How to save Defence Dollars

Xinhuanet

Stop wasting money on crap like this:

The Army will be promoting understanding of non-lethal weapons and technology in the Asia-Pacific region when it hosts a major international seminar later this month.

About 75 participants from 19 countries will attend the 2012 Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) in Wellington on March 28-30, said a statement from the New Zealand Defence Force ( NZDF).

Non-lethal, also known as “less lethal” systems, were weapons and devices designed to incapacitate a target while minimizing fatalities or permanent injury, it said.

NZDF Land Component Commander Brigadier Mark Wheeler said in the statement that NOLES was an annual multilateral seminar sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific.

Keynote speakers this year would discuss international human rights law, the laws of armed conflict, and planning considerations for the employment of less lethal weapons.

“It is becoming more commonplace for military forces to be operating in conflict zones where they are required to maintain law and order, control civil disturbances, or respond to rapid changes in levels of violence, where the use of lethal force may not be justified or permissible,” said Wheeler.

“Less lethal weapons provide military commanders with more options. They can be used to disperse large groups of hostile people, stop or disable vehicles, or deny access to important facilities.”

The use of less lethal technologies enabled security forces to counter non-traditional threats, while mitigating the effects on civilians and the environment, said Wheeler.

 


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  • EpochNZ

    It has been quite clear for ages that the NZ military is slowly being dumbed down to be an occupying police force and reconstruction team, although with cooler toys.  Since the retirement of the jets, the airforce has become the army and navy logistical bitch, the navy spend most of their time tracking fishing boats and the army are rebuilding schools and carrying out Civil Defence duties.  All worthwhile duties, but not really what the armed forces are meant to do.

    I’d be interested to see if recruitment numbers for the airforce have fallen since the disbandment of the strike wing; to my way of thinking, the recruitment “hook” was always the loud fast toys, and the beginning of the end was when the govt didnt get the F16’s.

    • phronesis

      Agreed, although the NH90’s look like fun and of course the heavy transports provide a more direct transition onto civilian airliners. The Navy should focus on surveillance and the army should be disbanded in favour of a better funded SAS.

  • Waiuku

    Equip them with Tame Iti’s Urewa toys – they were obviously non lethal. The jury thought so

  • guest

    To be trained in non-lethal weapons , is to be trained in control of your own civil population, what are they worried about, that is the domain of the police not the Army

  • Gordo_161

    You people clearly have no concept of the modern strategic environment, nor do you have any understanding of the sort of tasks our soldiers are required to undertake. Every soldier knows how to apply lethal force, some more than others, and that will never change. I have spent the last 10 years learning how to co-ordinate offensive weapons on a target, including mortars, artillery, apache gunships, and precision guided munitions. But one day I might find myself in a situation where I dont want to kill someone unnecessarily, otherwise I might end up incarcerated. So I therefore need a way of dealing with a different kind of threat. We no longer fight across a linear battlefield – the civilian population may end up influencing the battle, so how do you deal with them? Through the application of less than lethal force.

    • Reinz

      Right. This isn’t about replacing guns with tazers, it’s keeping the guns and expanding the toolset we work from so the armed forces have options depending on the context. “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”. The reality is that for decades our armed forces have been needed in civilian arena’s, not the traditional battlefield. We can’t deal with unruly civilians in the same way as an enemy combatant, yet when a soldiers only options are either strong language or lethal force its a recipe for American style fuck ups, and the NZDF is better than that. 
      Some no doubt feel this is a weakening of the army’s role. Soldiers are for killing, police are for security, keep it simple and we won’t get caught out holding tear gas and tazers when a ‘real’ war kicks up. Yes and no, the deployment of an army is about ‘politics by another means’ – armies are ultimately about exerting a nations will and interests. Often this has meant killing an enemy until he gives up the fight and we get what we want. This doesn’t work in modern (and likely future) operations that deal with insurgencies within a population. Killings only work to undermine the effort of exerting the nations influence, this is the lesson of Iraq. Success in this matter requires a mix of lethal force and non-lethal ‘policing’, and no other body is large enough to achieve this aside from the armed forces. Again, to a certain extent, armies are what we need them to be to get the job done as required by national interest, and right now those interests are better served by having non-lethal options in the mix. 

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