US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a new effort to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, a major step toward countering China as he works to build international backing for his approach to Beijing.

The announcement came as part of a new trilateral partnership among the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom that the three countries' leaders jointly revealed Wednesday afternoon. "The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom have long been faithful and capable partners and we're even closer today," the President said. "Today, we're taking another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation among all three of our nations, because we all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term."

The partnership kicks off what is expected to be a flurry of diplomatic engagements for Biden this autumn, from next week's United Nations meetings to a White House summit of Asian leaders to October's Group of 20 talks in Italy.

Underpinning his efforts is a desire to rally the West and US partners in Asia in the battle between "autocracy versus democracy," one of the defining objectives of his presidency. Biden has made countering China a central aspect of his foreign policy as tensions grow over the South China Sea and Taiwan, and has said he wants American allies on board.

The new partnership between the US, UK and Australia -- three English-speaking maritime democracies -- is not specifically about China, officials insisted ahead of the announcement. Instead, they said the three countries would hold a schedule of meetings over the coming months to coordinate on cyber issues, advanced technologies and defense in a bid to better meet modern-day security challenges. The new partnership is called AUKUS, pronounced "aw-kiss."

Yet it is the move toward establishing nuclear submarine capability in Australia, which officials said will allow the country to operate at a vastly higher level militarily, that will amount to the center of the announcement. Nuclear submarines are able to maneuver at greater speeds and endurance, and more stealthily, than conventional ones, which must surface more often. "This allows Australia to play at a much higher level and to augment American capabilities," a senior administration official said ahead of the announcement. "This is about maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."

Biden, during Wednesday's announcement, also maintained that the establishment of AUKUS is necessary because "we need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve."
Still, the announcement is the latest step by the US to push back against China's military and technological rise. Next week, Biden will host an in-person summit of the QUAD partnership of Japan, Australia and India — another grouping viewed as a way to assert American leadership in Asia. He has also sought to engage other Asian leaders, and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Singapore and Vietnam late last month.
Last week, Biden held a 90-minute telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, their first direct communication in seven months. Officials described the conversation as "familiar" and "candid," but said Biden did not directly raise the new strategic partnership with Australia and the UK.

Biden on Tuesday denied reports that Xi, in their phone call, turned down an invitation to meet in person. US officials say they still hope to set up an in-person meeting between the two leaders, but aren't sure it will occur on the sidelines of the G20 at the end of October. That is primarily because Xi has not confirmed he will physically attend the summit, which is being held in Rome. Xi has not left China in roughly 600 days, since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also hoping to play a larger role in Asia is the United Kingdom, which under Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sought to pursue a "Global Britain" strategy of greater engagement abroad. That effort has been sputtering at times, particularly as Johnson works to contain the Covid-19 pandemic at home and buffer his country from the economic fallout of Brexit.

Still, American officials have received indications from their British counterparts that the UK hopes to "substantially step up its game in the Indo-Pacific," and believe the new partnership with Australia can help advance that goal.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/15/politics ... index.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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what the world,
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needs now,
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sweet, nukes

this song received “glowing” reviews back in the day
Thank God for Atheists.

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

3
France is now out blasting the deal, because Australia cancelled their deal with France to build conventional submarines. And China of course is out blasting the deal.

Having nuclear submarines doesn't mean they will have nuclear arms, though Australia could build them if they wanted.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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lurker wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:00 am nuclear powered, not necessarily nuclear-armed.
Absolutely not nuclear armed.

Europe, NATO and China are all fussing, but that's because they never have recognized that the US is very much a Pacific power. TECHNICALLY, Hawaii may even be considered part of Asia, and not North America, and Polynesian culture is definitely Asian.

But China has been blatantly encroaching on other nations' territory in the South China Sea for at least a decade, if not 2.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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The Aussie's have a small but rather capable navy. They put an emphasis on quality over quantity. Their newest class of destroyer employs an older version of Aegis, and are VERY capable anit-air platforms. Aircraft will want to avoid them.

They have some older but very good diesel electric subs that are scary quiet.

It gets interesting when you see the Aussie's training together with Japan because their systems all talk to each other. I think Australia and Japan together could give China all they could handle on the seas.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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More tension.

Are the Chinese to believe the subs will not be a strategic threat?

I admit to being something of a pessimist. Will the design of these subs exclude the possibility of outfitting for launching missiles? Australia professes to have no interest in or intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.

Yet.

Baby steps, baby steps.

As if China won't respond in kind.

I worry for my grandchildren. I'd rather a world where they didn't have to worry for theirs.
Thank God for Atheists.

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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Now, I'm not in the sub forces. I only have - er - I don't want to admit how many friends and relatives who are. More than a couple. Everything I have to say here comes from open sources though. I'm given to understand that nuclear powered submarines use a very different reactor configuration than shore-based plants for power generation. Specifically, they use highly enriched uranium instead of the commercial grade stuff. Allows them to operate much longer without refueling. Weapons-grade material is ideal. One of the very real problems in proliferation.

Australia is a major uranium producer. The UK tested their first bombs there, before they settled on a desolate corner of another former colony you might know and love. Hint, we sell them the rockets they would launch them from. Oops, gave it away. Point is, there's a historic spirit-of-the-law problem with the Non-Proliferation Treaty on the part of all three parties. OTOH, China has reputedly assisted both Pakistan and North Korea with weapons development despite the NPT, so they obviously have the solid moral ground to stand on.

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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Yes, Australia has uranium mines as does Canada. Australia and Canada both have the scientific and technological expertise to produce nuclear weapons, they haven't openly admitted they have them. Israel hasn't confirmed they have nuclear weapons, but everyone assumes they do.
https://www.world-nuclear.org/informati ... mines.aspx
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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papajim2jordan wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:52 am More tension.

Are the Chinese to believe the subs will not be a strategic threat?

I admit to being something of a pessimist. Will the design of these subs exclude the possibility of outfitting for launching missiles? Australia professes to have no interest in or intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.
In "The Hunt For Red October" Clancy clearly explains the vast difference between "boomers"--missile-launching subs whose job it is to be invisible, and "hunter-killer" fast-attack subs whose job is to find boomers and destroy them. Both are nuclear powered.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

18
YankeeTarheel wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:25 pm
papajim2jordan wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:52 am More tension.

Are the Chinese to believe the subs will not be a strategic threat?

I admit to being something of a pessimist. Will the design of these subs exclude the possibility of outfitting for launching missiles? Australia professes to have no interest in or intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.
In "The Hunt For Red October" Clancy clearly explains the vast difference between "boomers"--missile-launching subs whose job it is to be invisible, and "hunter-killer" fast-attack subs whose job is to find boomers and destroy them. Both are nuclear powered.
Tom Clancy's novel way of passing state secrets.
Thank God for Atheists.

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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papajim2jordan wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:55 pm
YankeeTarheel wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:25 pm
papajim2jordan wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:52 am More tension.

Are the Chinese to believe the subs will not be a strategic threat?

I admit to being something of a pessimist. Will the design of these subs exclude the possibility of outfitting for launching missiles? Australia professes to have no interest in or intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.
In "The Hunt For Red October" Clancy clearly explains the vast difference between "boomers"--missile-launching subs whose job it is to be invisible, and "hunter-killer" fast-attack subs whose job is to find boomers and destroy them. Both are nuclear powered.
Tom Clancy's novel way of passing state secrets.
He WAS de-briefed after THFRO was publish. But Boomers vs Hunter-Killers isn't much of a state secret, is it?

I.F. Stone used to insist that NOTHING could be kept secret from a determined investigative journalist. He discovered what was supposed to be a super-secret underground nuclear test by reading publicly available seismic reports from other parts of the world. His main sources were the Congressional Record and newspapers because he was barred from just about everything--but "I.F. Stone's Weekly" was subscribed to by just about everyone on either side of the aisle.
RIP, Izzy!
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: US & UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines to counter China

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That's how Castle Bravo became public knowledge. Development of the H-bomb was supposed to be super-secret, but when the test yield turned out to be bigger than predicted, so was the fallout plume. Bunch of Japanese fishermen got radiation poisoning when Lucky Dragon #5 passed through the plume. Japanese doctors quickly figured out that they had taken an obscenely large dose compared to what they were already familiar with, and wrote the AEC asking how to treat them.

People in the intel business disproportionately privilege secret-source information. Open source analysis is slower, but often more reliable.

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