What is AUKUS? it’s a iron clad military alliance between Australia, UK and US (AUKUS) who are already strong allies of each other. The aukus pact was made public on the 15th September 2021. AUKUS pact signatories identify countries in the agreement who are a threat, have a concrete plan to combat these threats and agree to act militarily to defend each other.
Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance (FVEY)
Aukus will be complimented nicely by the intelligence gathering capabilities of the five eyes intelligence alliance. Which has USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand as signatories. The five eyes use their civilian, law enforcement and military intelligence in what’s called the intelligence cycle.
They use the ”find, fix, finish, exploit, assess” method to gather intelligence from all possible avenues. Clearly, a large amount of intelligence was gathered in the lead up to the big Aukus announcement.
The Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue)
Is a strategic dialogue between USA, Japan, India and Australia. Some say the Quad was designed to balance China as an Asian version of Nato. Now that Aukus has been created and bolstered with the arming of Taiwan and Australia with nuclear powered subs.
Indian foreign secretary Harsh Shringla (Sep 25th 2021) indirectly denied that the Quad was created to counter China. This could mean many things, but it’s important to add here, in my opinion.
You can see how this could cement ties amongst the Quad countries who in the past were sceptical whether the United States had the capability and willingness to commit to balancing China. Only time will tell.
International Reaction To AUKUS
It’s a great idea to gauge the responses from countries around the world to this announcement. We can start to map out how international politics is going to play out over the coming years based on what leaders around the world are saying.
AUKUS in my opinion is the main reason why this pact was created. China’s foreign affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said “The US, UK and Australia are engaging in cooperation in nuclear-powered submarines that gravely undermines regional peace and stability, aggravates the arms race and hurts the international non-proliferation efforts”.
The nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK&Australia severely undermines regional peace&stability, intensifies arms race and undercuts intl non-proliferation efforts. It’s highly irresponsible and shows double standards on using nuclear export for geopolitical games. pic.twitter.com/3J3gZWlhLg— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) September 16, 2021
Obviously North Korea condemned AUKUS as a move that will make Asia more dangerous. Ironic considering North Korea has built nuclear weapons. And only a few years prior was firing ballistic missiles over South Korea and Japan in order to intimidate them.
France was just as angry with the announcement of AUKUS but for very different reasons. France was contracted to build 12 submarines for Australia at a cost of $90 billion USD. These submarines were of low quality and running behind schedule, so far behind schedule that some commentators estimate the final costs topping $200 billion USD.
One part of the AUKUS pact was for Australia to acquire nuclear powered submarines and technology transfer. This was a substantial upgrade in quality for the Australian side.
The French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian ”Rupture du “contrat du siècle” par l’Australie : “Ce n’est pas fini. Il va falloir donner des explications”, déclare Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre des Affaires étrangères” which roughly translates to Australia has committed the contract breach of the century.
Perhaps Australia acquired some valuable French technology, which could be a reason for the overzealous outrage coming from the French side.
German diplomat Christoph Heusgen said that the AUKUS security pact is an ”insult to a Nato partner” he went on to accuse Joe Biden of acting like Donald Trump in his treatment of American allies. This was interesting, you can see how Europe is already starting to splinter along old WW1 and WW2 lines.
Indonesia would be another country directly affected by AUKUS. The Indonesian ministry of foreign affairs cancelled a planned visit by the Australian PM, then put out a statement warning of an arms race in Asia.
Malaysian PM raised concerns with the Australian PM about AUKUS starting an arms race in Asia. Malaysian defence minister immediately planned a visit to China, to discuss what Malaysia should do about AUKUS. This is a clear sign that Malaysia has sided with China. You can how each country is positioning itself as Asian countries choose sides.
The Canadian media asked the question why weren’t they included in AUKUS. This was pretty much the extent of discourse in the Canadian media, partially because of the recent Canadian elections.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern stated publicly that no nuclear powered submarines were allowed to enter NZ waters. NZ has never needed to build a navy to protect themselves, because Australia has been their main security partner, so this is an interesting statement for the NZ PM to make. NZ would welcome subs into their waters if a real war was to kick off.
Obviously Taiwan was extremely supportive of the announcement of AUKUS. Taiwan’s ministry spokeswoman (歐江安) Joanne Ou said that Taiwan has always benefitted from regional peace with the Aukus likeminded countries. And Taiwan plays an important part of the first island chain. The first island chain part was clearly designed to provoke China.