President Biden standing virtually alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia & Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. They’re announcing the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS” — Australia, the United Kingdom, & the U.S. pic.twitter.com/41R6GrO22k
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 15, 2021
The United States, Great Britain, and Australia just announced a new military partnership—and China is not the only country that should be worried.
New partnerships are a good thing, right? But what if a new relationship involves cheating?
Here is what happened: the United States, Great Britain, and Australia just signed a trilateral deal to deepen their military partnership in Asia. It wasn’t said explicitly, but it’s quite obvious that this surprising move is meant to counter China’s growing power in the region.
Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion—but that’s not the full story.
Just a few weeks after the disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the United States decided to offend allies around the world. As my friend James Ezimoha recently wrote in an article about relationships, “It is not just about what they say, which is super important, but also about what they are not saying.”
And that’s exactly what happened here—the offensive parts of the “AUKUS” treaty are the ones that were left out.
Here are four partners who could be offended by this partnership:
1. New Zealand and Canada
These two countries are part of the “Five Eyes,” so it’s not surprising that Canada and New Zealand were quite offended that nobody asked them to join this new alliance. One part of the “AUKUS” deal is that the United States will share nuclear submarine technology with Australia.
Jacinda Ardern already noted that New Zealand does not allow nuclear submarines anywhere near their coastline as a part of their policies against nuclear proliferation.
Imagine you just signed a business deal worth roughly 60 billion dollars, and then it’s cancelled because your business partner decided to spontaneously team up with someone else—that’s exactly what happened to France in this case.
They just signed a deal to equip Australia with French submarine technology, and it’s not surprising that the French are mildly irritated about the latest developments.
Originally, NATO was formed during the Cold War to counter the Soviet Union. Nowadays, there have been a lot of discussions about how NATO should reinvent itself to deal with upcoming challenges in the international community. This alliance is the core of what we call “Western countries.”
Lately, European partners started questioning this alliance because the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan felt as if European countries could not count on their American partners when it came to evacuating people. The European left had always been critical of NATO and already started a conversation about leaving NATO.
Believe it or not, this has become one of the main topics in the German elections.
Conservatives lost their sh*t when members of the leftist party suggested leaving the NATO treaty and form new alliances. As someone who follows American politics, I kind of saw this coming after Trump belittled the alliance at any given chance during his presidency—and Joe Biden has a similar perspective on this topic. It seems as if it’s America first—NATO second (or third).
Announcing the “AUKUS” partnership will only fuel this debate in Europe—and that really worries me. The last thing the world needs right now is ruining the relationship between Europe and the United States.
Did nobody think about that before signing this deal? Was nobody aware that signing such a deal with Great Britain shortly after the “Brexit” could be taken as an offense?
4. India, Japan, and other Asian countries
The goal of “AUKUS” is countering China’s efforts to expand its power in the region. So why exactly did nobody ask any neighbors or actual Asian countries to join this treaty?
Why are three Western nations forming a military partnership without consulting allies like Japan, India, or South Korea? How would you feel if you were one of them?
As you noticed, the third part about NATO is what really gets my blood boiling, but what troubles me the most is that the United States, Great Britain, and Australia really think that it is a good idea to form an exclusive partnership that is based on military force—come on, it’s 2021!
If the Afghanistan disaster taught us one thing, it is the fact that weapons don’t solve conflicts. This type of thinking caused the Cold War, and if we are not careful, we are heading toward another Cold War.
The future of the international community can only be saved if we are willing to cooperate across borders.
Climate change, poverty, and a global pandemic cannot be addressed by exclusive clubs of powerful nations—we need to get everyone to the table and find solutions to save our planet before it is too late.