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Biden’s new defense agreement with Britain and Australia is a masterstroke against China

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17.09.2021

President Biden has been messing up a lot lately, especially when it comes to the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. His announcement Wednesday of a new defense agreement with Britain and Australia, however, is a rare success.

The agreement, known as AUKUS, provides Australia with access to proprietary U.S. nuclear submarine technology. This information, previously shared only with Britain, will allow Australia to acquire and operate advanced nuclear-powered submarines to replace older diesel-fueled boats. As a result, Australia will cancel a 2016 contract with a French submarine contractor to build diesel boats for its navy.

Nuclear-powered subs have significant advantages over diesel-powered vessels. They do not need to surface to recharge batteries, for example, and the boats Australia is likely to receive from the United States never need to refuel. Those Virginia-class submarines can also launch up to 16 Tomahawk missiles, giving Australia a small offensive capability that China would need to account for in the event of any conflict. Those boats could also theoretically be armed with nuclear weapons, although Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unequivocally stated his country would not acquire........

© Washington Post


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