|Interest of||Donald C. Winter|
• United Kingdom
• United States
|Acronym for trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, where Australia is to buy nuclear submarines.|
AUKUS is an enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, which was announced on 15 September 2021 by President Biden, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison.
The first major initiative under AUKUS is Australia’s acquisition of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines which have superior characteristics of stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, survivability, and almost limitless endurance, when compared to conventional submarines. They can deploy unmanned underwater vehicles and can also carry more advanced and a greater number of weapons. These abilities allow nuclear-powered submarines to operate in contested areas with a lower risk of detection.
These characteristics are not much different from modern diesel-electric submarines, except they are more expensive. Australia will get 8 nuclear subs instead of the 12 French ones. The change also means further delays. Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, who had been briefed on the change, spoke of “by 2040”.
Speech by Scott Morrison
|PM Scott Morrison speaks after AUKUS submarine announcement|
In an hour-long speech, Australian PM Scott Morrison said:
"And we will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations."
The French government reacted angrily to Australia’s decision to abandon a £43bn deal for French submarines in favour of the AUKUS security pact, which will see Australia scrap its 2016 agreement with French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new fleet to replace its ageing Collins submarines.
Regarding the United Kingdom, "recalling our Ambassador to London was not necessary because we already know that the British government is in a logic of permanent opportunism", said French diplomat Pierre Morcos.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the move and said:
"The US, the UK and Australia's cooperation in nuclear submarines severely damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and jeopardises the international efforts in promoting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
"The US and UK's action of exporting highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology once again proves that they are using nuclear exports as a tool for geopolitical games and adapts double standards.
"This is a highly irresponsible act."
Stop the War
Stop the War condemns the new partnership as an unnecessary and provocative step which will heighten tensions with China and increase the possibility of hostilities breaking out in the region. We note that US officials have briefed that the UK government has been pushing hard for strong military involvement in the region as part of its push towards ‘Global Britain’.
"Twenty years on from the start of the War on Terror our leaders seem to have learnt nothing about the disasters that are generated by foreign military intervention.
- "Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom Announcing the Creation of AUKUS"
- "Australia Intends To Acquire At Least Eight Locally-Built SSNs As Part Of AUKUS Initiative"
- "The Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media after announcing a trilateral agreement with the United States and Great Britain to procure nuclear-powered submarines in a new AUKUS alliance"
- "‘Stab in the back’: France hits out at Aukus alliance with fears it threatens Indo-Pacific partnerships"
- "Nuclear subs and a diplomatic blowup: The US-France clash, explained"
- "The British government is in a logic of permanent opportunism"
- "China says AUKUS submarine deal 'highly irresponsible' and 'intensifies the arms race'"
- "The Aukus pact is a costly and dangerous provocation"