'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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EnterpriseSovereign
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'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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Link.
France claims it has been "stabbed in the back" over a new defence deal dubbed Aukus, which was agreed between the UK, US and Australia.

The deal, which will see Britain and America help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, has also been criticised by China for a “Cold War mentality" from which it suggests the idea was born.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, held a televised press conference on Wednesday night, saying the deal will help "sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region".

But France has hit out at the alliance, saying Australia has "betrayed" its trust by backing out of a previous submarine deal with the European nation in order to sign the new agreement.

Australia had agreed in 2016 that France would help to build 12 conventional submarines but following the deal with America and Britain, it notified France that it would end the contract.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in an interview with France Info, said he was "angry" that Australia had reneged on the deal.

He said: "It is really a stab in the back. We built a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed and I'm angry today, with a lot of bitterness, about this breach (of contract).

"This is not done between allies, especially when there's been two years of negotiations for this contract."

Prime Minister Johnson insisted the UK's military relationship with France remains "rock solid", despite the foreign minister's comments.

Asked by Keir Starmer in the Commons about how the new Aukus alliance would affect relations with France, Mr Johnson said: "This government's commitment to Nato is absolutely unshakeable and indeed has been strengthened by the massive commitments we have made, the biggest uplift in defence spending since the Cold War."

He said: "Our relationship with France, our military relationship with France, again, Mr Speaker, is rock solid.

"And we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the French, whether in the Sahel where we are running a joint operation against terrorists in Mali, or whether in Estonia where we currently we have the largest Nato operation."

China labelled the new defense deal an "irresponsible act" and raised questions about Australia's commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a daily news conference that the cooperation "severely damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and jeopardises the international efforts in promoting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Dr Henry Wang, president of non-government think tank the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG), has said the Aukus alliance is part of a “Cold War mentality by the UK and its allies”.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Dr Wang said: “I don’t think this is necessarily the right time to do this military alliance. It’s called security but if it’s not aimed at China why do they propose it at this time and in this region.

“I think there’s a question over the purpose of setting up such an alliance in peacetime in the 21st century.”

According to reports, the attempt to secure allied nuclear submarines in the Pacific is seen as a tool to "contain Chinese military expansion".

The UK's Ministry of Defence said the Asia-Pacific region is "on the frontline of new security challenges", troubled by territorial disputes, nuclear proliferation and miscalculation, climate change, terrorism and serious organised crime.

The allies say they will spend 18 months designing and building the nuclear submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.

There has been no date set for when the submarines will begin operating, but leaders say they hope it can be achieved "at the earliest achievable date".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The UK, Australia and US are natural allies – while we may be separated geographically, our interests and values are shared. The AUKUS alliance will bring us closer than ever, creating a new defence partnership and driving jobs and prosperity.

"This partnership will become increasingly vital for defending our interests in the Indo-Pacific region and, by extension, protecting our people back at home."

Australia, the US and UK already share intelligence through the Five Eyes alliance, said the partnership will also make it easier to integrate and share information in technological areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities and underwater systems.

The UK has built and operated nuclear powered submarines for more than 60 years.

In recent years, the UK and Australia have increased collaboration on defence, including joint training exercises, collaboration of defence personnel and the sharing of defence technologies.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by GuppyShark »

The deal that doubled in price?

Yeah, even though I live in the city that was supposedly benefiting from it, I'm happy to say goodbye to that second-rate project.

Here's an article from January 2020 on the subject:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-20/ ... m/13074440
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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Are they planning on having a totally Australian bespoke submarine or are they planning on tweaking one that the US or UK is currently building?

From a sooner rather than later (~6years a boat), and future support standpoint (the US had a lot and is building more), Australia getting a variant of the Virginia class seems like the best idea I've seen so far. Except, that manning would be an issue because of how large the Virginia class is.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

All that's been said so far is that the subs are going to be nuclear-powered. However it's been pointed out that Australia has no nuclear industry of its own so part of the deal is going to be developing the necessary infrastructure.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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EnterpriseSovereign wrote: 2021-09-23 01:03pm All that's been said so far is that the subs are going to be nuclear-powered. However it's been pointed out that Australia has no nuclear industry of its own so part of the deal is going to be developing the necessary infrastructure.
Which isn't a bad thing, provided they use a power plant type that doesn't produce weapons grade material (or easily weaponized material).
Hell, if Australia used a design that produced medical isotopes, that would be a big bonus.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by GuppyShark »

The Virginia is supplied with enough uranium for its entire service life. There's no actual requirement for Australia to build the reactors from domestic industry.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by Tribble »

Solauren wrote: 2021-09-23 05:08pm
EnterpriseSovereign wrote: 2021-09-23 01:03pm All that's been said so far is that the subs are going to be nuclear-powered. However it's been pointed out that Australia has no nuclear industry of its own so part of the deal is going to be developing the necessary infrastructure.
Which isn't a bad thing, provided they use a power plant type that doesn't produce weapons grade material (or easily weaponized material).
Hell, if Australia used a design that produced medical isotopes, that would be a big bonus.
Australia has large uranium reserves and no doubt has the technical capacity to produce nuclear weapons if they wished. IMO it’s highly unlikely that the material would be used for nuclear weapons, even if the spent fuel is weapons grade.

The bigger concern is whether or not they’ll need to develop infrastructure to deal with refueling, not sure that’s necessary on a nuke sub though.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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Tribble wrote: 2021-09-25 01:52amThe bigger concern is whether or not they’ll need to develop infrastructure to deal with refueling, not sure that’s necessary on a nuke sub though.
It depends on the design. My understanding is that RN and USN boats don't need refuelling, MN ones do. I don't know if that's a technical limitation or a trade off for other advantages.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by GuppyShark »

Tribble wrote: 2021-09-25 01:52amAustralia has large uranium reserves and no doubt has the technical capacity to produce nuclear weapons if they wished. IMO it’s highly unlikely that the material would be used for nuclear weapons, even if the spent fuel is weapons grade.
Capability? Yes.
Capability to do so without China finding out before they're ready for deployment? Absolutely not.

China is so much better at cybersecurity than Australia they'd know the minute we even thought about developing them, and they would immediately raise hell.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by Tribble »

GuppyShark wrote: 2021-09-25 10:17pm
Tribble wrote: 2021-09-25 01:52amAustralia has large uranium reserves and no doubt has the technical capacity to produce nuclear weapons if they wished. IMO it’s highly unlikely that the material would be used for nuclear weapons, even if the spent fuel is weapons grade.
Capability? Yes.
Capability to do so without China finding out before they're ready for deployment? Absolutely not.

China is so much better at cybersecurity than Australia they'd know the minute we even thought about developing them, and they would immediately raise hell.
And? Everyone was well aware of North Korea's nuclear program long before they detonated their first nuke. Even with massive sanctions and threats of war they succeeded. Short of outright invasion it's not like China could stop Australia if they really wanted to go for it.

My point though (directed at Solauren) was that I'm not really concerned about Australia trying to use a nuclear submarine program to kick start a nuclear weapons program - they don't really need to if nuclear weapons was their goal. Far more likely it's for the longer range at roughly equivalent cost to the deal they had with France for conventional subs.

And even if they did go ahead and build nukes (which I doubt)... that wouldn't change much in the grand scheme of things. MAD still applies, it's not like Australia is going to start firing them off as soon as they are built, no how much the civilization games show otherwise :P
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

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I'm not concerned about Australia setting up a nuclear weapons program.

I was pointing out that there could be benefits for them setting up a nuclear reactor program using non-weaponizing designs.

So many people hear 'nuclear' they think 'weapons'. They need to be reminded about the civilian uses for nuclear technology beyond power generation.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by B5B7 »

Australia had a nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights from 1958 till 2007, and a replacement since 2018.
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Re: 'We've been stabbed in the back': France attacks UK, US and Australia defence deal.

Post by The_Saint »

For anyone who had forgotten of it's existence I'll link a thread from before even the French deal was begun that had some interesting insights from the late Stuart.

The only challenge from new information since the previous thread is that the deal between France and Australia had soured so much that just switching form a conventional to nuclear powered Barracuda-derivative probably wouldn't haven't been palatable.
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