US, UK and Australia Form Defence AUKUS To Create Some Ruckus
As if NATO was not enough, the US, UK and Australia are hopefully setting up a trilateral security partnership for the Into Pacific, aimed at confronting China. The initiative, called AUKUS was announced jointly by US president Joe Biden and prime ministers Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, joined virtually by video conference. They presented it as the next critical step in an old alliance. Though it will end up just creating some ruckus. Most probably this announcement has been made because Uncle Sam has realized that India will not permit QUAD to be turned into a military bloc.
The Australian Media is already joking regarding the way Joe Biden thanked the Australian PM by addressing him as the Fellow Down Under. The President of USA had just forgotten the name of the PM of Australia. Well this shows the true nature if the Security Alliance.
This new alliance will though be helping Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines. Morrison said teams from the three countries would draw up a joint plan over the coming 18 months for assembling the new Australian nuclear-powered submarine fleet, which will be built in Adelaide. The project will make Australia only the seventh country in the world to have submarines propelled by nuclear reactors. However the first of the nuclear powered submarines will surely not be available before 2030.
New Zealand has already reacted strongly against these nuclear powered submarines. So Morrison has clarified “This will include an intense examination of what we need to do to exercise our nuclear stewardship responsibilities here in Australia. But let me be clear. Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability.”
He was probably clarifying the international treaty obligations of Australia on handling nuclear fuel. Turning to the Australian submarine-building plan, Johnson said: “This will be one of the most complex and technically demanding projects in the world, lasting decades and requiring the most advanced technology.”
The agreement certainly spells the end for a US$ 90 bn contract Australia signed with the French company Naval Group in 2016. That deal had become bogged down in cost over-runs, delays and design changes. It marks a setback for President Emmanuel Macron.
However this fundamental decision, will bind Australia decisively by its tail to the United States and Great Britain ( with Great having vanished long time back it is struggling to remain as Britain itself ) for generations. This may not be good for Australia in the long run.
Though none of the three AUKUS leaders have mentioned China, but there was no doubt that the initiative was a response to China’s drive in the South China Sea and increasing belligerence towards Taiwan.
“We need to be able to address both the curlrent strategic environment in the region, and how it may evolve, because the future of each of our nations and indeed the world, depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead,” Biden said. Speaking from London, Johnson said the three countries were “natural allies” even though “we may be separated geographically” and said the alliance would create “a new defence partnership and driving jobs and prosperity”.