Pacific Govt Collapse Scenario

In this scenario a Pacific Island or former French colonial government, under pressure from a local independence movement aided by a shadowy foreign government, collapses. The UN asks New Zealand as a disinterested party to assist by providing security. It is assumed there will be factions on both sides and they are armed with small arms and the odd rocket launcher. Once again the response depends a bit on the islands involved.

For this scenario I present three variations

New Caledonia/Kanaky Variation

With a population of 268,767 and a land area of 18,576 km2, our nearest island neighbour (977nm) is not small (about the same size as Manawatu-Wanganui). The assumption in this scenario is that elements of the Melanesian population are dissatisfied with the independence offer from France and have sought assistance from a large Asian corporation in return for concessions and access to the island's rich nickel reserves (25% of global supply). At the same time white pro French islanders have formed a counter independence movement with assistance of the extreme right in French politics. The extreme right is keen for a casus belli that would force the President to renege on independence. Meanwhile the Asian interests are smuggling arms to Melanesian independence movements.

To find and disarm militia groups while at the same time reducing tensions, preventing ambushes, and ensuring that dialogue remains the most productive means of achieving legitimate and mutually beneficial development.

The main means is to operate a policy that emphasises 1) excellent intelligence and invisible surveillance 2) minimal apparent street presence to reinforce the notion that life goes on as normal 3) the ability to pre-empt flashpoints with seemingly overwhelming surges of force. It is assumed the French government in general is keen to divest itself of this colony which costs it $2 billion a year. It is further assumed that most islanders realise that tourism is the island's best economic opportunity but this will fail if civil war breaks out.

Intelligence gathering is carried out by DSGE agents, French telecommunications experts
4 Rangers Pacific Humint teams in Landcruisers
4 Motorised mobile 3CI teams in Landcruisers with local interpretors
1 Coastguard long range UAV crew
1 Aviation Battalion UAV crew
1 Patrol boat with dive team
1 SH-2G Combat ECM helicopter
2 Low Intensity Warfare Military Police Platoons
1 MP training detachment
1 Ranger Combat Platoon
1 Ranger training detachment
1 Pioneer Infantry Section and 1 Pioneer Perimeter Security Team
1 Triage team + visiting surgical team (hearts and minds)
2 K9 teams
6 Cobra II vehicles
12 Ural security vehicles
24 Landcruisers & Humdingas

Tongan Revolution Variation

Although Tonga supposedly has 170 islands most of them are tiny and most Tongans live on Nuku'alofa or Eru islands. The total land area is 748km2 with a population of 103,036 yielding a density of 139 people per square kilometer (compared to New Zealand's 17.2 per square kilometer). Tonga is poor with GDP per capita a fifth that of New Zealand. A very hierarchical society with an almost absolute monarch this has led to problems with management and accountability which have grated with many educated Tongans.

In this scenario it is assumed that an economic crisis coupled with a governance scandal has triggered a revolt. Revolutionaries have shot the royal family and declared a coup d'etat. The army and traditional leaders have fought back and there is no clear government on the island. Many Tongans in New Zealand are very worried for family members back home. Reports are sketchy with both sides claiming the support of the Tongan people and sporadic outbreaks of violence. It appears both the army and revolutionaries are refusing to talk and that unless the violence stops the repercussions for all islanders will be very serious. The UN has asked New Zealand to assist in establishing a settlement process between the two volatile parties.

The mission is to intervene to deter violence in order to begin a political dialogue

This operation has been left entirely to New Zealand. The key concept of this mission is to intervene with as much force as possible in order to 1) distract combatants 2) remind combatants that external agencies will not allow them to start a civil war and 3) unite Tongans as Tongans. The operation requires extremely fast deployment and equally extremely fast departure.

  1. Begin Orion UAV overflight missions
  2. Immediately dispatch diplomat, military observer, defence network specialist, and small protection detail in Legacy 600. Legacy lands and leaves.
  3. Forthwith dispatch 2 Patrol boats with 2 SH-2G helicopters and flight crews on board. ETA 2 days
  4. Begin LSV loading with fuel, LAV-76s, Cobra IIs and Low Intensity Warfare Military Police. Invite news teams.
  5. Divert north Pacific OPV to Tonga. ETA 1-2 days.
  6. Wait 1-2 days if violence continues capture airport
    1. HALO drop SAS at midnight to secure airport
    2. air land 8 Cobra II armoured vehicles at 6am
    3. air land 2 MH60s at noon
  7. Launch helicopter reconnaissance as soon as possible
  8. Reinforce with air landed Cobra II armoured vehicles and Ranger Combat Company
  9. Begin land patrols at night, maintain helicopter
  10. When Patrol boats arrive transfer SH-2Gs to airport
  11. Build operational daytime presence and begin diplomatic efforts to bring parties to talks
  12. Land LAV-76s, Cobra IIs and LIW MPs
  13. Begin disarmament and talks
  14. Staged exit as soon as talks begin
    1. SAS and Rangers by chartered airliner
    2. Helicopters by KC-390
    3. Some armoured vehicles by LSV
    4. Patrol boats with LSV
  15. LIW MPs and Cobras remain.

Solomon Islands Variation

The Solomon Islands are nine major islands with a land area of 28.400km2 with a population of half a million. That makes it a bit bigger and more populated than the Waikato. The Solomon Islanders are even poorer than Tongans being about 12th as rich as New Zealanders. Three quarters of Solomon Islanders are engaged in subsistance fishing and farming. The capital Honiara is 1800nm from Auckland.

This scenario could equally apply to Vanuatu but the Solomons are selected for the distance challenge.

In this scenario the politics of resentment has been exploited by a new politician.  The politician (namedd Donald Tumpe) has very little grasp of economics, politics or diplomacy but is very good at making poor, and resentful people feel better about themselves by being angry, and directing that anger against other ethnicities, foreigners and his political opponents. Tumpe's rallies are energetic calls to arms which endorse direct action. The establishment has united to exclude Tumpe and his followers and the country he heading toward civil war. The establishment has asked for assistance in containing Tumpe and his followers.

To avert war

The mission is a joint Australian- New Zealand mission.  The approach is to avoid direct antagonism with Tumpe but maintain a naval presence which will give him pause while reassuring Solomon Islanders that violent change will not be tolerated by the international community.

  1. Fly in Ranger Pacific Humint teams on commercial flights
  2. Fly in criminal and fraud specialist MPs on commercial flights
  3. Fly in LIW infantry, Rangers on commercial flights not in uniform
  4. KC-390s land infantry equipment
  5. Load 2 LSVs with 2 SH-2G helicopters, 2 MH-60 helicopters, Pioneer equipment, Humdingas, Urals, and Cobras
  6. Load 2 Patrol boats with Marines + medical teams
  7. LIW infantry and Rangers begin briefings (in uniform from hotel)
  8. On arrival LSVs land helicopters and vehicles
  9. One LSV returns to NZ
  10. 1 LSV mothership and Patrol Boats begin work in archipelago providing medical aid and Marines gathering intelligence


The main advantages of the focused force are:
  1. UAVs for discrete intelligence gathering
  2. Reliable air transport
  3. air deliverable helicopters
  4. more sea transport options in terms of speed, size and payload mix
  5. air deliverable armoured and protected vehicles with 2 drive on drive off per KC-390
  6. specialist low intensity warfare force
  7. friendlier profile vehicles that look more like ordinary cars and SUVs
  8. scary looking LAVs with bigger looking guns