The report into standards of behaviour in the Defence Force reveals an intense campaign to undermine support for the government’s defence changes, Green Party Defence spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
An anti-government “faction in the army” has been on a “get Dodson” vendetta because of the army chief’s support for a focus on a peacekeeping capability rather than the retention of an air combat force, said Mr Locke.
“The report shows an explosion of leaks this year designed to cause personal embarrassment to General Dodson and to undermine the Government’s defence spending priorities.”
Major General Dodson has been the key supporter of the Government’s new course in defence policy.
“As recently as December 20th, he told the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee of his support for the ‘Defence Beyond 2000’ report, which prioritised spending on army equipment ahead of maintaining an air combat force,” said Mr Locke.
“While the leaking of such documents is reprehensible, we such should not forget to censure those National, New Zealand First and ACT politicians who used this information to fuel their campaign to try to keep the Skyhawks flying.”
The Green Party is against any politicisation of the armed forces, and is particularly concerned that right wing parties have encouraged factional behaviour and the leaking of unauthorised documents for their own political advantage, said Mr Locke.