April 09, 2020
Virus risk a military threat
Peace groups, academics, human rights campaigners and Māori are calling on the Prime Minister to withdraw New Zealand from RIMPAC, the world’s largest, US-led military exercise due to begin in June.
They say it is irresponsible to send more than 300 soldiers to interact 26,000 troops from dozens of other nations, as well as with local communities in Hawai’i.
There is every probability soldiers will transmit the COVID-19 virus, imposing heavy tolls on vulnerable communities.
The letter says as well as the COVID-19 issue, RIMPAC is primarily intended to cement US military domination of the Pacific.
As a participant, New Zealand is contributing to this military showcase of imperial violence and ecological destruction in places such as Hawai’i and Guam.
The nuclear-powered US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is evacuating 2700 troops onto Guam because of a coronavirus outbreak on board.
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