Australia and New Zealand – a new military agreement.  What is the ANZAC Plan?

Australia and New Zealand signed a new military cooperation agreement on Tuesday that involves sharing expertise, training and cooperation for forces, including special forces. Reuters notes that this came at a time when New Zealand is facing a shortage of personnel in its army.

The ANZAC plan, named after the combined Australian-New Zealand forces in World War I, will be supported by the Five Eyes intelligence coalition, which includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“As close neighbors and allies, we have a shared commitment to supporting each other’s security and focusing on security and stability in the broader region,” New Zealand Army Chief General John Boswell said in a statement.

The only ally

Australia is New Zealand’s sole official defensive ally. Canberra is a member of the AUKUS defense technology exchange agreement and continues to invest in the development of its armed forces. At the same time, Wellington has been forced to shut down three of its nine warships and withdraw its fleet of P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft while soldiers leave the New Zealand Army for better paying jobs.

Australian and New Zealand forces celebrated the centenary of ANZAC in 2014stock struggle

This raises concerns about New Zealand’s ability to keep up with Australia, adding that the announcement of a new type of cooperation comes at a time of heightened geopolitical tensions in the Pacific.

“We will be able to better exchange experience in developing capabilities, training doctrine and many other areas (…) and, in the case of the New Zealand Army, renewing combat capabilities on the ground,” said Boswell.

The new agreement builds on the 2018 agreement on closer defense cooperation between the two countries.

Main image source: stock struggle

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