A defence policy, people, resources and equipment to do the dirty deeds, and training etc is just what I expect my hard-won and reluctantly surrendered taxes, to fund, as the very first duty of Gummint. So, you (Greens) are quite correct, not having such a policy shows a fundamental unseriousness about Governing.
And your own straw person (Lord help me, I’m using the same woolly language) is the ‘illegality’ of Iraq. You’ll need to keep a careful eye on the documents now being released: the ‘Blessed July’ aspect alone (see, for example this) would make a Londoner think twice. The point is that ‘legality’ applies only to a Westphalian nation-state weltanschauung. And we’re definitely not in that Kansas any more, Dorothy.
New Zealand is strategically irrelevant to the new Great Game - the Western Enlightenment against the Third Caliphate, but does pose a security risk to the rest of the Anglosphere: our laughably lax immigration and citizenship attitudes, mean that we are seen as a ’soft touch’.
So a useful start to a Green defence policy might be to ponder awhile on the ’sustainability’ of this stance.
And this goes far beyond the electoral considerations. When you consider that the Reggie Krays of the world can now purchase submarines, aircraft carriers and crude nuclear devices (read William Langwiesche on A.Q Khan in recent Atlantic Monthlies) as well as the usual run of weaponry, and that NZ has the longest and certainly the least defendable coastline in the Pacific, all sorts of unhealthy scenarios swim up from the depths.
And Reggie, to those who knew him, had one persona that was utterly charming, urbane, philanthropic and which took in more than one ingenuous reporter. But then he also had his Little Moments.
We, of course, don’t want to be a pawn in someone else’s game. Fair enough, the quiet life and all. But then, as Trotsky noted, ‘You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you’.
Better to heed and prepare.