French officials, although being kept in the dark around AUKUS, should not be surprised at Australia’s decision to scrap the troubled A$90 billion (US$65 billion) Future Submarine Program – according to a defense expert who now He says that the time has come. Governments move on.
Greg Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association, said the tripartite AUKUS agreement between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom had to be kept tight until its unveiling last month – which surprised many.
“The problem was whether to maintain the secrecy of this new alliance – to be controversial – was it risk the isolation of some of the other allies, notably France,” he emeritus professor of law in an episode of Australia Calling Told David Flint. .
“So, the French were, in a way, outraged and humiliated by the sudden announcement that the Americans or the British would provide submarines,” he said, noting that AUKUS meant the cancellation of the Future Submarine Program, which had been signed. -Closed in 2016 by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The original plan was for French defense contractor Naval Group to convert 12 of its new Barracuda-class nuclear submarines into diesel-electric powered attack-class submarines equipped with American weapons systems.
Turnbull’s predecessor, Tony Abbott, initially wanted to purchase off-the-shelf submarines, the Soryu-class, from Japan, bypassing the need for Australian industry to build the project.
However, they faced resistance internally from fellow party members, who were keen to see submarines built in Australia (a standard political move to use defense projects as sources of employment).
The pioneering, hybrid project resulted in ongoing delays and cost reductions, from A$10 billion to A$89.7 billion from original estimates. Recently, current Prime Minister Scott Morrison – who scuttled the deal – revealed that $2.4 billion (US$1.7 billion) had been sunk into the project even before construction began.
French ministers reacted angrily, accusing Australia and the United States of “stabbing in the back” and recalling their ambassadors from Canberra and Washington DC.
Discussions on a trade deal between the European Union and Australia have also been postponed.
“The reality is that the French should have seen it coming. They should have seen the fact that the submarine they sold to the Australians under the previous government was not working,” Copley said. Australians will not see the new French-designed submarine in service for at least 20 years.”
“This is absolutely unacceptable from an economic, political or strategic point of view because we don’t know what the strategic environment is going to be like in 20 years’ time,” he said. “And the French persevered knowing it was a huge scam to extort Australian taxpayer money for a product that didn’t exist.”
He said the French were not the only ones to blame, as Turnbull, former Defense Minister Christopher Payne and top Australian naval officials backed the program.
“France should have been busy cutting its wrists as an apology for attempting to steal so much money from Australia,” Copley said.
“But the work has been done, and now Australia has moved into a new era, and so do Britain and the United States.”
The AUKUS agreement will not only assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines to the US and UK governments – a move that will significantly change the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific – it will also support greater cooperation on developments in cyber, artificial intelligence will also promote Quantum technologies, and underwater capabilities.
The US and UK forces will also consider permanently stationing more troops and military forces in Australia.
Copley noted that a nuclear industry was likely to emerge after the submarines were acquired, but added that discussions about nuclear weapons were incorrect.
“nuclear weapons are so 20”th century. They have been eclipsed by new technologies. We don’t need huge costs to not only build but maintain nuclear weapons, when other weapons can perform these strategic missions more effectively,” he said.
“Those other weapons are largely built around cyber and space-based weapons, and to a lesser extent, dynamic weapons—like hypersonic weapons—where you can use the dynamic effects of non-nuclear weapons to take down critical targets.” The reality is that very few wars are won by mass destruction of urban populations.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times