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Title:Political, Economic, and Strategic Implications of the Sale of Nuclear Submarines to Australia
Author(s):Kolodziej, Edward A.
Subject(s):International Relations
International Security
China's Rise
Military Technology
Biden administration
Global Governance
Nuclear Proliferation
Arms Transfers
Military Industrial Complex
Abstract:The US-UK sale of nuclear submarines to Australia, nullifying the French contract with Canberra for 12 diesel submarines, has four significant strategic outcomes. First, France’s military-industrial complex (MIC) lost to the United States’ MIC. Since arms sales are a major component of France’s claim to be a major power, the sale marks an assault on the French state. Second, the re-affirmation and extension of the US-UK special nuclear relation, dating from the Eisenhower administration, divides the Western allies. France, and hence Europe, was excluded from participating in AUKUS decision-making to meet the Chinese threat. The United States asserted its primacy about how to contain China in Asia, the South and East China Seas, and in the Indo-Pacific; Europe is expected to increasingly assume the responsibility to meet the Russian threat in its region. Third, the nuclear submarine sale signals an increased muscular response to China’s claim to East Asia as its sphere of influence — its Monroe Doctrine — and sovereignty over the South China Sea. The AUKUS nuclear submarine sale accelerates the arms race in Asia and in the Indo-Pacific. Finally, the serial outcomes, noted above, have important implications for global governance: whether liberal democratic or authoritarian regimes will populate the Westphalian nation-state system. Hannah Arendt joined the issue confronting the diverse and divided peoples of what is now a global society: that “no cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.” The democracies will either hang together or, most assuredly, they will hang separately. The AUKUS strategic alignment has chosen to hang separately.
Issue Date:2021-10
Publisher:Center for Global Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:Kolodziej, Edward A. (2021). "Political, Economic, and Strategic Implications of the Sale of Nuclear Submarines to Australia." Occasional Papers, No. 8. Center for Global Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Series/Report:Occasional Paper, No. 8
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-10-14

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