfeiting rounds means forfeiting the debate
  • Images allowed
  • HTML formatting allowed
  • Rated debate
  • Time to post: 3 days
  • Time to vote: 3 weeks
  • Time to prepare: None
NZDF is defined as the Army, Navy and Air Force of New Zealand as described here: http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/about-us/default.htm

This resolution argues that the NZDF should be disbanded and discontinued in its entirety, leaving NZ without a military defence force.