Friend or Ally? A Question for New Zealand
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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The dispute between the United States and New Zealand over alliance obligations, which carne to a head in early 1985, has not been settled by the US Secretary of States decision to reopen limited contact with his New Zealand ministerial counterpart. The unprofitable standoff continues. Unless their political leaders are prepared to show greater regard for national interests and less for their own advantage-both nations are fated to suffer continuing damage of more consequence than the momentary benefits gained from the expediency that has marked too much of the past handling of the disagreement. The most serious consequence of the original breach remain with us. In particular, New Zealand continues to be hurt by being left on the outside of world affairs critical to its future. Wellingtons ability to influence other governments and so move events to its advantage has been seriously weakened. Too much is at stake for New Zealanders to let the drift into international irrelevance continue. For a small Western nation which lives on trade-predominantly with distant and more powerful nations of similar political orientation-geographic isolation is burden enough. Voluntarily to compound that by accepting restraints on political association, when nothing of substance stands in the way of reconciliation, is irresponsible folly.
- Government and Political Science