US Defence Secretary visiting NZ
Thu, 20 Sep 2012 6:07p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The United States Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, arrives in New Zealand tomorrow, the first visit by someone in that position for 30 years.
Mr Panetta is an important figure in the US government. He is the former director of the CIA and oversaw the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.
His job is to exercise "authority, direction and control" over the entire US military - the army, navy, and air force.
Prime Minister John Key says the visit is a sign of a strengthening relationship with the US.
“It's very symbolic that he's here.”
The last visit was before the bust-up over the nuclear free legislation.
Mr Key says the talks with Mr Panetta will not extend to any kind of warship visit as neither side wants to discuss that.
“My understanding is that there's no real change in the position - we certainly wouldn't change our legislation,” he says.
But there could be a middle ground, as Mr Key says he would welcome a visit by the US Coast Guard.
“If it did happen that would be a nice thing, but again it would be largely about symbolism.”
Mr Panetta has just been in China, and his visit there was symbolic too.
China's leader-in-waiting, Vice-President Xi Jinping, re-appeared for his first talks with a foreign official since vanishing from the public eye nearly two weeks ago.
The relationship between the US and China is tense - there's a power struggle going on that reaches out here to the Pacific. And the American concern about China's rise is one of the reasons they have warmed to us.
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24/09/2012 5:38:11 a.m.
Now that the Middle East wars are winding down, Asia Pacific is next on their Roadmap. As usual it's just to benefit the Military industrial complex and special interest groups in Washington, such as AIPAC. Leave this one peaceful country on Earth alone, US! Keep their hands clean.
22/09/2012 12:22:33 a.m.
aotearoa is not 4 sale wrote:
of course WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR thats is all the U.S goverment thinks about is war well i think we should just STAY THE F....K OUT OF IT cos just sayin if thay go to war ova something stupid like hows got the bigest army or whos more powerful you no whos ganna get hit first us thay just need us to be their sheild.
22/09/2012 12:14:09 a.m.
Buisness or pleasure? How about the deep sea oil John? We can always find New Zealand wool with links to El quada, it's that easy John.
21/09/2012 9:41:06 a.m.
Angee Leary wrote:
of course this is about war! they hav been invading the middle east and want our soldiers as canon fodder! get real media! if they enlist nall the unemployed youth and tattoed prisoners...now thers a usefull exercise. The good people should stay at home becos they were killed in the last WW2!
20/09/2012 8:34:05 p.m.
Local Intelligence (Free Report) wrote:
He is only here to check out synapsial monitoring and interception operations in New Zealand.
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