The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – The United States and New Zealand will resume bilateral military cooperation after a near-total 30-year interruption, the two countries’ defense ministries said Monday.

The improvement in military relations comes as part of the U.S. strategy to pay more attention to the Asia-Pacific region, amid China’s growing clout.

“We’re also very pleased to see the resumption of mil to mil talks after 30 years,” cheered New Zealand defense minister Jonathan Coleman during a press conference at the Pentagon with his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel.

The two countries plan to develop cooperation in peacekeeping and military training, humanitarian aid and emergency response, the two ministries explained.

“In addition to high-level visits like this one, we’ve had a productive set of exercises and training initiatives, the first joint defense policy talks in almost three decades,” Hagel noted.

Wellington is set to send a ship to participate in the international anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, as well as to participate in next year’s RIMPAC near Hawaii — the world’s biggest multi-national naval exercise.

“Today I authorized a New Zealand navy ship to dock at Pearl Harbor for RIMPAC 2014,” Hagel said.

This would be one of the first visits of a New Zealand ship in a U.S. military port since the United States lifted a ban in September 2012 that had been in place since 1986.

Washington had ordered the embargo as a reprisal for a New Zealand ban on nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered submarines from entering the Pacific island nation’s waters.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Michael Flynn

Former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has made more than his fair share of disturbing, jaw-dropping remarks-- like telling the former guy he should impose martial law to hold a new election or suggesting a Myanmar-like coup at a QAnon conference in May. But he seemed to reach a new low when he joked about using a newly gifted assault rifle to carry out an assassination in the nation's capital.

"We were trying to come up with a rifle that we thought was appropriate for a general, so we went with an old-school Woodland of our top-quality guns," said Jason Parker, a gun company employee who gifted the weapon to Flynn.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity

Photo by Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox News host Sean Hannity disclosed during his radio show on Friday that he had made peace with a fellow right-wing radio host whose content mill had warned that Hannity's "feverish support of the vaccine" against the novel coronavirus betrayed his conservative audience.

Keep reading... Show less