AUKUS: Just Muddying the Waters?


Virginia-class submarine Minnesota (SSN-783) (Photo: US Navy, 2012)
Virginia-class submarine Minnesota (SSN-783) (Photo: US Navy, 2012)

The US, UK and Australia announced the AUKUS trilateral security partnership. Australia PM Scott “that fellow down under” Morrison described it as a “forever partnership”.


Wow. And in a way, not really.


Part of the deal is for Australia to acquire at least 8 nuclear-powered submarines, with much emphasis on those subs not being nuclear-armed. This in effect cancels the 2016-deal with France for 12 conventional submarines. The US and/or UK will share the design and technology whilst the subs will be built in Australia. The US shared its sub expertise with the UK as part of their treaty in 1958. In this regard, the deal has some wow factor to it.


Whilst China was not explicitly mentioned, everyone knows what stability in the “Indo-Pacific region” is supposed to mean. And China is obviously not happy. They have a response, amongst others, through their mouthpiece that is the Global Times which basically says, “You really want to test us?”


I don’t work in any government or in any of the military-industrial sectors so the below is the highly generalized take of an outsider.


Historical Ties


Ultimately, I can’t see Australia ultimately going any other way than with the Anglo-American faction. (I use the word “faction” because it need not be their respective governments and officials but whoever is pulling the strings behind the scenes.)


Although circumstances differ, Australia has worked alongside the US and UK in the past, even if it’s the Brits using Aussies (and others) as fodder. And the three countries are part of the Five Eyes. So, there is that “tradition” as well as an existing relationship.


Despite Australia increasingly acting like a commie state during this plandemic, it is mostly a white country of western culture that has the remnants of Christianity, whatever that means nowadays. In that regard too, I can see Australia will ultimately go with the Anglo-American faction or at least that will be the excuse to use on the people.


Military Capability


It seems Australia currently does not have sufficient expertise to design subs from scratch, hence her deals in acquiring subs from other countries. There is nothing wrong with conventional subs if one doesn’t mind the limited range, which is less of a problem if used purely in a defensive manner close to home. Nuclear-powered subs have obvious advantages, including its unlimited operating range (as far as the sub itself is concerned), and Australia is a huge island continent.


If the US and/or UK are willing to share their designs and technology, assuming what they share does not require significant re-designing, then it’s a better deal than the French. What’s the point of taking a French nuclear-powered design and re-designing it as a conventional sub?


In the short term, this means very little to anyone. I don’t think 8 subs some years from now is much of a threat to China given the distances between Australia and China. Of course, if it forms part of a larger force to contain China or if these subs give the US and UK forces more flexibility even if they are not used anywhere near Chinese interests, then I understand why China is upset.


As a thought exercise, let’s double it to 16 subs that are somehow completed tomorrow in Australia. It will still take years to go through sea trials and training to operate and maintain the fleet. And sure, that is a significant force for Australia in a defensive scenario. But how significant are 16 subs if used offensively? Yes, it’s a lot of firepower that can potentially do a lot of damage, but one can’t exactly invade a country with 16 subs. Also keep in mind one doesn’t deploy the entire fleet unless you really have to.


For Australia’s sake, I hope these subs don’t become another F-35 mess.


Nuclear Power


Whilst Australia does not utilize nuclear power, it’s not as if Australia has no experience in it. More generally, nuclear power has a bad reputation due to incidents like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and, more recently, Fukushima. (As if that was an accident, but that’s another topic.)


If the US and/or UK are willing to share the technology, assuming they don’t share something faulty, then I don’t see a problem for Australia. Both the US and UK have been operating nuclear power inside a sub for decades. They’re safer and more reliable than a particular product that is currently pushed onto the population. *Cough*


If people are worried about Australia having nukes… Well, there are those who say that nukes aren’t that difficult to make but their delivery systems are. Assuming Australia doesn’t already have a secret nuke stash, then I can’t see them having any anytime soon unless someone provides the technology. And it’s almost irrelevant anyway since the nuclear powers already have enough of a stockpile and enough in positions to destroy this planet multiple times.


Australia’s Position


Australia’s position is unique. And difficult to play. I don’t want to insult Australian capabilities but the population is merely 25 million. In terms of manpower, it is difficult for her to compete with anyone.


Australia is geographically isolated which has its benefits. However, despite having historical and current ties to the Anglo-American faction, Australia is geographically much closer to SE Asia than the US and UK.


I can’t see the Americans and the Brits rescuing Australia should something happen to her. Let’s be honest, the only reason any non-Australian cares about Australia is the massive amounts of natural resources. Consider the few examples below where Australia ranks high in their mine reserves. (Australia generally ranks high in production too but I don’t mention it because one can ramp up production if needed.)

  • Coal: 2nd

  • Iron ore: 1st

  • Uranium: 1st

  • Copper: 3rd

  • Nickel: 2nd

  • Lithium: 5th

  • Titanium: 2nd

  • Gold mine: 1st

  • Silver: 2nd

  • Natural gas reserves: 27th (but still a decent amount)

  • And apparently a lot of land, pretty trees and fresh air.

In other words, Australia doesn’t have to be an ally, but one cannot afford to let Australia outright fall into the hands of the other side.


So, one can see Australia’s perspective and stance to any potential threat: “You’re welcome to buy or even take our stuff, just please don’t kill us.”


And up to this point, Australia has been playing that card: aligning with the Anglo-American faction but also trading with China by exporting coal, iron ore etc.


One can see the sinister nature of the debt-based economic system. The “bankers” have seen to it that one cannot operate independently of it. If it weren’t for that, Australia can isolate herself, whip out the engineering textbooks and design and build her own stuff. Her achievements would only be limited by her will, manpower and natural resources.


But, with the debt-based economic system which limits access to money (by the implementation of debt), one has to play the game. So, Australia can get some financial benefit from trade but other countries get her natural resources. The West can hardly bitch about China building her war machine when they’ve been in effect facilitating it. How convenient that bankers fund all sides of (their) wars.


As a sidebar, I have always wondered if there was/is a secret deal regarding Australia. If Australia was/is truly aligned with the West, particularly the Anglo-American faction, then it makes sense for them to build Australia up into a major power. And yet, they obviously haven’t. I don’t think control is an issue since the debt-based economic system as we know it has already been in play for a few centuries.


Could it be that the various factions have agreed not to build Australia up because it would shift the balance of power too much? In other words, Australia can be part of the West but it’s a mine that everyone can use as long as no one abuses it.


In any case, the timing of this AUKUS deal is interesting. Up until this point, the US and UK haven’t overtly cared that much about China trading and buying up Australia. And yet, such an explicit deal is made and announced. And what is offered to Australia is not insignificant.


Maybe the US and UK have drawn a line. Maybe they are finally unhappy with China buying up and trading with Australia. Also keep in mind the deals China and Russia have been making around the world are designed to isolate the US from her allies, so maybe this is the US trying to buy some friends.


Either way, it seems this has forced Australia to overtly choose. It seems the subs, amongst other things, are the carrots and there are probably sticks not shown to the public. Given that eight (or even more) subs some years from now don’t make that much difference to China, and it will tax China a lot to take Australia, the US (and maybe the UK) must be holding big sticks. Also keep in mind that this deal is costly to Australia since it is the debt-based economic system in play, and I am unsure if short-term trade with China with change significantly.


If these subs and others capabilities are really an issue for China in the medium or long term, then China may act before these capabilities are an issue, or at least that may be their excuse.


I suspect that at the highest levels of whatever satanic powers run this world, China is the excuse to set up AUKUS in order to hand China an excuse to do something stupid. After all, the previous excuse for China to go to war was the TPP which conveniently excluded her. China could not afford to be excluded from such a trade deal. In that sense, one could argue they had as close to a genuine reason as one could get for war. Trump killed the TPP and in effect avoided war, so now “they” need another excuse. It’s possible this will fizzle out to nothing but it can easily be an excuse.


Astute-class submarine Ambush (S120) (© Crown Copyright 2012)
Astute-class submarine Ambush (S120) (© Crown Copyright 2012)
 

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