Australia has not been guaranteed the AUKUS submarines and we don’t need them anyway

By Jim Hayes

Talk about misrepresenting a situation. Media stories have sounded that the AUKUS deal has been saved. Central to it was the nuclear-powered submarine deal that supposedly handed over Australia these submarines. Australia gets to pay 368 billion for them, of course. The other reality is that they would never be under the control of Australia. These submarines are part of the forward pivot directed against China and would always be under the control of the United States.

The then news came that only some of them. If not all, would not be supplied. But there would be no refund of the money paid. This was because the United Sates faces real difficulties in its proxy wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and now wants greater flexibility in what it does with its weapons and delivery systems. This includes the AUKUS submarines.

Photo by Richard Wainwright/AAP: A crew member is seen onboard the USS Asheville, a Los Angeles-class nuclear powered fast attack submarine, at HMAS Stirling in Perth. Australia isa already a base for the US Navy

But the Whitehouse and Pentagon had to Congress for approval of more funding to support the two war efforts, at a time of growing cynicism and political opportunism across the United States. In addition, President Joe Biden asked for an extra $17.5 billion. Another $5 billion to build the AUKUS submarines. Nothing was said to ensure that they went to Australia.

Acting the mug, Australia’s government announced it was spending an extra $4.6 billion to help the United States build them. This readiness of the Australian government to bend over and cop whatever it takes to please Uncle Sam is an embarrassment. We don’t need AUKUS. It’s not in Australia’s interests to join in the effort to control the Indo-Pacific region so that a Rising China can’t gain economic and political advantage.

China is the engine of the global economy. Its growth surpasses every other nation, while the previously dominant western nations are slipping backward. Trying to re-impose old colonial relationships and western superiority won’t work. The world, including the Indo=Pacific region is moving in the opposite direction. This is why AUKUS came into being.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, left, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong are part of the cheer squad for western hegemony over the Indo=Pacific

AUKUS isn’t defensive. It’s designed to wage war and has nothing to do with defence against aggression and protecting democracy. Because Australia physically exists in the Indo-Pacific, it puts us in peril. Not because China is going to invade, but because it puts us at odds with a host of other nations, and it jeopardises trade with our biggest trading partner.

Those who itch for war put the planet in danger of an unimaginably cruel global conflict.

Australia will pay a much bigger price than has already been paid for involvement in this scheme.

In Europe, the use by the United States of NATO to serve its expansionist aims there has built tension, ensured war in Ukraine, and risks further conflict in that part of the world. The United States and Britain are trying to build NATO like expansionism across the Pacific. The United States has committed $12.5 billion to the effort. It needs Australia to pretend it has a local ally willing to play the role of deputy sheriff, and it needs to maintain the fiction that Australia will have its own submarines, to lend a little political credibility.

Think about this. The United Sates and Britain have put themselves into a no win quagmire with Ukraine. The backing of Israel’s attack on Gaza has not gone well wither. Despite slaughter on the scale of a holocaust, it has strengthened resistance among Palestinians, increased international support of them enormously. Both have damaged the standing of the United Sates and Britain in the eyes of the world. And the Australian government has gone along with it all the way.

It’s about time we had political leaders with the backbone to stand up and defend Australia’s real interests, which by the way, correspond to the interests of most of the world.

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