On Wednesday September 15, in a virtual press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden announced the formation of a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with the UK and Australia. The so called security alliance named “AUKUS”Washington’s hottest acronym abbreviations for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, is but a new military pact conceived and set up by imperialist and hegemonic power flanked by two satellites Anglo saxon proxies aimed at containing China’s rise to global power. AUKUS is Washington’s latest NATO-like alliance in the Asia Pacific region alongside other alliances, the US-Japan and US-South Korea alliances and the Quad including India, not US ally but a political and geopolitical challenger to China.
AUKUS, the new military pact could endanger the Asia Pacific region as Australia will become a nuclear power by acquiring 9 nuclear powered submarines. The centrepiece of the deal announced involves Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines and abandoning a deal with France,tearing up an agreement with French Naval group to build conventionally powered submarines. Under the arrangement, the United States will divulge its most-guarded naval nuclear secrets to Australia. The details and inner workings of the alliance will be nutted out over the next 18 months. Playing on words by alleging the deal does not extend to nuclear weapons, only to the propulsion system, as the future nuclear-powered submarines would be able to carry nuclear weapons aboard.
Allied naval presence is expected to increase north of Australia, including in the contested South China Sea, as part of a coordinated tricontinental push against Beijing territorial aggression. Australia, the United States and Britain are expected to reorient their submarine and warship fleets to counter China’s increasing regional presence.
The new military pact would allow a far greater presence of American troops on Australian soil as more US warplanes of all types, including bombers, will come to Australia, along with a larger presence of maintenance crews and military logistics personnel.
Beijing vigorously reacted denouncing the new military as AUKUS deal supplying Australia with nuclear submarines “seriously damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and undermines the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” A senior Chinese military expert commented on the new nuclear deal considering only nuclear-armed countries have nuclear submarines, and a nuclear submarine is one tasked to launch a second-round nuclear strike in a nuclear war.
Aware of the danger from the new military pact New Zealand, member of the Five Eyes Alliance, wants to stay away from it, especially Australian nuclear submarines. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that Australia’s new nuclear-powered submarines would not be allowed in New Zealand’s territorial waters under a long-standing nuclear-free policy.
The new military pact will benefit directly the merchants of death in US and UK and indirectly a leading French company Thales based in England. In UK, BAE System is currently building a fleet of Astute- class nuclear powered attack submarines and designing a fleet of Trident ballistic missile submarines for the Royal Navy at its Barrow yard in northern England. The company has a substantial stake in the Australian shipbuilding industry in part due to Canberra’s 2018 selection of the companies Type 26 frigate for anti-submarine duties. Thales, a great success, a French company has a very large workforce in the UK working for submarine industry. After Australia has scrapped the French deal, the company was quick to announce in a statement on Sept. 15 that its business outlook would remain untouched by the Australian decision to drop Naval Group.