I am so very, very proud to announce that this article was placed on the front page News Scroll of Veterans Today yesterday. It was my first ever contribution to such a major Online News paper.
I will be speaking to Kevin Barret, one of the editors of Veterans Today and Radio host of Truth Jihad on No lies radio who accepted my submission, on his radio show which will air live at 2:00 PM New Zealand time. I will link to the pot cast when it is archived.
In June 2012 the New Zealand Prime Minister and ex-Wall street banker John Key made a visit to Europe. He visited the Governor of the bank of England Sir Mervyn King, 10 Downing street and the Queen. He also visited the NATO headquarters where it was reported he signed a new “non binding” partnership.
While we know very little what was in that partnership contract other than that all news papers said it was “non binding” we do know that since we singed that “non binding” a lot has changed in our relationship with the military of both the US and NATO.
It is also evident that while the partnership was touted as “non binding” we have been involved in a number of global exercises belying the “non binding” part.
We have for example been involved in an anti pirate exercise with Frigate the Mana teaming up with an Ukrainian Frigate monitoring the coast of Somalia for 7 months. We have been involved in some of the biggest exercises in countries such a Latvia, Estonia and Poland. We have also been involved in preparations and training exercises for a rapid response team for NATO.
But these exercises where all outside of New Zealand and not a lot of people in New Zealand realised the importance of the changes the new partnership would bring to New Zealand. Ben Vidgen for example pointed out that while New Zealand has been mostly involved in peacekeeping missions in the Pacific region and its army fatigues where of a suitable jungle green the troops now wear desert colour fatigues. The nature of local training exercises has also changed dramatically with scenarios being about insurgency and how to fight those even when they have the support of local populations.
New Zealand soldiers have been photographed while training with US marines in California in settings that clearly show desert and urban settings.
The size of these exercises has also increased and include US marines and other nationalities.
The exercise I want to talk about in greater detail was the last one to date. It was the biggest military exercise held ever in New Zealand. It was also an exercise held far away from any prying eyes. In fact it even escaped the otherwise pretty sharp eyes of Rick Rozoff from the stop NATO website. Yet, it was the biggest ever military exercise on the Southern hemisphere.
The countries partaking where all either first generation NATO members or new partners such as New Zealand. the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea Tonga, Malaysia and France where the other countries involved in the exercise.
Involved where all three military disciplines, Navy, Air force and regular Army.
2200 personal, 3 Ships, A large number of transport vehicles and 18 aircraft where involved and the exercise included beach landings, Road blocks, protesting populations and even it’s own Taliban in a cave, and a dominant population suppressing the coastal people living in the alpine region of Mainlandia.
The exercise was named after a small indigenous and poisonous spider called the red Katipo and the exercise took place in the South island.
The country to be invaded and liberated was called Mainlandia, a spiel on the fact that the people living on the South Island often call it the Mainland. The exercise took part in the Southern Part of the South Island with the most important town involved being Timaru. Timaru is a coastal town and a served as the port for the ships involved in the exercise.
The exercise was accompanied with a media campaign and it’s own News paper in which the progress of the campaign was chronicled as it would have been in the MSM if it had been real including the usual spin and propaganda. To this day there is a Facebook page dedicated to the exercise making it look like a boy scout outing with a population loving every minute of it and baking cookies for all the boys at every corner.
The exercise however was a very serious one.
What makes this interesting and what makes me speculate about the real goal of the exercise as a preparation for a troops-on-the ground scenario in Syria is the topographic situation of the southern half of the South Island and how the Scenario unfolds with regards to that topography.
The two groups of populations called the Bekarans and the Alpinians in the publication of the NZ army above are at logger heads over a military training exercise where 24 Bekarans lose their lives. This leads to tensions and the Alpirians who are the dominant population group clamp down on the Bekarans and the Prime Minister who himself is an Alpirian refuses to stand down when a Bekaran is elected to be the next Prime Minister. A complicating factor is the fact that a group of religious fanatics have found themselves a strong hold in a Cave situated in the town of Waimate somewhere in the middle of the country.
With all this playing out and the invading “liberators” obviously having to get to and conquer the Alpinian’s region the topography comes into play. If you Google the map of the South Island you will find that the town of Timaru which has both an excellent port capable of receiving three Navy vessels and ships big enough to transport heave transport vehicles and an airport capable of processing our big new Orions and Blackhawks etc. The land around Timaru is very flat and easily travelled albeit somewhat exposed. This goes for the whole region from Christchurch to the North of Timaru to Dunedin south of Timaru. Timaru is located on the East of the Island and if you travel South and West the landscape changes rapidly to a mountainous Alpine region. Hence the name of the Alpirians.
The training included confrontations with the Alpirians in the form of demonstrations using road blocks and other means of limiting population movement transport of “refugees” and confrontations with the “Waimate Taliban”.
The scenario makes for a difficult conquest. To invade a country be sea and by land (The first goal is to secure the port of Timaru as part of the invasion) is already fraught with great danger but to have to travel over a large flat exposed area in order to get to a mountainous area where you have to overpower an armed and hostile population mixed with a third factor of a religious extremist group is even harder if not impossible. So why take on such a difficult topography in a military exercise unless you have a use for it and you need to practice how to overcome those difficulties.
At the time of the exercise being the second half of November in 2013 speculations where made as to why they where training and for what situation and most people limited themselves to situations in the Pacific but I believe that the exercise which included some of the biggest global military powers was intended for a much more important situation.
The scenario and the topography led me to only one comparable situation. One that is unfolding right now. The situation in Syria.
If you listen to the spin than we are being prepared for the fact that there is no way we can bring ISIS/ISIL to heel with mere aerial attacks and that only with a ground war will we be able to destroy them. Of course this is just an argument to place troops on the ground in Syria and that is where this exercise comes in.
Change a few names in the scenario and it is clear that we are talking about a head of state who doesn’t want to step down (Assad with the Alawite Muslims) much to the dissatisfaction of another group (Sunni Muslims) in the country and with the Taliban (ISIS/ISIL) beheading people left right and centre it is clear that the situation they are referring to in the scenario isn’t an imaginary but very much an existent scenario playing out in Syria already.
And this is where the importance of the topography of both the Southern part of the South Island and Syria’s coastline comes into play.
Syria’s coastline is almost exactly the same as the coastline leading up to the Alpine region of the South Island. It has a flat green fertile region from the coast to the steep rise of a range of mountains forming a natural protection against an attack from the sea.
Even the length of the coast line is about the same.
Syria houses the only port accessible to Russian ships and military. Tartus is part of three ports available to the Syrians between the Turkish border and and the border of Lebanon much like the port of Timaru and while I would call it madness to even contemplate an attack on Tartus it is also they only way to disable the Russians in Syria and the supply of arms and other supplies they provide.
Turkey will be very reluctant to open up their population to attacks from the Syrian air force and a widening of the conflict if it where to allow ground attacks and an invasion of Syria. (Update) Added to that Iran has threatened Turkey if they aid a NATO/US attack. Saudi Arabia while arming itself to the hilt at the moment might also be reluctant to become an active participant as they have an already restless population wanting a change of regime and very aware that Saudi Arabia has served as a US military base and most Muslims regard Saudi Arabia’s regime treacherous to Islam allowing infidels to place their military in a country which has some of the most holy places in Islam in its territory. Lebanon is not going to cooperate with the US or the NATO to aid an attack on Syria with pro Syrian and Iranian Hezbollah as a major military force. This pretty much leaves the coast as one of the few ways they can use to get boots on the ground.
At the moment the US, UK, France and the Netherlands are already performing bombing raids on Iraq and Syria. To date Syrian oil refineries and grain silos have already been destroyed. ISIS/ISIL troops are fighting for the city of Kobani which coincidently is very close to the biggest water supply in Syria. We know that the US and NATO already have a fleet of war ships monitoring the coast of Syria and the US claims that 60 countries have pledged their support for an attack on ISIS/ISIL. New Zealand has just had it’s election and re elected John Key as their Prime minister. Members of the SAS have already been called up even as the Prime minister claims to be extremely reluctant to send troops into the quagmire.
The expectation is that New Zealand will support the war efforts and much like everywhere else the population is bullied into accepting ever more restricting and invasive laws with the prospect of public beheadings of mad Muslims in our streets and I suspect that we will soon have our first raid on a mosque to bring the point home that we have to step in line with the madness coming out of Washington and London