An analysis of the recent defense agreement between the United States, Great Britain and Australia in relation to the international environment is made by the Honorary Chief of General Staff and former Chairman of the Military Committee of the European Union, General Michael Costarakos.
In a post on Facebook, he emphasizes that the agreement AUKUS is a significant geopolitical development whose actual dimensions and final and final results are not yet visible. He added that the agreement was accelerated by the need for the US to compensate for any losses from withdrawing from Afghanistan, while referring to the interests of France and other European countries in the wider Pacific region, citing the risk of situation with countries negotiating their nuclear capabilities such as Iran.
AUKUS – Mr. Kostarakos’ analysis is as follows:
Eight points for the recent AUKUS deal
1. The AUKUS Agreement between Australia, USA and UK are one hasty agreement. The US under the pressure of international and domestic outcry over the mishandling of a possibly right decision made years ago to leave the Afghanistan, and trying to reverse the impressions and prevent their potential “opponents” from making hasty decisions against them, they needed a quick “superpower” level geopolitical action. The speed required led the US to turn to the “Anglo-Saxon group” by blocking negotiations with other powerful forces in the region. These have had and will have consequences.
2. The US tried to create conditions for a halt in the Far East by creating a substantial new alliance, but ended up alienating and disintegrating its European allies and possibly NATO, creating a situation that is very difficult to reverse. The shackles of the Transatlantic link are very strong and the British no longer have a say in the EU.
3. The US was surprised by hardness and harshness of the French reaction. The canceled submarine contract poses a huge problem for the French shipbuilding industry, especially in the run-up to the election, and President Macron’s reactions are entirely justified. France’s non-invitation to the Agreement, in addition to the suspicions that the incentive was also financial for the US, ignored the fact that France has specific geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific region, both in terms of international security and because it has overseas French territories in the wide area. France was the first to call for the creation of an EU naval force in 2017 to patrol and ensure free navigation in the China Sea.
4. The cancellation of the agreement does not only hurt the French shipbuilding industry and economy. It hurts Germany as well as some other EU countries involved in the construction of submarines with joint ventures or as subcontractors. Affected European countries, like the EU, have already expressed their dissatisfaction. Australia is not going to see the EU enter into an economic agreement with it, which was about 10% of the submarine agreement, on Australian dairy and meat products. It will take years for the Australians to get closer to Europe again, now that the British are not there to support them. Australian breeders will pay the cancellation fee.
5. Η AUKUS The international situation for the US, already aggravated by the sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan without considering its allies, is deteriorating. The majority of EU countries, as well as its leadership, have made it clear that the time has come for Europe to have “Strategic Autonomy”, ie the ability to act alone without dependence on other non-EU countries. (200 billion euros) but also the EU military capabilities in total, are greater than those of Russia and China, second only to the US. France is now leading the way in “Strategic Autonomy” with the “Strategic Compass” program to be presented to EU Ministers next November, now having the clear support of Germany, which has pledged to organize a European body under the PESCO program. Army under the name CROC (Crisis Response Operation Core).
6. Η sale of eight nuclear submarines in Australia raises the issue of nuclear proliferation, not nuclear weapons not included in the sale but nuclear submarine propulsion reactors. It does not violate nuclear proliferation treaties, but if it finds imitators among countries negotiating their nuclear capabilities, such as Iran, the situation will be further complicated.
7. Her position Russia is clear next to China. President Trump has tried to reach out to President Putin at the beginning of his term without success. His goal was to isolate China but failed. Russia, isolated from the rest of Europe, bases its economy on hydrocarbon exports, and China is its main and certainly most important customer. To clarify its position, it invited the Chinese navy to joint exercises in St. Petersburg in 2017, and the United States changed its strategy by resorting to the “double containment” of the two superpowers, effectively throwing one into the arms of the other.
8. The real geopolitical mobilization to contain China has been in place since 2007, it is called Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – QSD (consists of the US, Australia, Japan and India) and was created by Japanese Prime Minister Abe in 2007. After a state of hypnosis, in 2017 the (now young) leaders of the countries decided to give a new impetus to the dialogue in order to confront China diplomatically and militarily in the South China Sea, based on comments about a “new Cold War”. In a joint statement in March 2021, “The Spirit of the Quad”, Quad members intensified their reaction, describing “a common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific” and a “sea order in the seas of the East and South China based on rules “, which Quad members say is needed to address China’s maritime claims. China retaliated against the weakest link, Australia, by imposing severe restrictions and economic sanctions on it. The quartet responded with actions to expand Quad to Quad plus with the potential addition of three new members, Vietnam, New Zealand and South Korea.
The agreement AUKUS is an important geopolitical development whose real dimensions and final results are not yet visible. The disorder and any disintegration that took place in the Western camp is very difficult to reverse or cure in a short time.
But a possible move by China against Taiwan (which is perhaps China’s most serious geopolitical goal) will ignite the Far East and test all the region’s relations and alliances, old and new.