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The United States, United Kingdom, Australia Deal Contains Many Pitfalls

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25.09.2021

The recently announced deal between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States for Australia to acquire nuclear submarines in place of the deal to buy conventionally powered French submarines has set off a wave of consequences among Australia’s allies that have caused shockwaves among members of the so-called western alliance.

There is much of the detail of this new deal that remains undisclosed. One of the ostensible reasons for cancelling the arrangement to buy French submarines was the cost, which has blown out to an extraordinary $90 billion. There has been absolutely no mention at all of the actual cost to Australia of buying the replacement eight nuclear submarines, but it is unlikely to be very much less than that, which would make the economic argument for cancellation wither and die.

Some evidence is emerging that the main impetus behind the deal was the United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for whom causing embarrassment to the French would be one of the least of his concerns. But even Johnson, for all his hubris, could not have anticipated the furious French reaction, and perhaps more particularly the embarrassment to the Americans.

In recent days the United States president Joe Biden has called his French counterpart Emanuel Macron in what from the White House record of the conversation was an obvious attempt by the Americans to rebuild their relationship with the French. One consequence of their discussion was an agreement that the two would meet when Biden next goes to Europe in November this year. No venue for the meeting was announced, but it seems likely that they will meet at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The Anglo-Australia-United States deal has also caused some upset........

© New Eastern Outlook


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