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Aukus

Started by Threviel, September 16, 2021, 12:45:13 AM

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Berkut

Quote from: Sheilbh on August 03, 2022, 11:36:29 AM
Quote from: Jacob on August 03, 2022, 11:25:34 AMReading the article, I don't think it's "Australia fucked up procurement" or "the US screwed Australia". To me it reads as a clear statement of the complex - but expected - problem space that Australia has to navigate. Decisions have to be made (with price tages in terms of $ and time), and trade-offs considered... but there doesn't seem to be anything shocking there.
Although to be clear if Australia didn't fuck up defence procurement it would be the first country ever to have avoided that and we should all learn from it :lol:

I don't think they did - I think the risk in their region changed. It's possible that in the 2000s and early 2010s Australia (who were not alone in this) underestimated/miscalculated the risk around China.
I think this is very, very true.

A decade or so ago, there were a lot of people saying "OMG CHINA IS GOING TO BE A SERIOUS PROBLEM MILITARLY!"

But that doesn't tell us much - if they were going to choose a militaristic stance as they grew, people would say that, and if they were going to choose a less militaristic stance, people would still say that.

Well, now we know the answer. They are in fact choosing a very militaristic stance. 

Given that is true, it makes good sense for Australia to not just get more capable deterrence in the form of long ranged nuclear subs, but it also makes even more sense for them to involve themselves more tightly with the power that is actually going to be the check to that Chinese militaristic stance (or ally themselves more tightly with China).

AUKUS goes well beyond submarines. Indeed, the subs might be the lesser consideration in that new alliance structure.
"If you think this has a happy ending, then you haven't been paying attention."

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OttoVonBismarck

Probably the fairest assessment of Australia's overall sub situation is that it is firmly Australia's fault. Their deal with France was problematic in large part because they wanted one thing, were only willing to agree/pay to another thing, and in the implementation were wanting something else entirely. A very simple deal with France would have simply bought x number of French subs.

The additional reality is Australia did not ultimately decide to back out of the French deal and sign AUKUS over the mechanics or even the price of the submarines. An American submarine deal tightly binds Australian and American interests. This is largely in line with historical Australian policy in regard to its own security--dating to WW2 when quite literally the American Navy was widely understood to be essential in keeping Australia from being invaded by Japan.

If anything, the 2016 deal was a bit of a divergence from the norm for Australia, and one probably built on wishful thinking. In moving towards France, Australia was largely saying they didn't have to be too worried about confronting China, and instead could focus on a more relaxed posture, and exit itself from some of the bellicose associations of closer ties to the Americans. In the last few years though it became obvious to many that Australia has genuine security concerns and may very well have to deal with China on more forceful terms. It is simply too small a country to do that without very powerful friends, and France simply doesn't even come close to measuring up to the United States when it comes to containing and confronting China. In fact, French strategy in the Pacific does not even attempt that--it attempts to forge a sort of "third way." Australia simply woke up to the reality that a third way in the Pacific makes sense for a regional European power like France, based many thousands of miles away, but probably does not make sense for a small country in the actual Chinese backyard.

Berkut

There has been reports that Indonesia is trying to call the deal into question, on the grounds that Australia getting (or building) nuclear subs would be a violation of the UN Non-proliferation treaty. They claim the program could be converted to building nuclear weapons.

That seems, to me, rather farcical. The effort to convert nuclear power plants into nuclear weapons is non-trivial, and if Australia wanted to build nukes, the lack of nuclear subs is rather obviously not what is stopping them.

So what is the real issue here? Is Indonesia just aligning itself with China?
"If you think this has a happy ending, then you haven't been paying attention."

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garbon

Quote from: Berkut on August 03, 2022, 12:24:34 PMThere has been reports that Indonesia is trying to call the deal into question, on the grounds that Australia getting (or building) nuclear subs would be a violation of the UN Non-proliferation treaty. They claim the program could be converted to building nuclear weapons.

That seems, to me, rather farcical. The effort to convert nuclear power plants into nuclear weapons is non-trivial, and if Australia wanted to build nukes, the lack of nuclear subs is rather obviously not what is stopping them.

So what is the real issue here? Is Indonesia just aligning itself with China?

I see Indonesia is participating in joint military drills with the US so it can't simply be China alignment (bar I guess balancing?).
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

OttoVonBismarck

Nah, Indonesia has had relatively close defense relationships with the United States since the 1960s, for a non-aligned country. They understand just like the Philippines that there are limits to how close they can afford to get to China. My guess is that it's actually a ploy to get attention and maybe some more defense love from the U.S. themselves.

grumbler

Quote from: Berkut on August 03, 2022, 11:25:51 AMI was surprised Zoupa was so naive as to give much credence to a story that used as its source a minor Australian politician.

I mean....really? You think it is newsworthy that there exists some politician in Australia who is grumbling about a defense procurement project?

a)  It's Zoupa.  Facts are not his forte.

b) It's a minor Australian politician complaining that something that was never planned is not going to happen.
The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.   -G'Kar

Bayraktar!

Jacob

Quote from: OttoVonBismarck on August 03, 2022, 12:36:12 PMNah, Indonesia has had relatively close defense relationships with the United States since the 1960s, for a non-aligned country. They understand just like the Philippines that there are limits to how close they can afford to get to China. My guess is that it's actually a ploy to get attention and maybe some more defense love from the U.S. themselves.

My understanding is that Indonesia and Australia are sometimes at odds over local preeminence - I think East Timor was a particular flashpoint, but I'm pretty sure there are others as well. My guess it's less about maneuvring for US concessions and more about taking an opportunity to piss in Australia's cereals.

Sheilbh

Quote from: Jacob on August 03, 2022, 01:27:08 PMMy understanding is that Indonesia and Australia are sometimes at odds over local preeminence - I think East Timor was a particular flashpoint, but I'm pretty sure there are others as well. My guess it's less about maneuvring for US concessions and more about taking an opportunity to piss in Australia's cereals.
Yeah - I think they're basically a little frenemy-ish. On the big stuff they might be broadly aligned but they're competitive and there are some big local disagreements.
Let's bomb Russia!

Zoupa

Quote from: grumbler on August 03, 2022, 01:05:36 PM
Quote from: Berkut on August 03, 2022, 11:25:51 AMI was surprised Zoupa was so naive as to give much credence to a story that used as its source a minor Australian politician.

I mean....really? You think it is newsworthy that there exists some politician in Australia who is grumbling about a defense procurement project?

a)  It's Zoupa.  Facts are not his forte.

b) It's a minor Australian politician complaining that something that was never planned is not going to happen.

It's not my fault Australia chose poorly.  :console:

Zoupa

Quote from: Sheilbh on August 03, 2022, 01:29:30 PM
Quote from: Jacob on August 03, 2022, 01:27:08 PMMy understanding is that Indonesia and Australia are sometimes at odds over local preeminence - I think East Timor was a particular flashpoint, but I'm pretty sure there are others as well. My guess it's less about maneuvring for US concessions and more about taking an opportunity to piss in Australia's cereals.
Yeah - I think they're basically a little frenemy-ish. On the big stuff they might be broadly aligned but they're competitive and there are some big local disagreements.

France's submarines would have been diesel. Another missed opportunity for regional harmony.  :sleep:

grumbler

Quote from: Zoupa on August 03, 2022, 03:10:58 PMIt's not my fault Australia chose poorly.  :console:

I love watching weasels dance, so please continue.  :thumbsup:
The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.   -G'Kar

Bayraktar!

Zoupa

I notice the usual suspects jump right to the ad homs and the name calling.  :cry: