order viagra online safe order clomid online paypal viagra pills how long do they last viagra names in pakistan most people lidocaine over the counter substitute for viagra propranolol tabletki 10 mg 50 szt cena kehebatan viagra usa 100 mg viagra en uke doxycycline 100mg oral what does doxycycline 20 mg do ist cialis rezeptpflichtig in der schweiz studieren normal mg zoloft donde puedo comprar viagra sin receta en estados unidos buy cialis in canada online review none rx viagra generic nizoral or diflucan cream cost in indian rupees para que serve propranolol 30 mg is zoloft safe for a 75 year old female where to buy viagra quick diflucan ringworm reviews prix cialis pharmacie grenoble can you buy viagra online legally uk zoloft reviews for men generic daily cialis 5mg sildenafil lymphangiomas in spleen risks of zoloft in pregnancy receptfri viagra generic 5 mg prednisone pregnancy test where to buy priligy in edmonton original viagra tablet sales shop in hmachal can you cut cipro tablet 250 in half pomada fondant generico de cialis viagra 50 mg prezzo farmacia prednisone 10 mg tablet wattage advertisement of viagra in uae que es minoxidil 5 y finasteride 1mg viagra in contrassegno viagra reviews generic altra lone peak 2 5 womens reviews on cialis where to buy viagra in india online viagra delivery services in delhi does doxycycline treat pertussis lasix injection online what is propranolol used for cialis is a generic zithromax tablets 500mg price in india indian make viagra price does doxycycline cause thrush comprare cialis generico a roma paxil and zoloft in pregnancy despre ciprofloxacina milan generics amoxil 500 mg can. it cause a miscarriage sinot 875 mg generico do viagra el viagra de 100 mg maximum daily dose lasix cialis very cheap when is viagra going generic in usa viagra i doser download cialis australia ciprofloxacin dexamethasone 5ml price mercury drug buy metformin online no prescription canada buy cialis uk paypal login nolvadex and proviron para ginecomastia australian viagra hydralazine and lasix together dapoxetine price zithromax 500 mg precious lord best time to take metformin slow release viagra purchase auckland order viagra online in usa canada pharmacy cialis 10 mg generic for propecia available in usa hixizine bula generico do viagra sildenafil clinical trials generica viagra on xm radio ratio of lasix to aldactone in cirrhosis cialis 10mg price cipro liquid dosage form amoxil 250 mg 5ml dosage index is propecia safe for a 17 year old el viagra requiere receta medica cialis indian dealers converse shoes buy online uk viagra buy viagra uk pharmacy chains a cosa serve diflucan 150 mg noskapin dak 25 mg of zoloft prednisone safe take while breastfeeding tetrazepam 50 mg dosierung ciprofloxacin viagra online bestellen woodforest buy lasix online overnight viagra tablets for women in chennai can clomid be consumed over the counter buy prednisone cheap profenid gotas generico do viagra prix finasteride paris does doxycycline get you high para que sirve inderal de 10 mg cialis for daily use cost near morgantown benuron generico do viagra generic cialis paypal no prescription propecia or rogaine accutane how long to get out of system gramaxin 500 mg metformin lloyods online viagra purchase sex during clomid use viagra rezeptfrei aus deutschland kaufen viagra online delivery lahore lasix 10 tableta 40 mg cena lowes cost tadalafil doxycycline hyclate 100 mg good rx accutane cost uk universities tonsillitis doxycycline dose liquid clomid good cialis 5 mg price pharmaprix cialis generico mais barato clomid online legit can i buy viagra form any chemist in melbourne zithromax 250mg 4 count how much does it cost where do i get viagra in seattle viagra pillen kopen in rotterdam is doxycycline hyclate used to treat pneumonia buying viagrain china viagra online sale singapore strongest mg of viagra on line inderal safe breastfeeding cialis price compared to viagra prednisone 20mg safety cialis canada without prescription cheap viagra genuine generic viagra cost per pill best viagra men tranxilium 5 mg dosierung viagra rate of viagra in kolkata cialis canadian phamacy where to buy cialis in over the counter usa viagra safe stroke victims ciprofloxacin 500 mg for chlamydia cialis 10mg tadalafil renal scan with lasix results cialis 5mg daily best price menarini dapoxetine buy online zoloft 100 mg first day buy viagra jelly online uk stores buy pfizer viagra online pfizer 100 mg sildenafil viagra to pay with paypal is diflucan safe during early pregnancy were can i purchase propecia generic 2.5 mg cialis without a prescription viagra causa parada cardiaca comprare il viagra in farmacia senza ricetta seretide diskus generico do viagra can you go in the sun after accutane lotrial 20 mg prednisone organic chemistry khan academy reactions to prednisone zithromax dosing in kids accutane user journals cialis 200 mg dosage how long can prednisone be taken safely finasteride shoppers drug mart viagra sale prices viagra generika zulassung precio de cialis 5 mg en argentina best price viagra join our mailing list accutane over counter alternative the original online viagra penalty for dealing viagra in ireland viagra for men tablets in bangalore cipro generic medication prednisone 60 mg taper dose can you get 100 mg cialis viagra 100mg precio redeem cialis voucher online pharmacy mountain hardwear kelvinator womens reviews on cialis alliance generics prednisolone taking cialis with high blood pressure is it easy to get pregnant with clomid lowest cost for cialis 20mm tablets cialis australia cost liquid viagra sachets weekly ukhard on uk weekly viagra sale sulit nombre generico del viagra en colombiano safety diflucan while breastfeeding cheap nolvadex no prescription generic zithromax baownbeuv metformin tablets 850 mg buy viagra online boots canada cheapest price for 20mg cialis obat profertil 50 mg viagra genuine viagra prices viagra 50 mg 4 pack cialis online shipped from usa herbal viagra in th uk cialis 20 mg 4 comprimidos precio mexico glimepiride 2mg metformin 500mg in ciplak cialis sol in south africa indoblok 10 mg prednisone doxycycline used sinus infections cheapest accutane in the us nebivolol stada 5 mg beipackzettel ciprofloxacin names of female viagra in india buy propecia london le prix de priligy au maroc has cialis went up in price propranolol er 60 mg cap rouge canada goa india drugs viagra where to get viagra in beijing female viagra 100 mg foro en colombia berapa ml air untuk zithromax syr cialis 20 mg tablets tadalafil price of cialis shoppers drug in canada antibiotic prescription online physician zithromax image for costco viagra metformin trials in breast cancer liquid nolvadex dosage pct sis 60 mg prednisone taper schedule socialism benefits in sweden united states nolvadex has any body used generic cialis ciprofloxacino 500 mg farmacia ahumada it support specialist jobs in nh is cialis available in 50 mg generic name metformin hydrochloride tadalafil powder taste in mouth take potassium lasix cityscape silhouette generic viagra walmart pricing on viagra deltasone 5 mg safe exercise propranolol polaramine pomada generico de cialis cialis online sydney buy clomid on line mexico no prescription tri reki viagra for sale generic finasteride 5mg reviews for minoxidil and propecia together in india where i can find cialis in dubai teva prednisone 50 mg et alcool de menthe tadalafil citrate chemone research reviews buying cialis in ankara turkey mebhydroline 50 mg zoloft will 25mg of clomid work 20 mg accutane low viagra available in isle of man effects of 25 mg zoloft velamox in gravidanza dosaggio viagra buy zithromax 500mg online stopwatch unbranded sildenafil is doxycycline safe for malaria cialis canada a vendre zithromax tablets used for equivalent of viagra in homeopathy is imuran safer than prednisone viagra name brand online viagra available in tooting uk fabian essays in socialism the book book author prednisone 20 mg for pets clomid for men prices atorvachol 80 mg prednisone zovirax 800 mg posologie citrate comprar viagra seguro internet canada is viagra over the counter dropropizina jarabe generico do viagra donde comprar priligy en lima how does doxycycline 100mg work over counter viagra like drugs viagra in sauna viagra from mexico walmart can i take viagra to australia with me shelcal 500 mg metformin ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg y su uso cipro xr 1000 mg 3 comprimidos cipro for uti how many mgs cialis 25 mg. 3 buy generic viagra buy finasteride cheap 1 mg finasteride daily without minoxidil at what age can you take viagra floresta verde generico do viagra treat hyponatremia lasix can i take viagra with kidney problems viagra names in pakistan hyderabad were to buy viagra in bali endone 50 mg zoloft when do i take a pregnancy test after clomid confezione cialis 5 mg purchase cialis from online how much does it cost for clomid priligy 30 mg precious moments propecia 0 5 mg effective ampicillin capsules bp 500 mg naproxen cialis morning wood prednisolone 5mg kaufen viagra in india tamil notes premastan gel generico de cialis zithromax available in south africa will ciprofloxacin 500 mg treat hpv prix du viagra dans les pharmacies best buy online propecia consigo comprar viagra sem receita medica best price viagra 90505 which works the best cialis or viagra ciprofloxacin 500 mg mental changes viagra tablets price in lahore pakistan postcode onde comprar o medicamento cytotec dental implant specialists in maui ha boots doxycycline cost max dosage of cialis comprar viagra trujillo cipro resistance in india what is generic prednisone called propranolol la 120 mg can you buy viagra in thailand us dollars stopp 150 mg viagra buy cialis professional usa 15 minoxidil with finasteride cost price comparison of viagra 100mg the best moisturizer to use while on accutane doxycycline hyclate as acne treatment cialis wholesale online usa doxycycline and rifampin in mrsa cost of ciprodex otic drops zenegra generic viagra viagra online canada pharmacy without dr prescriptions tadalafil 5mg uk viagra best insurance carrera crossfire 2 womens reviews on viagra 160 mg slow release propranolol 10mg generic finasteride nz herald zithromax z pack antibiotic cost propranolol hydrochloride 80 mg viagra online united states no rx viagra vente libre montreal metformin in turkey good viagra in india best alien isolation reactions to prednisone can postmenopausal women take propecia every other day accutane digestive disorders orfiril long 1000 mg wirkung viagra cost of viagra vs cialis vs livator how quickly does cialis start to work viagra online bestellen ohne rezept erfahrungen grinder reviews herbal viagra bisacodyl 10 mg zetpil bijsluiter cialis acquistare cialis generico online bible diflucan yeast infection cost order metformin dergboadre twins clomid dosage buy lasix without prescriptions what is walmarts price on viagra over the counter viagra alternative at boots brand name cialis on sale buy viagra in the us cialis 5 mg daily coupons online finasteride stada 5mg opipramol 50 mg zoloft color of generic viagra propecia in new york cialis brand 5 mg clotrimazole bayhealth 100 mg comprimidos viagra clomid india wikipedia formulario 12p donde comprar viagra 300 mg wellbutrin 50 mg zoloft while breastfeeding aliud pharma sildenafil generic cheap viagra 120mg online viagra 25 mg effetti comprar cytotec en new york cost of cialis how much 20 controindicazioni del cialis 5 mg best viagra to take get viagra chemist main distributors of viagra in pakistan can you take clomid if you are ovulate cipromax 500 mg ciprofloxacin comprar viagra yahoo doxycycline monodox reviews for acne ampicillin dosage for infants do boots chemist sell viagra prednisone 20 mg medicine liquid cialis dubai beste wirkung cialis clomid sore throat in the morning what mg does accutane come in is it safe to take 20mg cialis low post ovulation temps clomid online cialis 2 5mg lilly onlinepharmacy md zithromax cheaper alternative propecia best site to buy viagra purchase viagra for women online cialis generico en farmacias similares year supply of propecia cost is accutane safe to take lasix water pills and weight loss propranolol and paroxetine uk prednisolone 20 mg posologie amoxicilline 24hr delivery of viagra how long does 10mg of prednisone stay in your system bula annita 500 mg metformin contraindication of metformin in pregnancy get doxycycline over the canada british columbia cheapgenerics viagra ru reliable source generic viagra buy cialis original medicinali generici cialis information viagra to pay with paypal cialis online generic usa clomid bloating in pct can viagra give harder erections in young men what is the generic drug for zoloft prednisone 30 mg day para sirve cialis tadalafil 20 mg finasteride price in pakistan samsung best sunscreen to use on accutane cialis generico femminile para que sirve la ciprofloxacino 500 mg wikipedia generic over sea viagra how long does cialis stay in the blood legit website to buy clomid cheap lasix tqeovertoz cheap viagra canada pharmacy online is cialis made in india any good is it safe to take cialis with ginko biloba reviews of viagra in india cheapest accutane without insurance 60 mg prednisone for 5 days why do use viagra viagra and blood disorders how long does it take for ciprolex 500 mg to work generic viagra costs como puedo comprar viagra por internet buy viagra at safeway doxycycline to treat mastitis what is the walmart price for cialis 20mg want buy viagra in edmonton over the counter renault cipro 85 review how does viagra work in 30yo man uk pharmacy viagra socialism and democracy in europe famous books diflucan in dialysis patients natural viagra alternatives cialis availability in singapore uso cialis generico help getting pregnant clomid dose to 50mg buy documento generico de cialis sildenafil ratiopharm kaufen rezeptfrei discount cialis pro lorotec 10 mg prednisone egipt viagra price process of getting prescribed clomid wal finite generic for zoloft name of the indian viagra and their price scoliosis specialists in texas does generic metformin look like dosage for amoxil for adults viagra cost of shipping pasos para usar pastillas cytotec cialis time in bloodstream prednisone 40 mg and drug inter prednisone clears acne viagra 100mg street value how much does viagra coast at walmart propecia generic brand review where can i buy viagra over the counter in sf can you buy viagra in tijuana mexico viagra is not working for me clomid 25 mg per day dr. crisler buy viagra london where buy zoloft online sertraline minoxidil reviews and propecia sildenafil citrate in fruits and vegetables metformin in der ssw does tadalafil come in capsules does prednisone have tylenol in it cost of cialis for daily use at walgreens galenico finasteride cost is cialis prescription prix cialis en tunisie metformin 850 mg brandsmart why use metformin in ivf effetto cialis 10 mg review quality online viagra dapoxetine brand names in pakistan new season accutane 10 mg per week como devo usar viagra is viagra a scheduled drug viagra tablets prise in pakistan can you take excedrin while on clomid 25 mg viagra wirkung amoxil sachet 3gm price in eu viagra generico senza ricetta in italia jeanette inderal generic 100 mg zoloft withdrawal effects zoloft nursing implications man in hospital after injecting viagra accutane in romania ampicillin 500 mg four times a day medical abbreviation viagra super force generic cialis viagra in the uk over the counter cialis in ny doxycycline for malaria over the counter Kiwipolitico » 2012 » June
Archive for ‘June, 2012’

On June 20 New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta signed the Washington Declaration, which specifies priority areas of cooperation between the militaries of both countries. The Washington Declaration is a follow-up to the Wellington Declaration signed by New Zealand and the US in November 2010 (with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Murray McCully doing the honors). The first was a general statement of principle with regard to New Zealand-US security cooperation and bilateral foreign relations. The follow-up provides more detail on the specific areas in which military cooperation will occur. These are counter-terrorism, maritime patrol, anti-piracy operations and humanitarian relief. The details of the logistics involved in those areas have not been finalized and/or made public, and in the case of counter-terrorism operations they are not likely to be divulged beyond a general statement. This has as much to do with New Zealand public sensitivities as it does with US public opinion or classified operational details (for example, the role of the NZSAS in joint counter-terrorism operations with US forces).

What is different in the Washington Declaration is that the military-to-military bilateral relationship is now taking concrete shape, whereas the Wellington Declaration was a diplomatic opening rather than a definitive outlining of military areas in which joint operations and exercises will occur.

Robert Ayson described the relationship as a defacto alliance between the US and New Zealand. Professor Ayson used the phrase because the US and New Zealand are not entering a formal alliance agreement but a “strategic partnership.” An alliance is essentially a contract with mutual obligations; a partnership is a looser arrangement in which obligations are voluntarily assumed but not contractually defined, binding or specified. Partnerships can be reviewed and modified on a case-by-case or temporal basis, whereas alliances commit the parties to treaty-strength obligations that require a major diplomatic rupture for them to be abrogated. This distinction theoretically gives the US and New Zealand a greater degree of flexibility in their relations with each other on military issues. That is diplomatically advantageous for New Zealand, which seeks to preserve its image and reputation for foreign policy independence, and also avoids domestic voter backlash to the resumption of something akin to the ANZUS alliance so spectacularly undone by New Zealand’s 1985 non-nuclear announcement. The Labour, Green and Mana parties, in particular, would have been very resistant to the restoration of a formal military alliance with the US, so on political grounds the strategic partnership agreement works out very well domestically as well as bilaterally.

In practice, the strategic partnership with the US aligns New Zealand with other “first tier” US security partners in the Western Pacific Rim such as Australia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. This is important for the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) as it seeks to integrate more closely with Australian Defense Force operational doctrine, training and equipment (as was suggested by the NZDF 2010 Defense White Paper) at a time when Australia and the US are deepening their bilateral security ties (evident in the recently announced agreement to forward base a US Marine rapid response force in Darwin). Ayson is right in that the NZDF will now be working side by side with the US military on a regular and continuous basis in specified areas (such as the upcoming RIMPAC naval exercises that the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has joined for the first time in two decades), although NZ will have a little more leeway in refusing US requests to join in foreign conflicts than if it had signed a formal alliance agreement that required both parties to come to their respective defense.

The resumption of near-complete bilateral military ties between New Zealand and the US is not a surprise. The 5th Labour government (1999-2008) started the rapprochement with the US post 9/11, and the National governments that followed it have openly embraced the prospect of finally overcoming the post-ANZUS freeze in security relations (with the exception of intelligence-sharing, which never suffered the curtailment of ties seen in military relations). Labour was wary of being seen as getting too close to the US, since that could jeopardize its reputation for an “independent and autonomous” foreign policy stance, particularly amongst non-aligned and small states. National prefers to embrace the US more whole-heartedly, in part because of the belief that there will eventually be economic as well as military benefits in doing so (such as via the Transpacific Partnership trade agreements currently being negotiated by the US, New Zealand and seven other Pacific Rim states). The idea behind National’s approach appears to be to use the improved military ties with the US as a hedge against the rise of The People’s Republic of China (PRC) by countering or balancing increased economic dependence on the PRC with the strengthening of economic and military ties with the US and other pro-Western nations along the Pacific periphery. National seems to believe that this balancing act (or straddling of fences), continues the tradition, or at least appearance of independence in foreign affairs.

That may be a mistake because independence in foreign affairs is most often predicated on neutrality with regards to foreign conflicts or great power rivalries. In aligning itself more closely with the US on military matters, New Zealand loses that appearance of neutrality in international security affairs. The New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Defense ministries may believe that this is the best hedge against attempts by the PRC to exploit its economic relationship with New Zealand (since the PRC is clearly the dominant partner in the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand and has much leverage on New Zealand when it comes to Chinese market access as well as exports and investment from the PRC to New Zealand). Balancing economic dependence on China with strengthened security ties with the US (and its allies) may appear to National to be the best way of New Zealand having its cake and eating it.

Strengthening of political ties with the US is part of National’s larger policy of reaffirming diplomatic alignment with traditional partners. The belief is that New Zealand shares more in terms of core values with these traditional partners due to the Anglo-Saxon liberal democratic traditions that bind them together, rather than the mixed Confucian-Communist values that underpin the core beliefs of the Chinese political elite (or the Islamic beliefs of New Zealand’s Middle Eastern trading partners). Even if the PRC was to continue growing economically at a pace similar to the last decade (which now seems improbable), it seems prudent under this logic for National to reaffirm its Western heritage, joint vision and general orientation until such a time as China and other non-Western authoritarian states begin to open up politically. Reaffirming political ties to the US and other traditional allies does not undermine New Zealand’s position with Asian democracies like India, South Korea, Taiwan or Japan, or with Southeast Asian democracies (such as they are) like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. All of these countries, as well as Southeast Asian authoritarian states such as Singapore and Viet Nam, fear the rise of China as a military power and/or economic hegemon in the Western Pacific, and therefore welcome any counter-balancing efforts on the part of the US and its strategic partners and military allies.  The political alignment with the US also fits in line with the foreign policy approaches of Australia and the UK, and reasserts New Zealand’s position within that informal alliance structure (Canada is part of it as well).

There are benefits for both the US and New Zealand in this restored relationship. The benefits for New Zealand are that the NZDF will get to conduct exercises and operations with the most hardened, experienced and technologically advanced military in the world. That will expose it to the latest in US strategic doctrine and tactics. It may also result in the US providing military equipment to and training opportunities for New Zealand that it otherwise could not afford. It will reassure New Zealand of the implicit US defense guarantee in the event that New Zealand were to be threatened or attacked (to include economic coercion by the likes of the PRC). It may lead to closer economic ties, although that remains an open and much debated question (there is a large literature on security partners being preferential economic partners because of the mutual trust and dependence established between them. Most of that literature was written during the Cold War and things changed after it ended, but now with the emergence of the PRC and other powers some of those old assumptions are being resurrected and reviewed, especially in the US).

For the US the agreement is win-win. It gets an immediate benefit from securing another strong security partner in the South Pacific, one that has considerable “local knowledge” and relative influence in South Polynesia. This accords with the shift in US strategic emphasis to the Asia-Pacific, which is part of a long-term strategy of ring-fencing Chinese attempts at blue water expansion into the region. In signing New Zealand to a bilateral military partnership similar to those of other Western Pacific states, the US has moved to establish a security cordon in the region, something that also serves as a force multiplier in the measure that US strategic partners commit military assets to a common cause. New Zealand’s reputation as an honest broker in international affairs gives it diplomatic cover in this effort.

More importantly, after 25 years of estrangement and New Zealand foreign policy independence, at least with regard to international security affairs, the US has finally broken down New Zealand’s resolve and returned it to the fold. Post 1985 wooing of New Zealand began during the Clinton administration and continued with his successors. 9/11 accelerated the reconciliation (under a Labour government), and the Wellington Declaration codified it. In many respects, the US’s ability to re-gain New Zealand’s signature on a bilateral military-security agreement is a triumph of long-term great power diplomacy: after years of distance it secured junior military partnership from a small democratic state that prides itself on its modern history of foreign policy independence. To be sure, fluid global conditions since 1990 have contributed to the evolution in US-New Zealand bilateral relations, but at present it appears that the US has finally managed the contretemps of New Zealand non-nuclearism with diplomatic aplomb and to its ultimate benefit.

The negatives for New Zealand could be that the US will pressure it to increase its spending on defense, now below 1 percent of GDP, to something more in line with Australia’s two percent per annum. This would be on a par with other US strategic partners and around the NATO average, but will be politically unpalatable amongst New Zealand voters, who tend to under-appreciate defense when compared with education, health and welfare. Thus any such request will be politically thorny for a New Zealand government.  However, the US can leverage the fact that the NZDF is not “pulling its weight” in the strategic partnership (the Australians already say this).

For example, although the Washington Declaration speaks about closer bilateral military cooperation in the areas of maritime patrol and anti-piracy, New Zealand has very little in the way of long-range patrol and interdiction capabilities. Specifically, New Zealand only has two blue water ANZAC-class frigates, two off-shore patrol vessels and six long-range P-3 patrol aircraft, and its multi-purpose ship, the HMNZS Canterbury, spends more time in port being repaired than at sea, As for its logistical lift capability, not only is the HMNZS Canterbury unreliable, but the RNZAF C-130 fleet, at five aircraft, is also small and already stretched in terms of its operational readiness. Thus the US and Australia can pressure New Zealand governments to increase spending on defense so as to be able to perform the responsibilities and tasks that are expected of it as a strategic partner in the areas designated as joint priority.

There is the risk of being drawn into US conflicts that have nothing to do with New Zealand or an imminent threat to it. Even if New Zealand has leeway in terms of refusing a US request to get involved in a non-immediate foreign conflict, once bilateral military ties are established and consolidated they constitute a source of leverage on the part of the US since any retaliatory cancellation or disruption of the bilateral relationship will hurt the NZDF more than it will the US military. Moreover, the bilateral diplomatic backlash from a public refusal to work with the US in a foreign conflict theater could overcome any domestic and international support for the move.

There is also the more immediate issue of diplomatic fallout over the partnership. The more that New Zealand is seen as aligning itself with the US on security matters, the more US rivals such as Russia, the PRC, and various Latin American and Middle Eastern states will see it as a tool of US foreign policy and military strategy. Even other “independent” states like Uruguay, Finland, Costa Rica, Estonia and Turkey may begin to recast their view of New Zealand as an honest broker in international affairs. That is why National’s belief that its fence-straddling or hedging strategy will continue the image of independence may not work out to be the case, which could have adverse diplomatic consequences.

(The original version of this essay appears at 36th-Parallel.com)

 

Developmental aid is a major component of foreign policy and international relations in the South Pacific. As such, its purpose and effects are much debated. Taking as a starting point the recent visit to Auckland by a EU delegation traveling to announce a major initiative with regards to climate change in the region, I try to conceptualize developmental aid, broadly defined, as an instrument of policy. In doing so I point to different types of aid based on motivation, the interests involved, and some of the consequences of its provision over the long-term.

http://36th-parallel.com/2012/06/foreign-aid-instrument-policy/

In Hellas, out with the new and in with the old.

datePosted on 17:55, June 20th, 2012 by Pablo

The outcome of the latest Greek election is not surprising. When faced with uncertainty and dire predictions of collective and individual doom in the event that radical change occurs, voters often tend to go with the status quo or what is already in place. Confronted with the “valley of transition” to an unknown future, voters rationally calculate that their interests are best served by staying with what is known rather than leap into the unknown. Add to that the orchestrated litany of woes predicted by bankers, capitalist-oriented politicians, and lender nations, who pretty much predicted the end of the world as we know it if Greece were to default on its debts and withdraw from the Eurozone currency market, and it is easy to see why a plurality of Greeks decided to stay with the hand that they have been dealt with.

The trouble is that hand, in the form of a New Democracy/PASOK coalition (the so-called “bailout coalition”) is exactly the hand that got Greece into the debt crisis in the first place. It was first New Democracy, then PASOK governments that set new records of corruption, clientalism, patronage and nepotism while running up the public debt on state-centered labor absorption and entitlement projects that did nothing for productivity or the revitalization of the Greek private sector (which remains fragmented and dominated by oligarchic interests in the few globally viable Greek industries such as shipping). It is to this pro-Euro political cabal that the responsibility for “rescuing” Greece is entrusted. That is not going to happen.

True, the terms of the bailout will be relaxed even further now that a pro-Euro government can be formed. That much is clear given that Andrea Merkel has hinted that the repayment terms can be “softened.” The hard truth is that repayment can be softened because what is being repaid in Greece is the compound interest on the foreign loans. The logic is that of the credit card: the issuer of the card would prefer for users to not pay off their total debt on a monthly basis and instead accumulate interest-accruing cumulative debt while paying off less than the total owed. If the user reachers a credit limit with interest debt accruing, the limit is raised. If the user defaults on the debt after a series of credit limit raises, measures are taken to seize assets of worth comparable to the outstanding amount.

States are different than individual credit card users because as sovereign entities they can avoid asset seizure on home soil even while bankrupt. As Argentina proved in 2000, they can default and renegotiate the terms of debt repayment according to local conditions (after Argentina defaulted on its foreign debts it was eventually able to negotiate a repayment to creditors of US 36 cents on every dollar owed. The creditors took the deal, then began lending again, albeit more cautiously. The devalued Argentine peso sparked an export boom of agricultural commodities that led to post-default growth rates unseen for 50 years). The short-term impact of default can be painful (witness the run on Greek banks as people try to cash in and export Euros), but measures can be taken to curtail capital flight and to mitigate the deleterious effects of moving to a devalued currency (the Argentines did this by placing stringent limits on currency transfers abroad in the first months after they de-coupled the Argentine peso from the US dollar while at the same time issuing interest-bearing government bonds to dollar holders in the amount valid at the exchange rate of the day before the de-coupling). Greece has not adopted any of these measures as of yet, but that is because a pro-Euro caretaker government, as well as the PASOK government that preceded it, wanted to heighten the sense of doom should an anti-Euro coalition look to be winning majority support.

That scenario emerged in the form of Syriza. Although it is formally known as the Coalition of the Radical Left it is anything but “radical” (no matter how many times the corporate media tries to emphasize that point). Instead, it is a coalition of Socialists, Social Democrats, Greens, Trotskyites, Maoists and independents not associated with the Greek Communist Party (KKE). It has an agenda that includes a possible default, and will now be the largest opposition bloc in the Greek parliament. Contrary to the perception that it came out of nowhere in this year’s elections, Syriza has been steadily building a popular voting base since 2004, increasing its electoral percentage significantly in 2007, 2009 and May 2012. Although it has had splits and defections (which are endemic in Greek politics, particularly on the Left), Syriza was the second largest vote-getter in the May 2012 elections and its margin of loss to New Democracy in the second-round elections held last weekend is less than it was in May. The bailout coalition may have a narrow majority, but Syriza and other Left minority parties will prove to be a formidable parliamentary obstacle to the implementation of  its pro-Euro agenda.

That is why the new Greek “bailout” government will not be successful even if it renegotiates the terms of the bailout along more favorable lines than in previous iterations. It will be forced to deal with the combined pressures of Syriza opposition in parliament and the angry–and I reckon increasingly violent–opposition of the non-parliamentary Left in the street. Greece has a long tradition of student and union militancy and urban guerrilla warfare. Even during the best of times militant groups have used irregular violence to make their points about Greek capitalism and its ties to Western imperialism. They have burned and they have killed (including a CIA station chief, a British embassy official and various Greek security officers) during the decades after the Colonel’s dictatorship fell in 1973. These militant strands have not gone away and instead have been reinforced as the debt crisis drags on and the impact of austerity measures take their toll on the average (and increasingly unemployed) wage-earner. With unemployment at 20 percent and youth unemployment at 50 percent, the recruitment pool for Greek militants has grown exponentially.

Some of this has been siphoned off my neo-fascist parties like Golden Dawn. But the bulk of popular rage has been channeled by the Left, divided into the institutional vehicles of Syriza and the KKE (and various off-shoots), and the direct action, non-institutionalized vehicles comprised by the likes of Revolutionary Sect (who favor political assassinations) or Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (who appropriately enough favor arson), that follow a long line of militant groups with a penchant for violence such as the N-17 and Revolutionary Struggle (and may in fact include former members of the latter), to say nothing of various anarchist cells.

These militant groups are not going stay quiet. Instead, I foresee a rising and relentless tide of irregular violence coupled with acts of passive resistance and civil disobedience so long as the political elite continues to play by the Euro rules of the  game. Every Greek knows that the solution to the crisis is political rather than economic because the bankers have made more than enough profit on their loans and it is now time for them to draw down or write off the remaining interest owed. A softened bailout package only goes halfway towards easing the collective burden of debt, and the continued imposition of fiscal austerity deepens the stresses on Greek society (urban crime has ramped up significantly this year, and it already was pretty bad when I lived in Athens in 2010). Instead of continuing to cater to banks, the political decision palatable to most (non-elite) Greeks is not a softened bailout package, now into its fourth iteration. It is a complete re-structuring, with or without default, of the economic apparatus so that national rather than foreign interests prevail on matters of employment, income and production. This may require a retrenchment and drop in standards of living over the short-term, but it at least gives Greeks a voice in the economic decisions that heretofore and presently are made by Euro-focused elites more attuned to the preferences and interests of European finance capital than they are to those of their own people.

If there is a domino effect in other countries in the event that Greece eventually (I would say inevitably) defaults, then so be it simply because that is the risk that bankers and their host governments assumed when they lent to PASOK and New Democracy governments in the past. Perhaps it is time for bankers to pay the piper as well. After all, although their profit margins may fall as a result of the Greek default, they have already insured against the eventuality (the write-off of Greek debt by large financial institutions in the US, UK and Europe is the story that never gets mentioned by the corporate media). Moreover, and most importantly, the banks can accept the default and take their losses on projected interest as a means of keeping Greece in the Eurozone market, thereby avoiding the contagion effect so widely predicted at the moment. Default does not have to mean leaving the Euro currency market. Greece can default and stay in the Eurozone so long as the banks accept that it is in their long-term interest to shoulder the diminished profits (not real losses) that a default will bring.

Again, the economic decisions about Greece had already been made by the European banks, and they are now simply waiting, while claiming gloom and doom, for the political decision to terminate their interest-based revenue streams. The PASOK/New Democracy bailout coalition only delays that political inevitability, and Syriza and the militant Left will ensure that the next bailout is just another stopgap on the road to default and regeneration along more sustainable lines.

Whatever happens, it looks to be another long hot summer in the Peloponnese. Expect a lot of wildfires.

Assad Channels Videla.

datePosted on 12:21, June 4th, 2012 by Pablo

Bashar Assad has likened the civil war in Syria to a surgeon performing messy emergency surgery. Much blood is spilled but it is in the best interest of the patient’s survival that it do so. In this case the patient is purportedly Syria (but in actuality the Alawite regime), and the surgery is required because of the gangrenous actions of foreign-backed “terrorists” and extremists.

That comment brought back some unhappy memories. On March 24, 1976 the military dictatorship known as the “Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional” (Process of National Reorganization) was installed in Argentina. Over the next seven years it killed over 30,000 people and tortured, imprisoned and exiled at least that many more. It refined the concept of “disappearing” people without a trace (although it was later revealed that many of the disappeared were sedated and dumped from aircraft over the South Atlantic). It was a very bad moment in Argentine history, and the psychological and social scars of that sorry time are still evident to this day.

Assad’s surgical analogy struck an unpleasant chord with me because that is exactly the language used by the “Proceso” to justify its actions. In one of its first proclamations the Junta spoke of the need to rid Argentina of the “malignancies” of subversion, economic instability, social disorder and moral decay, and that in order to do so it would have to “extirpate without anesthesia” the cancers afflicting the Argentine body politic (on this see “Acta fijando el proposito y los objectivos basicos para el Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional,” Republica Argentina, Boletin Oficial, 29 March 1976 and Republica Argentina, Documentos basicos y bases politicas de las fuerzas armadas para el Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional. Buenos Aires: Junta Militar de la Nacion, 1980). It seems that when it comes to “organic” parallels between the state and society, Arab and Argentine dictators think alike.

It might behoove Mr. Assad to remember the fate of his Argentine counterparts. Their regime collapsed under the double-barreled weight of popular unrest and foreign conflict (the Falklands/Malvinas War, which was staged by the Junta as a diversion from its internal problems). The generals who commanded that regime were all eventually tried and convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, where several have died. Argentine justice certainly was not swift or completely fair, but in the end the self-professed “surgeons” were found guilty of homicidal malpractice rather than lauded as the triage medics of the country.

Assad has that double-barreled weight now resting upon his regime. His conflict is internal rather than external, but the involvement of external actors is substantial and not limited to UN proclamations, jihadist infiltration or covert military assistance to the Syrian Free Army. He is therefore well on the path to following his Argentine counterparts down the road to collapse and overthrow, and it is now more a question of whether he will die in a prison cell or on the street rather than if he will fall. After all, once the dictator starts talking about emergency surgery on the body politic, it may be the case that he is the worst tumor of them all.

Blog Link: New Zealand’s Security Council Bid.

datePosted on 08:49, June 1st, 2012 by Pablo

New Zealand has received tacit US endorsement of its bid for a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council in 2015-16.  That may not be an entirely good thing, especially given the mix of players and circumstances involved.