The United States, Britain and Australia have signed a deal to build a nuclear.powered submarine fleet as part of a defense alliance between the three countries. French companies, caused France to return its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra for consultation.
France took a particularly sharp step against the United States over the weekend – unprecedented in modern times – and returned the ambassador to Washington for consultation in protest of a tripartite deal between the United States and Britain and Australia to build a submarine.powered submarine fleet.
The deal is part of a regional defense alliance between the three countries, which is seen as a counterweight to the rising military force and the Chinese military’s expansion aspirations in the South China Sea region, known as the “Aukus”. The French ambassador to Canberra, the capital of Australia, was also returned to Paris for consultation. China also condemned the move, saying Australia was working against the Non.Proliferation Treaty.
Economically, the American.British.Australian deal has led to the cancellation of a huge deal worth more than € 30 billion for the establishment of an Australian submarine fleet in the coming decades, which French companies won about five years ago. In France, arms and military shipping companies are government companies (unlike the situation in Germany, for example), and the move represents a very significant loss of revenue for the country, also given that the country has spent hundreds of millions of euros preparing for and implementing the Australian tender. The French companies defeated the German ThyssenKrupp, which also invested years and millions of euros in bidding.
The Australians justified the cancellation of the deal with France with the ability of submarines driven by a nuclear reactor to stay at sea for longer periods without having to refuel at the home port. These submarines, which the United States and the United Kingdom have been operating for nearly 60 years, also have the advantage of being able to evade detection.
Geopolitically, the cancellation of the deal symbolizes the growing focus the U.S. is giving to dealing with China, the rising power in Asia economically and militarily, and weakening its commitment to NATO, the transatlantic alliance in which France is a member. Australians would rather join the world’s most powerful power, strategically, than cooperate with France, a member of the EU that lacks security influence.
The move brings down US.France relations, which have seen ups and downs in recent years. The two countries were divided over the ground invasion of Iraq in 2003. After these disagreements, France rejoined NATO only in 2009, after more than 40 years. A year in which she officially acted independently (but collaborated deeply with most of the Alliance’s activities). President Emanuel Macron is promoting the establishment of a European military intervention force that can help the country maintain its interests in the Sahel region of Africa and other regions.
French officials told CNN that the tripartite deal, which had been secretly formed in recent months and symbolized US President Joe Biden’s attempt to place a counter.force on China, was a “stab in the back” on the part of the two countries. – Yves Le Drian, said France had returned the ambassadors for consultation “due to the dire circumstances of the September 15 declarations by the US and Australia”. “The implications of this move,” he said, “will affect our perception of the cooperation, alliances and importance of the Pacific and Indian Ocean region for Europe.” The ambassador from London was reportedly not reinstated because Britain “opportunistically joined the alliance”, and was not its initiator.
The deal between the US and the UK and Australia also includes cyber partnerships, additional submarine marine activity and artificial intelligence. Along with New Zealand and Canada, the five countries have been sharing high.level intelligence since World War II, under a forum called “Five Eyes”.