Why isn't New Zealand celebrating the 60th anniversary of signing ANZUS

On 1 September it was the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.

Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty, which remains a keystone of our relationship with Australia and an enduring force for stability in the wider region.

Few nations share closer ties than Australia and the United States. Australia promptly invoked its alliance obligations following September 11—something Americans will long remember. The brave men and women of our armed forces have fought side by side in every major battle since the First World War. Today, our soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers are working together in Afghanistan. Equally important, we have strengthened our cooperation across other significant challenges – from environmental degradation to our joint commitment to economic development in Africa and the Pacific.

We look forward to welcoming Australian Foreign Minister Rudd, Defense Minister Smith, and their colleagues later this month at the Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations. AUSMIN will take place at San Francisco’s Presidio complex, where the original ANZUS documents were signed 60 years ago today. We will continue to strengthen this significant alliance in the decades to come.

The only mention of New Zealand in that press release is the two letters in the title of the treaty. With the Wellington Declaration the animosity was supposed to be at an end, looks like the US still doesn’t rate us.


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  • Maybe it’s because ANZUS isn’t worth the paper its written on.

    IIRC ANZUS has been invoked twice.

    First, Australia requested US assistance during the Indonesian Confrontation. The US refused.

    Second, Howard invoked ANZUS on 11/9/01. He has now resiled from that position, stating on the 9/11 anniversary that he was swept up in the emotion of the day by being in the US at the time and would have reacted differently had he been in Australia at the time.

  • Gazzaw

    And why should the US ever forget. It takes a special sort of politician to f**k up a Treaty. Kind of ironic that Margaret Pope’s book has just been launched. I hope to pick up a copy from the $4.99 bin at The Warehouse soon.

    • Mr Blobby

      Do a bit of dumpster diving and it might be FREE.

  • thor42

    Not that I expected much different, but it *is* disappointing that the US didn’t mention us.
    We are definitely doing our share (maybe even more than our share) over in Afghanistan. Almost every time the Taliban hit Kabul, it seems like our SAS are there to respond and clean them out. ( This may not have been the case in the latest incident though. )

  • Australian Politicians recognise that ANZUS is Australias only defence if somthing bad really happens.
    With 50 to 60 thousand defence personel spread over three services, Australia is defenceless.
    That is the reason that Australia attends all American wars.

  • reid

    Maybe it’s because ANZUS isn’t worth the paper its writ­ten on.

    LRO, it was gold and we threw it away to gain a nice warm feeling in some people’s tummies and that’s it. Nothing more.

    Unfortunately it cost us a hell of a lot in all sorts of things but that’s OK, isn’t it. That nice warm tummy was worth it, wasn’t it.

    For you see at the end of the day in the hard cold light of historical inarguable reality that is precisely all anyone ever got out of it. The US was concerned for it was extremely de-stabilising at the time – “the New Zealand disease, they called it.” At the time it was an extremely serious geo-strategic issue. But that didn’t matter, did it. As long as some people had warm tummies, that was what mattered.

    And that broad pattern of cost vs benefit continues to this day.

    I can’t be arsed listing all the costs, there are gajillions: diplomatic, financial, lost/sabotaged trade opportunities, intelligence, military hardware, opportunity to practice with large fleets and on and fucking on.

    On the plus side some people got and to this day, still have, warm tummies over this whole affair, and that’s what really counts, doesn’t it.

  • Mr Blobby

    1. You can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle it is already out.
    2. The US will only honor anything if it is there best interest.

  • reid

    1. You can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bot­tle it is already out.

    Yes if you noticed I hadn’t suggested that was the case. If you’re interested I can explain why people with warm tummies are so ignorant as to think they saved the world from nuclear threat in any way whatsoever, let me know.

    Suffice to say I imagine they haven’t any documentary evidence attesting to NZ’s policy contributing in anyway to their involvement in eliminating even a single warhead from the face of the earth and at the end of the day, that was the only reason for the stupid policy in the first place, wasn’t it.

    But apparently, no arms limitation agreements between the nuclear equipped nations actually ever happened at all, did they?

    All that ever actually happened in the real world according to cold hard inarguable history was that a lot of people mistook their warm tummy for the impression they made a jot of difference and stuck to their guns as the big meanies argued for their gweat nasty bang-bangs which were awful and just take it away. That’s what happened then and continues to this day. It’s that fucking hysterical.

    2. The US will only honor any­thing if it is there best interest.

    Which is what every nation does so given you apparently accept my cost benefit argument do you think it was in NZ’s best interests then or now to have re-neged on that treaty? Of course not. You’ve already admitted that.

    So Lange did it why? To disarm us. During the Cold War. Clark did the same thing, by taking the strike jets as her very first act in power. Coincidentally, Clark was also the architect of the nuclear-free strategy. Isn’t that interesting.

    Putin and Clark apparently have been extremely close for a long time.

    • Gazzaw

      Don’t get me started on the removal of the strike wing reid. That was nothing less than a very calculated blow that finished off the capability of the RNZAF in one king hit. That capability can never be rebuilt as the pilots and technical staff were snapped up by the RAAF & RAF. To cap it all off Clark put that bloody communist tree hugger Burton in charge of Defence who did his best to f**k up the Army (read LAVs) and the Navy (read Canterbury & malfunctioning frigates).

      Remember Clark saying at the time……… ‘our benign part of the world’ or something similar.

  • gazzaw, her comment was that she believed we were in an “incredibly benign strategic environment” and she said it in June 2001.

    The timing may be unfortunate but that will go down, in light of events a mere 4 months thence, as one of the most ridiculous statements ever made by a NZ PM.

    That she said it in support of her long-term strategy to rip the guts out of our military is a disgrace and I will maintain until the day my maker unmakes me that rather than a cozy sinecure in New York the vile snarling creature should have been twitching at the end of a rope.

  • reid

    ‘our benign part of the world’

    “We live in an incredibly benign strategic environment” was the quote at the time.

    Yes, I know. Me and a guy called Ching were the only ones in the letters to the editor section in the Herald explaining all of that. No-one else seemed to care or understand the significance. It completely by-passed the entire media which is unforgivable. One of the main reasons we’re in such trouble today is because of the media, I’ve concluded.

    The media make and shape people’s attitudes toward various things and they do take collective positions on things and they do create national beliefs and sentiments which are destructive to national well-being. Their missing the sky hawks was incredibly naive but then it passed into malevolence as they continued to miss the fact Clark was spending huge on non-pointy things thus locking the Defence force in for another decade or so. This was critical and not once did they raise it. Then there’s their position on poverty whereby they remain to this day silent on the true cause of poverty which is people’s bad attitudes which generates bad behaviour. Fix that and you fix poverty but no. MSM concentrate on nothing but paying them more, which will never ever work. And on and on.

  • reid, after a working lifetime involved with the Asia Pacific region one tends to develop a macro view of the geopolitics and it was abundantly clear by 2001 that the South Pacific had the potential to become a region of major conflict as the Asian countries need for raw materials & food resources expanded. India, China, Taiwan & Japan would all compete for access and that they would apply economic pressure to cash strapped Pacific island nations. Oil in the Great Southern Basin, fishing, minerals, timber & primary produce in abundance. Fiji was particularly vulnerable & nature has taken its course. I have absolutely no concern at all about a Chinese presence in our region but other competing nations do as well as the US being uncomfortable with Fiji being located as it is right across their links with close ally, Australia. Fiji is also uncomfortably close to Hawaii. The whole South Pacific region has the potential to turn into a battleground between the Northern Hemisphere superpowers.

    If I as a humble businessman could see that then why coudn’t Clark and her horde of policy & strategy advisors? The answer is that she bloody well could see it as plain as a boil on Peter Davis’ arse & she chose to emasculate our contributions to regional defence starting with the Skyhawks whose task it was to provide air cover for the Australian Navy.

    Gantt is right – Clark should be at the end of a rope for treason.

    • Mate, who says they couldn’t (see it, that is). I think too often we mistake decisions like this for naïveté or incompetence when in fact they are malevolence.

      I don’t think New Zealand has yet felt the end of the Clark reign of terror, and I don’t think most people yet understand just how evil and destructive her ideology, nor the damage her decade in power has wrought.