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Old 09-18-2021, 06:45 AM
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Arrow ‘Lies and treason’: France could suspend military co-operation and trade talks

‘Lies and treason’: France could suspend military co-operation and trade talks
By: Anthony Galloway, James Massola and Bevan Shields of WAU News - 09-18-21
Re: https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/...18-p58stj.html

French outrage at Australia’s decision to abandon a $90 billion submarine deal has escalated to a dramatic new level with President Emmanuel Macron recalling his ambassador from Canberra amid warnings that future trade deals and military ties between the nations are in jeopardy.

Paris took the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors from both Australia and the United States on Saturday, citing “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners” stemming directly from Australia’s decision to walk away from the French deal and buy a nuclear-powered submarine fleet from the US and Britain instead.

Recalled ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault, speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age hours before leaving Canberra for Paris, said Australia had engaged in “lies and treason” for 18 months behind his nation’s back.

He said there was an “intentional breach of trust” and “when something serious happens between two countries, really serious, there is a need for reassessment, and obviously consultation at high levels”.

“For us clearly, such a decision announced without any prior consultation – not just a phone call, but real consultation due to the scope of the consequences – marks a real breach of trust,” he said.

Mr Macron’s decision to recall US ambassador Philippe Etienne to Paris for consultations was the first time that action had been taken in the history of their alliance, which dates back to 1778.

The French government linked Australia’s decision to cancel the submarine deal to negotiations over our European free-trade deal. France has recalled its ambassador from Canberra only once before, in 1995 at the height of tensions over French nuclear testing.

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune appeared to issue a threat over the trade talks, saying: “We’re having trade negotiations with Australia ... I don’t see how we can trust our Australian partners.”

Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who will help lead efforts to repair any damage to the trade relationship, will travel to France in the next fortnight. “The strong economic relationship between Australia and the EU is in the interests of consumers, businesses and workers in both Australia, France and Europe as a whole,” he said.

The directive for the ambassadors to return to France for consultations is understood to be the first in a rolling series of protests from Paris, which is furious at Australia for abandoning the contract to buy 12 French conventionally powered submarines, which had been in place since 2016.

Australia now plans to buy at least eight nuclear-powered submarines that will use technology from the US and Britain under a historic defence pact known as AUKUS.

The federal government noted French disappointment with the decision but in a short statement did not apologise for Australia’s actions.

“We note with regret France’s decision to recall its ambassador to Australia for consultations following the decision on the Attack-class [submarine] project,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

“Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests.”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration understood France’s concerns about the cancellation of the deal.

“We have alienated the single biggest proponents of a greater EU role in Asia and I don’t think we understood the second-order consequences of that.”

Herve Lemahieu, Lowy Institute foreign policy expert
“France is a vital partner and our oldest ally, and we place the highest value on our relationship. We hope to continue our discussion on this issue at the senior level in coming days.”

Australia and France had been in discussions about boosting their military ties since President Macron sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison several months ago outlining a proposal which could have allowed French soldiers greater access to Australian military bases.

Asked whether France would now suspend talks to increase military co-operation with the country, Mr Thebault said “there is no specific announcement on that” but noted the discussions started “at a time when everything was being plotted”.

He also said France had transferred its “top secret technologies” to Australia on its submarine capability — “secrets, that if they were transferred to our enemies, would weaken our national defence ... It was not a question of money, trust was the core”.

Mr Thebault said he had not talked with his government about Australia’s trade negotiations with the EU, saying “it’s a completely different thing” but he was being called back to Paris “to consider what is the extent of the situation”.

Shortly before France announced the recall, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, that she “absolutely” understood the disappointment of the French.

“My task is to work as hard as I can … to make sure that they do understand the value we place on the role that they play and do understand the value we place on the bilateral relationship and the work we want to continue to do together.”

Mr Thebault said France’s deal with Australia would have entrenched a local capability to build regionally superior submarines, while the new pact with the US and Britain was a “project about a project”.

He confirmed that Defence Minister Peter Dutton only contacted his French counterpart about the decision after it was reported by media outlets on Wednesday night, adding there were “no warnings whatsoever” during the 18 months that the plan was being hatched between Australia, the US and Britain.

“Adding insult to the process ... we have very reliable reports from the independent press, which I thank, about the fact that all this was in the making for 18 months. Which means we have been blindsided intentionally for 18 months ... The crime was prepared for 18 months,” he said.

The decision to dump the French submarines will “take years to repair and will leave a lasting legacy of mistrust” in Paris, according to Lowy Institute foreign policy expert Herve Lemahieu.

Mr Lemahieu said the French government knew the submarine contract was in trouble but that Australia had vastly underestimated the French reaction to the decision to dump the conventional submarines and, moreover, “the double whammy of the announcement of AUKUS at the same time”.

“The French say they’ve been excluded from the table. They’ve positioned themselves as an Indo-Pacific player, they’ve modelled themselves on Australia’s stance and thought of themselves as at the table in Indo-Pacific deliberations,” he said.

“We have alienated the single biggest proponents of a greater EU role in Asia and I don’t think we understood the second-order consequences of that.”

John Blaxland, a professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies at the ANU, said that despite French fury at the Australian decision to tear up the submarine contract with Naval Group, “eventually they’ll have to suck it up as their position in the Indo-Pacific requires Australia”.

However, the Australian government needs to lead the effort to mend fences, he said, and should consider leasing French nuclear submarines for a period of time while the new AUKUS vessels were being designed and built.

About the writer(s):

a. Anthony Galloway is foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

b. James Massola is political correspondent for the Sun-Herald & Sunday Age. He won the Kennedy award for Outstanding Foreign Correspondent while posted in Jakarta and wrote The Great Cave Rescue. He was previously chief political correspondent.

c. Bevan Shields is the Europe correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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What is the AUKUS Pac mean? (AU - Australia - UK - United Kingdom - US -United States)
Re: https://www.meritalk.com/articles/ne...emerging-tech/
(also; https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/..._defence_pact/

The White House’s announcement this week of a new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom named AUKUS – which will focus on the Indo-Pacific region – features pledges for cooperation between the three countries on a range of advanced technologies.

The partnership will focus on collaborating on joint capabilities and pursuing deeper interoperability – and its headline news component featured cooperation on Australia’s plan to launch nuclear powered submarines.

But the White House also said the partnership will “spur cooperation across many new and emerging arenas,” including cyber, AI, quantum technologies, and some undersea capabilities.

“We’ll also work to sustain and deepen information and technology sharing, and I think you’re going to see a much more dedicated effort to pursue integration of security and defense-related science, technology, and industrial bases, and supply chains,” a senior White House official said. “This will be a sustained effort over many years to see how we can marry and merge some of our independent and individual capabilities into greater trilateral engagement as we go forward.”

AUKUS will serve as a stepping stone to build stronger bilateral partnerships between the U.S. and its traditional security partners in Asia – Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines – but also improve engagement with new partners including India, Vietnam, and new formations like the “Quad” alliance between the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India.

“I think this is an historic announcement. It reflects the Biden administration’s determination to build stronger partnerships to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region,” the senior official said. “This new architecture is really about deepening cooperation on a range of defense capabilities for the 21st century.”

No mention of the French is this three-way pac agreement?

Boats
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Old 09-18-2021, 07:42 AM
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Post This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact
By: Simon Sharwood - APAC Editor & The Register News 09-16-21
Re: https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/..._defence_pact/

Will build nuke-powered subs together and share cyber, AI, quantum and mysterious 'undersea capabilities' tech.

Australia, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom have signed a new defence and technology-sharing pact.

Dubbed AUKUS, the headline item of the pact is assistance from the UK and US to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines that are interoperable with their own fleets (but do not carry nuclear weapons). Australia's Department of Defence Science and Technology argues [PDF] that subs "can shape or change the behaviour of other nations and their decision-making, which no other Australian Defence Force asset or combination of assets can do".

The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China. Australia previously planned to build diesel-electric subs in conjunction with a French manufacturer – a contract that is about to be terminated without putting a boat in the water. Nuclear-powered boats can run submerged for longer and more quietly, and do not have to vent exhaust gases.

AUKUS is therefore further evidence that the US and UK are keen to contain China.

US President Joe Biden's joint leaders statement that announced AUKUS explained that the pact will also include "further trilateral collaboration" that will initially "focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities."

Just what those "additional undersea capabilities" might be was not explained.

* America enlists Big Tech to help it develop and execute cyber security plans

* Here's a list of the flaws Russia, China, Iran and pals exploit most often, say Five Eyes infosec agencies

* America world’s sole cyber superpower, ten years ahead of China, says Brit think tank

Nor were details offered on promised "deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains."

Australia, America, and the UK are already members of the Five Eyes security alliance that shares intelligence data (Canada and New Zealand are the others). Now they're also building an interoperable submarine fleet and the tech to make them run.

China, meanwhile, maintains that it has only peaceful intentions. It points out it has not fired a shot in anger for decades (during which time the US and UK fought in, say, Iran and Afghanistan), and that actions like building bases on South China Sea reefs – using claims rejected [PDF] by The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 2016 – are perfectly reasonable and pose a threat to no nation.

Officials of China's Foreign Ministry are also fond of statements like the tweet below.


China seems certain to find the formation of AUKUS an affront. The US and the UK may also find it awkward, as Australian submarine manufacturing projects are infamous for blowing budgets and deadlines. They are also widely considered domestic exercises in propping up votes in manufacturing-centric seats – a goal only barely secondary to any foreign strategic considerations.
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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