By Mike Clitherow
Wow, so much coverage everywhere of the AUKUS agreement and the outrage in France.
Must be the Remoaners dream to be able once again knock their own country and cry for an EU member state. "Those naughty two faced Brexit Brits " they will scream.
For me an important point has been completely missed in all media coverage.
So now I want to put this into my "simple man's" understanding of events.
As we all know Australia has been under increasing pressure from China for some time about their attempted dominance of the Indo/Pacific region and the threats against Taiwan etc. Particularly with China sanctions since the Aussies dare challenge them about how Covid-19 originated and why they misled the world about the whole episode.
Australia wanted quite rightly to increase their defence capability, to let China and the world know they would not take all this "lying down". As widely publicised, they set up a deal a few years ago to get Submarines from France.
However, not only did this agreement fall behind schedule, the French package proved to be poor on the technology front, particularly the software. The Australians realised (or were reliably informed) what they were dealing with from the French was a dated system which in part uses diesel (not very green?) and there was going to be a lot of money spent and time wasted when this virtually obsolete product finally came into service.
Therefore they would be way behind what was really required to be a meaningful deterrent - given the Chinese have nuclear powered subs already - which can stay submerged for much longer and were generally more efficient.
So it is fairly obvious the French could not supply the desperately needed 21st technology. Obviously they needed to shop elsewhere.
With the UK / US deal they get to share the most advanced secret technology and in the longer term Cyber, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing for the good of the Free World.
Now, the whole point is that it was an Australian decision and any contract/agreement with France is between the two of them. Surely, like any other contract (if there is such a thing between them ) maybe there is compensation to pay and explained logical reasoning and even an apology. Who knows? But it's between Australia and France.
The UK & US In my view are not the devious guilty parties. Were we putting forward the opportunities in all our interests for a defence deterrent – yes of course we were. BUT it was finally an Aussie decision – which was the sensible decision – to pull out of the French deal to get modern, up to date equipment and long term partnerships in defence of their country and surrounding regions.
Simply if one orders anything and it proves to be late and not of the standard required or promised – you cancel it. Were we (the UK) and the Yanks supposed to say, "We can't possibly supply you with Subs with our superior technology and build a long term strategic alliance against China because we must not upset the French" - of course not.
For the French it's simply about the money as I believe their only vision is the EU and not the rest of the world if there is no euros and prestige in it for themselves.