Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 16, 2021

To Protect Itself From U.S. Hostility Australia Decides To Buy U.S. Submarines

Yesterday the U.S., the UK and Australia announced that the latter one will buy nuclear powered submarines to do the U.S.' bidding against China:

Australia's next submarine fleet will be nuclear-powered under an audacious plan that will see a controversial $90 billion program to build up to 12 French-designed submarines scrapped.

The ABC understands Australia will use American and British technology to configure its next submarine fleet in a bid to replace its existing Collins class subs with a boat more suitable to the deteriorating strategic environment.

This is a huge but short term win for the U.S. with an also-ran booby price for Britain and a strategic loss of sovereignty and budget control for Australia.

It is another U.S. slap into the face of France and the European Union. The deal will piss off New Zealand, Indonesia and of course China. It will upset the international nuclear non proliferation regime and may lead to the further military nuclearization of South Korea and Japan.

Australia currently has 6 Collins class submarines. These are diesel driven boats based on Swedish designs but partially build in Australia. These boats are relatively slow and have a medium range and endurance. They were built between 1990 and 2003 and are mostly for defensive use. There were lots of trouble during the building of the boats as Australia lacks the technical capabilities and industrial depth to make such complicate products. The operational history of boats is also rather mixed with several scandals following each other. The boats are supposed to be upgraded to be in use for another decade.

In the 2010s Australia began to look for a new generation of submarines. After a long discussion it decided to stick to conventionally powered boats. The new subs were again to be build in Australia after a foreign design.

Germany, Japan and France were asked for proposals. The French state owned ship builder Naval Group (DCNS) won the race for 12 new boats and the €50 billion contract. Ironically the French conventionally driven Shortfin Barracuda design France offered is based on its own nuclear driven Barracuda class design. For Australia France had therefore to design a conventional power plant for a submarine that was originally designed, as all French subs are, to run on a nuclear reactor with low enriched uranium (LEU). It was quite obvious that this unusual conversion would run into difficulties and time delays.

Back in June Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, wrote about the delayed program:

The program is officially “troubled” and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a confab with French president Macron to try to get the project back on track.

Although the contract was signed in 2016, construction hasn’t begun yet, and the first submarine under the program won’t be launched for another decade. At least.

This does not fit well with the Australian navy’s declared ambition to fling its armed might against a PRC invasion of Taiwan that might happen in the next few years, so there’s all sorts of flailing go on, including talk of spending a few billion dollars to upgrade the current Collins class fleet of submarines as a stopgap, or even rush-procuring some German subs.

There’s also some talk of canceling, threatening to cancel, and/or modifying the attack submarine contract to do better. And maybe steer the project toward Germany or back to America’s choice, Japan.

Well - it turns out that 'America's choice' builder for Australia's submarines was not Japan but the U.S. itself.

We now learn that talks about ditching the contract with French in favor of U.S. build nuclear driven boats already started in April 2020 and were finalized during a U.S., Australian, British summit in early June 2021. This was before Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with the French President Macron to get the French-Australian project back on track!

What the PM didn't tell Macron over that long dinner in Paris — and perhaps why the French President might be particularly miffed — is that Morrison had, just a day or so before, already reached an informal agreement with United States President Joe Biden and British PM Boris Johnson for an extension of a nuclear technology sharing agreement.

This revelation brings a new complexion to the tripartite meeting in Carbis Bay in Cornwall on June 12 between the two PMs and the US President.
The ABC understands the federal government began exploring the nuclear-powered submarine option about 18 months ago when Linda Reynolds was still defence minister.

Moreover on August 30 the French and Australian Foreign and Defense Ministers had met and issued a common declaration on bilateral cooperation in a number of policy fields. This included defense cooperation:

Both sides committed to deepen defence industry cooperation and enhance their capability edge in the region. Ministers underlined the importance of the Future Submarine program. They agreed to strengthen military scientific research cooperation through a strategic partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Group and the Directorate General for Armaments.

Just sixteen days later France learned that it lost a huge defense contract due a 180 degree turn around by its Australian 'partner'. It is no wonder than that the French are fuming:

The French government has hit out Australia's decision to tear up a submarine deal with France worth more than €50 billion to instead acquire American-made nuclear-powered submarines.

"It's a stab in the back. We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed," French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a Franceinfo interview Thursday morning. Le Drian added he was "angry and very bitter about this break up," adding that he had spoken to his Australian counterpart days ago and received no serious indication of the move.

Under a deal announced Wednesday by U.S. President Joe Biden, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. will form a new alliance to be known as AUKUS, which will see the three countries share advanced technologies with one another. As part of the new pact, Canberra will abandon its submarine deal with France.

The French, correctly, blame the U.S. for this decision:

In a statement released before the interview, Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said: “This decision is contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia."

The statement continued: "The American choice to push aside an ally and European partner like France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region ... shows a lack of consistency France can only note and regret."

The French ambassador to the U.S. was a bit more subtle with this zinger:

Philippe Etienne @Ph_Etienne - 2:43 UTC · Sep 16, 2021

Interestingly, exactly 240 years ago the French Navy defeated the British Navy in Chesapeake Bay, paving the way for the victory at Yorktown and the independence of the United States.

There are some military reasons to prefer nuclear submarines over diesel driven ones if one plans to lay siege on a foreign coast far away from ones own one. Nuclear submarines (SSN) are faster and can stay on station much longer than diesel driven boats (SSK).


But there are also many negative issues with nuclear boats. They are larger and more expensive than conventional ones. The cost nearly 50% more. They also require dedicated infrastructure and very specialized nuclear training for the crews. Australia has neither nor can it supply the necessary fuel for the nuclear reactors.

The price for the new submarines Australia will have to pay will be much higher that for the French ones. Some $3 billion have already been sunk into the French contract. France will rightfully demand additional compensation for cancelling it. The new contract with the U.S. or UK will cost more than the French one but will only include 8 instead of 12 boats. As three boats are needed to keep one at sea (while the other two are training or in refit), the actual patrolling capacity for Australia's navy will sink from 4 to 2-3 concurrent submarines at sea.

The much higher price of the fewer more complicate boats will upset Australia's defense budget for decades to come.

If going to nuclear propulsion were Australia's sole reason for changing the horse it could have stuck to the original French Barracuda design. This has the advantage of using low enriched uranium which is commercially available. There would be no Australian dependency on France for new fuel supplies. The British and U.S. boats use nuclear reactors with highly enriched uranium (HEU >60%). As Australia now decided to buy those boats it will forever be dependent on those suppliers.

The non-proliferation crowd and the IAEA will be up in arms over the deal. How much supervision will there be over the HEU? Who will have access to it?

Nuclear driven submarines are also perceived as offensive weapons, not as reasonable defensive ones. There are more countries on this map than just China.


That Australia, with just 25 million inhabitants, is buying nuclear driven attack subs will not be welcome by its ten times larger northern neighbor Indonesia. Other neighboring countries, like New Zealand, reject any use of nuclear fuel and will not allow ships or boats using it into their harbors.

The new contract will also upset the Australian plans for manufacturing the boats on its own soil. While the French design was ready to start the actual building phase at the beginning of next year the whole submarine project will now go into a new 18 month long definition phase after which actual contracts will have to be negotiated and signed. Meanwhile the hundreds of Australian engineers who moved to France to help with the design and specialists who were hired by Naval Group in Australia will have to be cared for. Australia does not have many people with such knowledge. What are they going to do until the new project actually starts?

The UK will offer Australia to buy British made Astute class submarines while the U.S. is likely to offer the smaller version of its Virginia class submarines. As both countries have active production lines for these it will not make any economic sense to build more than some small parts for these in Australia itself. The U.S. will use all pressure that is necessary to make sure that its offer will win the race. A hint of that is that Australia also announced that it will acquire long-range US Tomahawk missiles to be used with the subs.

The first of the French boats for Australia was expected to be ready in the early 2030s. There will now be a long delay of perhaps a decade for Australia to get new boats.

Its current Collins class will require more than an ordinary refit to be sustained that long. That is going to be expensive. The Germans may want to jump into that gap by offering their Type 214 submarines with hydrogen driven propulsion. While these boats are much smaller they offer a long endurance, can be supplied reasonably fast and come for a much cheaper price than the nuclear driven ones.

Altogether I do not see any advantage for Australia in this move.

What then is the reason to take that step?

It is called blackmail.

China is by far Australia's largest trading partner. U.S. and Australian 'strategist' claim that the submarines are need to protect Australia's maritime trade routes with its largest trading partner ... from China. That makes, as this sketch provides, zero sense.

The only reason Australia has turned politically and militarily against China is U.S. blackmail. Two years ago the U.S. 'realist' political scientist John Mearsheimer came to Australia to explained to Australians (vid see at 33min) how that works.

As Caitlin Johnstone summarizes:

“Now some people say there’s an alternative: you can go with China,” said Mearsheimer. “Right you have a choice here: you can go with China rather the United States. There’s two things I’ll say about that. Number one, if you go with China you want to understand you are our enemy. You are then deciding to become an enemy of the United States. Because again, we’re talking about an intense security competition.”

“You’re either with us or against us,” he continued. “And if you’re trading extensively with China, and you’re friendly with China, you’re undermining the United States in this security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective. And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.”

Nervous laughter from the Australian think tank audience punctuated Mearsheimer’s more incendiary observations. The CIA is known to have made numerous attempts to assassinate Castro.

So there you have it. Australia is not aligned with the US to protect itself from China. Australia is aligned with the US to protect itself from the US.

Joe Biden may have forgotten the name of the Australian Prime Minister. But Scott Morrison knows who he is expected to work for. In 1975 the U.S. and the UK launched a coup against the Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who was moving his country towards independence. Few in the U.S. will remember that but Australian politicians do. Their country has since always done as it was told to do.

And that is what all the above is about.

Posted by b on September 16, 2021 at 17:27 UTC | Permalink

next page »

sounds like a mafia type set up, lol.. thanks b......

Posted by: james | Sep 16 2021 17:45 utc | 1

Let us hope as Europeans that there is a silver lining and Europe finally thanks uncle Sam and asks him to go home, but with Merkel still managing the purse it is doubtful that Europe will fight for its independence. In any case Macron should consider an old proposal by VVPutin:

Do not forget to turn on english subtitles.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 16 2021 17:59 utc | 2

Thanks for the posting b....I was wondering what the background was to this phase of the fall of empire.

The Catlin quote says it all
So there you have it. Australia is not aligned with the US to protect itself from China. Australia is aligned with the US to protect itself from the US.

Is the cognitive dissonance such that Australians cannot see themselves at least as "powerful" as the Taliban?

The circling of the wagons is getting serious are either with us or against us......BUT, none ever explain that the us in empire is the global private finance cult and not the rest of us Westerners of many nations who can't seem to find the balls/ovaries to cast off the jackboot of this anti-humanistic cult that rules over them.

Blessings to the Taliban who are showing the way, like China, away from the cult of Western empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 16 2021 18:05 utc | 3

It's the Five Eyes boyo, not four eyes, not six, five. You can't have no wandering eyes. It's the English speaking colonies against the world - Bawahhawaaa!

God Bless Shakespeare!

Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 16 2021 18:06 utc | 4

Listen to Martyanov speak about the military dimensions of this sale:

He says that subs are a platform, that their efficacy depends on the arms used by the subs, that the collective west still cannot field anything beyond sub-sonic missiles, and so this is not a game changer in terms of the balance of power, especially in light of China's overwhelming industrial abilities and progress, and its inevitable support from Russia.

Posted by: Prof | Sep 16 2021 18:07 utc | 5

Russia has successfully completed tests of its new S-500 air defense missile systems and started supplying the advanced antiaircraft equipment to the country’s armed forces, according to Russian media.

Posted by: Serg | Sep 16 2021 18:09 utc | 6

Such a strange turn of events.

One might wonder if Jeffery Epstein was operating in Australia.

But he's dead, right?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2021 18:10 utc | 7

It sounds like the headline sums it up completely. What a bandit state.

Maybe the Mearsheimer routine was presented to Saudi Arabia as well, possibly with the opposite outcome.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 16 2021 18:12 utc | 8

Thanks b, great post.

From the exerpt that b quoted: "Under a deal announced Wednesday by U.S. President Joe Biden, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. will form a new alliance to be known as AUKUS [..]"

But far more appropriately known as UKUSA - read and pronounced as yukuza/yakuza - given that their behaviour and tactics, including blackmail, are those of a transnational organized crime syndicate.

The 'A' belongs at the end, after UK and US, not before - the UK being the progenitor of the rest of the Five Eyes gang.

This is literally the biggest protection racket in existence. As that transnational crime syndicate threatened: "You’re either with us or against us [..] And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be."

Pay us for your "protection" - or else.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 16 2021 18:21 utc | 9

The following quote was apparently made by Kissinger which sums up the Australian predicament rather well:

“To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

Posted by: Down South | Sep 16 2021 18:26 utc | 10


So FUKUS is fucked?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 16 2021 18:29 utc | 11

Very nice breakdown by Bernhard. The graphic showing the range and station-keeping capabilities of the two respective classes of boats is very helpful.

The Global Times is using some very strong language today, directed at Australia:

Nuke sub deal could make Australia 'potential nuclear war target'

And: AUKUS to bring ‘nuclear-powered submarine fever’ across globe: Global Times editorial

However, no matter how Australia arms itself, it is still a running dog of the US.

We advise Canberra not to think that it has the capability to intimidate China if it acquires nuclear-powered submarines and offensive missiles.

If Australia dares to provoke China more blatantly because of that, or even find fault militarily, China will certainly punish it with no mercy.

Amdrei Martyanov, a former Soviet naval officer, and naval academy graduate, provides an interesting technical take: in his view, the nuclear subs are not such a big deal, for the simple reason that a sub is merely a weapons PLATFORM.

Ie, the real meat and potatoes is the in the kinds of missiles it can launch. In this respect, these subs, armed with Tomahawk subsonic cruise missiles, a 30 year-old technology, are not a serious threat to modern Russian [and Chinese] air defense systems designed to shoot down those kinds of aerial targets.

He points to the recent performance of the Syrians in knocking down about 90 percent of Israeli cruise missile volleys, using the rather dated Buk M2 surface to air missile system. Indeed careful observers of the Syrian conflict can confirm that the Syrians have tightened up their air defense performance considerably---probably due to much improved missile crew efficiency under Russian tutelage. This was always the weak link for the Syrians, going back decades even to the wars with Israel.

Another factor would be Russian electronic warfare that is now helping out.

In recent weeks Israel is no longer putting out sat images of purported targets struck, as it used to do regularly.

At the same time, the Russian MoD began, for the first time, issuing official tallies of these interceptions, stating that in two separate strikes, each of 24 cruise missiles launched by Israeli jets from Lebanese airspace, 21 had been successfully intercepted by Syrian defenses, in each instance, while others missed their targets.

Technically, this is perfectly credible. A subsonic cruise missile, although much more dangerous than a slow-flying drone, is not the threat it once was. Russian air defense systems have been working on this for a very long time.

Subsonic cruise missiles can also be intercepted by air-to-air missiles fired by fighter jets. This is what the MiG31 was specifically designed to do, introducing some very advanced technology for the time, such as powerful phased-array radar, and datalink between up to four aircraft flying abreast at 200 km separation, and able to cover an 800 km-wide swath of airspace under attack by Tomahawk cruise missiles.

This is even more effective than SAM-based defenses, since the aircraft are up high and defeat the cruise missile's terrain-hugging flight tactic to avoid detection from ground-based radars.

Even a run-of-the-mill fighter not specifically designed for this mission can easily intercept a cruise missile, by means of an afterburning acceleration to supersonic speed, and then simply taking it out with either a heat-seeking or radar-guided missile. Even onboard cannon at close range. The Chinese PLAAF would certainly be capable of this.

But this kind of defense is not possible against supersonic cruise missiles like the Russian P800 Oniks [or the Indian export Brahmos variant], much less hypersonic cruise missiles that are coming into service now, like the 3M22 Zircon, which I talked about in some detail in my hypersonic missiles article.

So Martyanov is correct. It's not a very big deal at all from a military-technical perspective. But it is very much a political hot potato that could go wonky in any number of ways.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 16 2021 18:41 utc | 12

As I said here earlier, the American Empire is shrinking, which means it is consolidating its imploded frontiers. Exceptional pressure will be exerted on Australia which, as the map in this post shows, is a natural platform for a hot maritime war against China.

But I think this submarine imbroglio has more to do with economics than with defense. Those submarines will take a lot of time, and don't seem enough to defeat China. I stick with my previously mentioned hypothesis that the American Empire is entering a "byzantine" stage of its History, marked towards a Western orientation with an emphasis on Australia (and Japan - but Japan is already body and soul given to the USA) and a relative loss of importance (and therefore of decline) of the European Peninsula (i.e. Europe minus Russia). I predict this era will be marked, on the ideological front, by the transition of a former true global empire keeping the narrative and claims to be "universal" while shrinking in territory. In this narrative, Australia will be (if it isn't is already) of essential importance.

The symbology of this episode is irresistible. Not only it involves Australia of all the American borderland provinces, but it is also about submarines. Submarine is the weapon of the nation that doesn't have naval supremacy, as we can deduce from the Soviet doctrine during the Cold War, which means those new missile technologies from Russia are making effect on the Americans. To top it off, the victim is France - a top European Peninsula nation, the soul of the European identity and idea. It therefore represents almost perfectly (maybe too perfectly) my "byzantine" hypothesis.

Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2021 18:42 utc | 13

"It's a stab in the back. We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed."

Look who's talking (Cough) Mistrals (Cough)

There's another couple of advantages of diesel electric submarines.

1. Nuclear subs need constant pumping of water to cool the reactor. The pumps make noise, in fact the most noise of any part of the submarine. Diesel electric subs lack these pumps and are much much quieter.

2. In very shallow waters, both coastal and riparian, only small submarines (like the North Korean midget subs) can operate. These can only be diesel electric or even purely electric.

Not that I'm surprised about the Australistanis. They are a nation of slaves by choice. They even joined the Vietnam war which no less than the Brutish had the sense to keep out of, and they frankly admitted that they were buying the F 35 to keep Amerikastan happy, even though it was a piece of junk.

One can have no sympathy for them.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 16 2021 18:46 utc | 14

b stated that:

.....The deal will piss off New Zealand, Indonesia and of course China. It will upset the international nuclear non proliferation regime and may lead to the further military nuclearization of South Korea and Japan.

I don't know about NZ or Indonesia, but scanning Chinese media I got the impression they are commenting on this event tongue in cheek, mocking Aus for naivete and heaping scorn on FUKUS for lack of promised capability. As for upsetting international non proliferation protocols, when have US/UK ever paid attention to such nuances when their lackey/ally were the guilty parties?

My prediction is that this news bite will attract attention for a little while, then die a thud. Aus can't afford it, and FUKUS can't deliver it.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 16 2021 18:47 utc | 15

But this is a nice informative piece of journalism. Thanks b.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 16 2021 18:48 utc | 16

Oh and before I forget: by the time the Australistanis acquire these subs, in the unlikely event that they ever do, the Taiwan question will have been long since settled, one way or another (actually, just one way). Everyone with two brain cells knows this, which makes the Australistani pandering to Amerikastan even more ludicrous.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 16 2021 18:49 utc | 17

The only good point in this scam is that it puts off Oz's acquisition of a new submarine fleet by another decade - from the 2030s to the 2040s. Who knows where we will all be by then. AUKUS could be Three Blind Mice...

Posted by: Hal Duell | Sep 16 2021 18:51 utc | 18

Nice gap-free summary, b. And Gordog?
Your own style is as unique and lucid as his, and briefer.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2021 18:53 utc | 19

Australia is a suzerainty of the Financial Empire and a member of Five Eyes.

Here is the oath that Australian ministers take: “I, [Minister's full name], do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia in the office of [position] and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.” What happens to their administrators who don’t follow the Empire’s orders?

Australia regularly hails its history of being involved in every major British & American conflict over the past century. When hasn’t Australia gone with the Financial Empire? Australians act as Empire’s decoy to do its dirty work. Its mercenaries fight in its wars. Australian corrupt economists have played an active role in establishing autonomous central banks in Empire’s suzerainties, like India, Myanmar,... Why would lackey Australia act differently now?

MULTIPOLAR Realignment
Now that the Unipolar Order has ended, the Five Eyes seems to be focused on consolidating their position to form an English Union (EnU). Based on debates and discussions in German politics, it is moving closer to France and EU. Germany & France wants to create a Euro € Bloc. China & Russia want to develop the Eurasia (EA) Bloc? There is a faction within the Global Ruling Clans that has a faction in EnU, EU & EA. Will those clans emerge as a POWERBROKER in the emerging global order?

China would do better by minimizing its trade with Australia and prepare for seeing the EnU Bloc as a major threat.

Which Global Clans are winning and losing?

Posted by: Max | Sep 16 2021 18:58 utc | 20

Other recent examples of the UKUSA yakuza transnational crime syndicate's thuggery are the US/UK institutional beating of Julian Assange for years to serve as an example, and the US/Canada kidnapping and holding of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou for years, with who knows just how many years in the US if extradited.

Here's a link to a short 100-second clip in which Nathan Rich makes a good presentation about the timing of that Meng Wanzhou arrest when everyone else before and after was fined. How can this not be seen as the behaviour of a organized crime syndicate?

In our Canadian federal election campaign, I have heard little to no significant differences over foreign policy. No major Canadian political party seems to dare speak up against the US wars and thuggery. The Mearsheimer/US threat of "when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be" is pretty much understood to be held over Canada's economy too.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 16 2021 19:00 utc | 21

… visions of Bernard Henri-Levy in the Panjshir come to mind… I don’t think there is enough salt in the ocean to take when France and the UK talk of back-stabbing vis à vis the other. (Haiti, as well, let us not forget.)

Here’s Telesur’s view of it:

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Sep 16 2021 19:11 utc | 22

Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 16 2021 18:46 utc | 14

The French did not willingly NOT supply Russia with the Mistrals. I saw the first ship leave St. Nazare with a Russian crew on board for Training. They both had been paid for upfront. The handover to Russia was almost complete.

The French had to pay the money back with intrest for breaking the contract.

The pressure came from the EU in Brussels and the US. It lasted quite a long time and was aimed at "shaming" the French. Most people will here remember it (in France).

In fact this is the second time that a French naval contract has been reversed, with a financial loss for the French. - because of the US.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 16 2021 19:16 utc | 23

@ Canadian Cents (#21), Canada is a suzerainty of the UK and a member of Five Eyes 👁 What is its oath of allegiance? Canada’s oath of allegiance:

“I, [name], do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God.”

Which God are they asking for help?

What happened to democracy in Canada? A facade. Canada is a lackey. Follow the orders.

Posted by: Max | Sep 16 2021 19:16 utc | 24

1. Nuclear subs need constant pumping of water to cool the reactor. The pumps make noise, in fact the most noise of any part of the submarine. Diesel electric subs lack these pumps and are much much quieter ...
Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 16 2021 18:46 utc | 14

...until it's time to almost surface and crank up the diesel to recharge batteries.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2021 19:16 utc | 25


Most people will here remember it (in France)
=> Most people here in France will remember it.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 16 2021 19:18 utc | 26

From subservient lap dog to Sacrificial Jackass in 1 obedient misstep.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2021 19:29 utc | 27

This guy is acknowledged to be one of the best experts on submarines and semi-submersibles.

He gives detailed descriptions of the various types and related info. (Including the Russian nuclear "drone" torpedo and probable carrier vessel, the Chinese tunnel entrances for submarines. etc.)
These are more "to be consulted", than articles.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 16 2021 19:32 utc | 28

Seems that AUSUK is the better acronym arrangement, especially from the Australian public's point of view. They wont even get the subs until the 2030s, by then the Chinese will most probably be more than capable of sinking them and shooting their missiles out of the sky.

Then again, they can just turn the sub bases into smouldering ruins - stopping the sub rotation between fixing/training/on station in its tracks. The same fate will be waiting for Pine Gap the second the Aussies are stupid enough to start a shooting match with China.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 16 2021 19:40 utc | 29

I have been thinking more about the circling of wagons concept and the fact that the French company is a France supported/owned business and that runs counter to the financialization of everything meme.

I continue to see this event as a Hail Mary pass to the end zone when no one is there to catch the ball. Others have noted that by the time AZ gets one of these subs the Taiwan issue will be resolved and China/Russia will be light years militarily ahead of the Western greed before function side.

Empire can't win a world/civilization war using the Holo-Deck of their mythical Starship but they sure are trying.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 16 2021 20:01 utc | 30

Makes even less sense considering current US naval procurement strategy, at least the more realist versions of it. Those make it clear that to keep up with China, the situation calls for more emphasis on subs (and unmanned ships). Given the timelines involved, the logic calls for starting on this in the next few years.

Australia should figure out that their order is likely to get bumped again when US navy specifies out what it actually wants and starts increasing the pace of production orders for itself.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 16 2021 20:06 utc | 31

Only the insiders know the full extent of any deal, whether written and/or unwritten, and note well, that includes other participants who may/may not be aware of their "part" in the deal.

[e.g. like a SoutheastAsian deal where nation A and B make a deal about handling of victim C... in which A's payoff from B is a huge and secret "gift" in D...with D totally unaware of the consequences, C guessing too late it is a victim and E probably never knowing it facilitated the entire arrangement, while lucky F played a supporting and lucrative role and knew nothing else.]

So re Au-UK-US, who knows...Au would make a grand repository for huge and growing amounts of nuclear waste that currently has no final resting place...maybe worth a few submarines.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 16 2021 20:06 utc | 32

@Posted by: vk | Sep 16 2021 18:42 utc | 13

The Byzantine does seem to be a good typification, with continental Europe becoming less and less important as the economic centre of the world increasingly moves to the East and the European archipelago continues its slow/no growth trend. It is certainly a Christian Empire, with the UK, US, and Australia (and of course the Northern poodle Canada). Problem is, its like connecting a whole bunch of one-legged men and hoping that they will be able to run.

Australia is a commodity exporter that I assume China will now slowly replace as a supplier (they already have the ability to do this with respect to Natural Gas, and of course educational services, also working on other sources of coking coal and iron ore). Canada is about to put itself directly in the economic cross-hairs with Meng Wanzhou. The UK is a financial speculation and crime centre with a deindustrialized country attached. Certainly a "coalition of the challenged" with no hope of ASEAN providing any help. South Korea and Japan simply add target rich environments within the range of masses of Chinese short-range missiles (and North Korea's massive artillery batteries).

Posted by: Roger | Sep 16 2021 20:09 utc | 33

“The ABC understands Australia will use American and British technology to configure its next submarine fleet..”

Wiring harness by Lucas: Prince of Darkness

Posted by: nwwoods | Sep 16 2021 20:13 utc | 34

France has been Mistral'd by the same people who got it to Mistral Russia.

Karma, karma, chameleo Macron

What does it take these maroons to recognize that today's 'firm staunch ally' of the US will be thrown under the bus whenever it is expedient to the US?

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Sep 16 2021 20:19 utc | 35

@Roger | Sep 16 2021 19:40 utc | 29

Seems that AUSUK is the better acronym arrangement,

I vote for Au-USUK.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 16 2021 20:21 utc | 36

Just watched that Mearsheimer talk... after seeing the US chicken out on Ukraine, the recent Afghanistan pullout and the soon be called bluff on Taiwan, his remarks on the US militarily 'clobbering' anyone, let alone China, have aged faster than a bucket of prawns in the sun.

He must be thinking of a world as it was decades ago, not 2019 that's for sure. One wonders what sort of bubble he must be living in, and the shock he will get when he sees his country crumble worse than the USSR in the 90's, it's already happening in slow motion, any number of catalysts can only accelerate it.

As for Australia, it needs better leadership than ignorant Shire boys like Morrison and his gang of mediocre yes men. I blame its education system and the lack of importance placed on general knowledge subjects like history and geography. There is no way a person can rise to powerful positions in Europe (or Asia i imagine) without a body of knowledge and culture that just is not matched in new world countries. Not that that has been any guarantee of good policy decisions there either anyway...

I fear things can only go down hill for my former home, one of the reasons i never went back. If climate change doesn't run it into the ground, its ignorant and myopic view of itself and its place in the world surely will. Kevin Rudd had a good understanding vis a vis China and saw the long term strategic play there, but of course, he got the same treatment Whitlam got the first chance they got.. et tu Julia?

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 16 2021 20:32 utc | 37

The most expensive electoral bribe in history.
« From subservient lap dog to Sacrificial Jackass in 1 obedient misstep. »
« They are a nation of slaves by choice. »
Not so, but we elect lapdogs that make us so.
The marginal State of South Australia needs jobs - it would have been far cheap to let it keep its auto industry.
The attacks on China by the Australian MSM are non stop and hysterical.
But there is no way that the Yanks and Brits are going to hand over nuclear technology.
In the meantime, Taiwan will have been subsumed (as noted above), and Australia will have become an economic colony of China.

Posted by: Farthington | Sep 16 2021 20:38 utc | 38

So the NATO solidarity is completely finished.

The French should phone Stoltenberg and tell him he can find something else to do.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 16 2021 20:47 utc | 39

It's the Five Eyes boyo, not four eyes, not six, five. You can't have no wandering eyes. It's the English speaking colonies against the world - Bawahhawaaa!
Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 16 2021 18:06 utc | 4

Oh yes we can!

Four eyes is much better, albeit cracked glass and out of focus!

Posted by: tucenz | Sep 16 2021 20:55 utc | 40

I get a kick out of NATO/Empire members betraying each other.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 16 2021 20:55 utc | 41

While I do not see China wishing to expand across 300 million Muslims in Indonesia to seize the northern deserts of Australia, instead of just buying resources and renting kangaroos:
1. None can be sure that the risk of China expansion is Not credible.
2. The deterrent effect of nuclear subs is probably attractive.
3. Australia may feel obliged to cultivate the US for protection.

So I proposed to the US ambassador of China that they:
1. Defuse Taiwan tensions by purchasing distant Pacific territory as a New Taiwan for all Taiwanese who do not seek union with PRC;
2. Give those who relocate equivalent property there, complete with infrastructure;
3. I suggested New Britain, an island of PNC having debt to China;
4. NB has similar size but only 500K inhabitants (14 million in Taiwan) who can be employed to build infrastructure, homes, etc.
5. This would cost less than PNC's debt to China, less than the Australia's nuclear subs alone, and less than the annual cost of US harassment of China, so they should all contribute!
6. But I don't bribe politicians, so the solution will be ignored.

Posted by: Sam F | Sep 16 2021 20:56 utc | 42

@12 Gordog

If Tomahawks are not very effective anymore than it must be a terrible deal for Australia to purchase them, as they were selling for $3 million each in 1984.

Australia may as well construct a large trebuchet on a ship and attempt to fling balls of flaming dollar bills at China. If you use small denomination bills you may even get two shots for $3 million.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Sep 16 2021 21:21 utc | 43

@Vk,sorry to ask, but very curious.

What's the byzantine hypothesis?
The Empire breaking apart? (where?)

Posted by: AtVK | Sep 16 2021 21:21 utc | 44

Sam F #42

The people of New Britain are an amazing and resilient people with a rich culture. Leave them alone. To achieve your strategy, move the west loving Taiwan gang to an island under USA patronage somewhere in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico perhaps. Just keep the colonial people shuffling theories entirely within the USA and be responsible for the consequences.

Better still butt out of their business as Taiwan is China, it is not an independent state, it has been part of China for longer than the USA stole Hawaii from the Hawaiians.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 16 2021 21:22 utc | 45

Rutherford82 #43

Trebuchet with steam assisted pistons hurling pig iron ingots so China can have recyclable elements and a sustainable war. Export EV's back to Oz at commensurate prices.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 16 2021 21:27 utc | 46

It's predictable as hell that Australia would now be fully assimilated into the Anglo-American Empire and its not-so-new Cold War against China.

What is Australia as a nation, after all?

It's an Anglo colonizer nation spawned by the British Empire and founded upon the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Aboriginal people, whose land Australia stole and now currently occupies.

This reality is, however, disguised behind endless propaganda about "Anglo liberal democracy" that Australia insists is the basis of their vaunted way of life and value system.

Sound familiar?

That's exactly the description of the United States of America, which is another Anglo colonizer nation that was spawned by the British Empire and founded upon the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Indians, whose land America stole and now currently occupies.

All of this is disguised by endless propaganda about "American freedom and democracy" that the Americans insist is the basis of their vaunted way of life and value system.

In short, Anglo imperial birds of a feather stick together.

Posted by: ak74 | Sep 16 2021 21:28 utc | 47

Today's editorial in Global Times:

Note the para:

Washington is losing its mind by trying to rally its allies against China, creating antagonism and destruction beyond its control. It has been immersed in attacking China without seriously assessing the possibility of backfiring. The war in Afghanistan, which traverses one of the most stable periods in the world as a whole, has embarrassed the US. If the world really becomes chaotic, there will be many more setbacks ahead for the US to fall down further.

Right on spot. This mindlessness is amply shown in many many instances over the past 40-50 years, in color revolutions, middle east meddlings, trade wars, etc. etc. It's actually a manifestation of stupidity and shallowness of the ruling class. America lacks strategic thinkers, folks such as Kissinger/Mearshimer et al included.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 16 2021 21:42 utc | 48

@uncle tungsten | 45 "The people of New Britain are ... a rich culture...move the west loving Taiwan gang to an island under USA patronage"

Ignoring "their business" does not solve the problem, and it is the location of one small population that is causing severe tensions between great powers. Their relocation would serve many Asian interests as well as the US. It is very difficult but much easier than war.

I too considered areas near the US, but it does not control them. Other options might be: N Australia, Chiloe (large coastal island along Chile coast), other Asian land, perhaps some area in the Stans. They all have difficulties, and a large underpopulated island may be the most attractive choice for Taiwanese.

Posted by: Sam F | Sep 16 2021 21:44 utc | 49

Wilfred Burchett was an icon of Australian independent thought and action.

Remembering his extraordinary compassion and remarkable journey is an antidote to the mice who occupy the countries parliaments today.

Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett made many contributions to awakening Western public opinion to support Vietnam’s fight for national independence and reunification. On the occasion of the 110th birthday of the world-famous journalist (September 16, 1911-2021), a great friend of the Vietnamese people, Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper would like to introduce to readers an article by Nguyen Van Vinh.

This is the story of an earlier Oz journalist who restored dignity to the colonised and brutalised people of the world.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 16 2021 21:46 utc | 50

Here is your new leader
we chose him just for you
the other guy is gonna die
and we've arranged a coup
our good and faithful minions
share all of our opinions
so if you want to live
here's what yer gonna do

to our friends....

Arrest our competition
and buy our submarines
and force your population
to submit to our vaccines
just do as you are told
don't make us use the stick
for we can be quite ruthless
when we want to be a prick

I cannot help it.

Posted by: ld | Sep 16 2021 21:50 utc | 51

From my perch, this is a complete knee-slapping howler, ROFLMAO. None of the players--Outlaw Anglo Empire plus Australia--get anything worthy as all the tech involved will be obsolete by the time the boats are commissioned; so, the only thing they'll be good for is training. And given new methods of ASW, particularly detection methods, subs themselves will be an obsolete weapon system for the West by 2030 if not earlier, and soon after for Russia and China once some Western nation figures it out.

In other words, the Aussies raised China's ire for what amounts to a nothingburger. OMG, What Folly!!!!

As for France, it needs another de Gaulle to appear and emphatically state France needs neither NATO or the EU, and would be better off with the Franc and being French. It would be good to read some comments from our French barflies about this event.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2021 22:00 utc | 52

Shame on the French for being fooled this way, by AUKUS, which --although a three headed monster-- is triply sub-intelligent.

Posted by: bjd | Sep 16 2021 22:07 utc | 53

The whole scenario is pathetic old hat.

You don’t fight future wars with previous war weapons. That’s one.

What was the purpose of underwater weapons in the first place?
To sink ships above water. That’s 2.

What was purpose of nuclear missile carrying submarines?
To retaliate against a first strike that wiped out land based ICBM’s. That’s three.

Non of these apply any more. The Cold War is over. MAD has been around for nearly a century. Cruise and hypersonics AND space based launch systems make any reason for a accident waiting to happen submarine with nuclear weapons that are easily seen by satellites and drones in anything except deep dark holes under the sea where they will bump into each other, have an accident or crew go mad and launch weapons, which will mostly fail to function - it really is pointless.

If the Aussies ( demented almost inbred tiny population at the arse end of the world, transported population, invaders and murderers of indigenous peoples) really want a submarine force with Nukes - the Scots will soon have Independence and the English can park the ‘fleet’ ( 3 dodgy boats with usbtable crews and inexact missiles under uncertain control ) they will certainly be welcome.

This is the C21 isn’t it bout time the Arsholes, sorry I mean aukususususus... joint it?

Posted by: D.G. | Sep 16 2021 22:09 utc | 54

Protect Australia from its biggest trading partner. China. The stupidity is breathtaking. And as a side note. What does the US have to offer Australia in regards to trade? I hear crickets..........

Posted by: José Garcia | Sep 16 2021 22:29 utc | 55

Oriental Voice @48--

Several years ago now, maybe as far back as 2016, I wrote about why the lack of Statesmen/Leadership. It's because of the goal built into the political-economy of Neoliberalism--the never ending all consuming quest for ever more riches that goes beyond mere greed. The Greeks have a word for it: Pleonexia--"the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others; ruthless self-seeking and an arrogant assumption that others and things exist for one's own benefit." And in tandem with pleonexia is the philosophy of Exceptionalism blended with Libertinism. Some historical personages as examples: Numerous Roman Emperors, Sir Francis Bacon, Marquis de Sade, Claus Schwabe, George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Elon Musk, and the Bezos brothers.

The Zero-sum goal of Neoliberalism is no different from that on the game of Monopoly--to gain control of all wealth, to share it with nobody, and as a result control everything. Yes, certainly a type of Megalomania. It should also be noted that those controlled by their pleonexia are seldom seen in public actively engaged in controlling others. As George Carlin intoned, they're part of an extremely exclusive club and you're not at all welcome. Recently several essays have appeared about a perceived cult of narcissism in the upper echelons of governments and corporate financial organizations that unfortunately ignore their historical antecedents. If finance were treated as the public utility it actually is and was strictly regulated, there would be no way for such creatures to practice their dysfunctional credos, and we wouldn't be faced with the need to defeat such ogres.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2021 22:39 utc | 56

karlof1 52

It's what I've been seeing watching, living with and what my children have to try and raise a family in. It's why I have been saying we have gone full Ukraine. When it comes to taking people to war, that quote of Goering about how easy it is to take people to war is spot on.
And it why I have wanted the US to collapse or be destroyed because that was and still is the only way to prevent this. Nothing can be done oe could have been done domestically to change this.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 16 2021 22:46 utc | 57

Nigel Farage: AUKUS deal would not have happened had it not been for Brexit.

I had a feeling from the start that these kind of deals were what brexit was all about.

Posted by: MB | Sep 16 2021 23:19 utc | 58

Peter AU1 @57--

Thanks for your reply! Do see my reply to John Cleary on the open thread.

How much longer until Australia enrages all its neighbors?

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 16 2021 23:27 utc | 59

D.G. @Sep16 22:09 #54

AFAIK Australia will get a nuclear-powered submarine, not nuclear-armed.

As b notes, that allows for force-projection, not simply defense.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2021 23:28 utc | 60

karlof1 59

Yes saw that.
Things will get much worse here before they get better.. Most in oz have sucked up the heavy anti china propaganda like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dust. It will take quite a shock to snap them out of it, and the earlier that shock comes the better.
Virtual all Australians believe we are an independent nation, having a foreign monarch as head of state considered ceremonial at best and absolutely no understanding of the five-eyes intelligence setup and how much power that holds over elected officials and the media for that matter.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 16 2021 23:36 utc | 61

@karlof1, 52

As for France, it needs another de Gaulle to appear and emphatically state France needs neither NATO or the EU, and would be better off with the Franc and being French.

Well said. It also needs the Bank of France to become a publicly owned bank again

Posted by: cirsium | Sep 16 2021 23:39 utc | 62

The French will be in a snit for a day or two then go right back to being the good little NATO bitches they have always been.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Sep 16 2021 23:42 utc | 63

What everyone seems not to notice is that Scott Morrison did not have any new contracts ready when he stood up for his little pantomime yesterday. No MoU with anyone. No tenders to announce.

No nothing, except that he was tearing up the French contract.

As in: he's tearing up that contract, but he's got nothing to replace it with. Hence the hoopla and razzamatazz over NUCLEAR SUBMARINES! that Australia will have REAL SOON NOW once we, you know, work out who and what and where and when and how.

Note that the next step is a "18 month consultative process" which (I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!) just happens to push the release of that oh-so-critical feasibility study out past the next Federal Election.

I'm going to offer to save Scottie 18 months of time and effort by writing that report for him now: Australia can't afford nuclear powered submarines, lacks the infrastructure to operate them safely, and won't be able to find the crews to man them.

But Morrison knows that already.

He must know, but he doesn't care because he's already got what he wanted: political cover to tear up that French contract without looking like a man bereft of a plan.

Here, think of it this way: If Scott Morrison had simply stood up yesterday and announced that he's had a gutful of the Frenchies and was tearing up the contract then that would be ALL over the news, and not in a good way for him.

But yesterday he did exactly that, but did it in such a way that almost nobody is paying the slightest attention to it.

The man is a clown, and utterly incompetent to lead a country. But he is a cynical and slippery politician, and he put on a master-class of cynical politics yesterday, and everyone here in Australia is agog.

We're getting NUCLEAR SUBS! from, err, someone. Brits, perhaps, maybe the Yanks, but God No, not the Frenchies.
Can't tell you where they'll be built, or how much they cost, or when the contracts will be signed.
Nope, don't know any of that and wouldn't tell you even if I knew, which I don't.
But did I say they'll be NUCLEAR SUBS! I think I did. NUUUUUUUCLEAR. SUBMARINES! HUZZAH!

Not going to happen, and Morrison knows it.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 16 2021 23:51 utc | 64

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2021 23:28 utc | 60

How is a nuclear powered submarine supposed to be able to be more ‘force projecting! than any other submarine? Such a propulsion system is only justified by it meaning the sub can be below the surface for months- deep below - it is not about being a conventional attack warship. Is it?

The only excuse for them is to always have an at sea missile base to counter a possible first strike of land based silos. As has been shown here by b not long ago China has got past that by just building a massive array of silos only some of which may have icbm’s.

As I say it is almost impossible with modern surveillance and radar NOT to know roughly where these bits of kit are regardless of who they belong to.

The whole thing is thick as mince just like any ‘Sheeple’ Aussie is (that word and concept was originated by an Aussie btw)

Posted by: D.G. | Sep 16 2021 23:52 utc | 65

@Jackrabbit | 60

It only allows for force projection if the Aussies are stupid enough to swim over to China and throw Tomahawks at them. Do you think any thing good happens to Australia after that? The best case scenario is China regime changes it. But more likely they decide it isn't worth the effort and just delete it.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Sep 16 2021 23:52 utc | 66

b, are you sure the HEU fuel is only 60% enriched. Nick Ritchie's paper "The UK Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme and Highly Enriched Uranium" (pages 3,5) says the Westinghouse S5W reactor and the Rolls Royce PWR1 derivative used bomb-grade HEU 93% to 97%. It is hard to believe the newer never-need-to-refuel reactor designs would use a lower level of enrichment.

Of course supplying bomb-grade HEU to Australia as fuel would weaken the attempt to de-facto expand the NPT to not allowing non-NWS to use large amounts of HEU, eg upon Iran.

Posted by: r | Sep 16 2021 23:52 utc | 67

It is all about the money & control.
The US saw a country with a big pile of money it was unwilling to spend on health, education, indigenous welfare, infrastructure etc, but was willing to hand it over to the French(!) for their public(!) MIC. So, why not snatch all of it for their private MIC instead; and they know how to lean on their old pals downunder and lock them forever into the US way of the world..
What Australia gets for its money is a total loss of whatever sovereignty it had left.
A real bargain.

Posted by: digital dinosaur | Sep 16 2021 23:55 utc | 68

@60 "AFAIK Australia will get a nuclear-powered submarine, not nuclear-armed."

I'm going to put down a marker now: not a single keel will ever be laid down for any of these submarines.

Not a one. Morrison will ride this "announcement" to the next election, then after that (if he is still there) that "18 month consultative process" will release its recommendations, which will be that Australia can't afford these things.

And Morrison will say "Oh, OK. You don't say? Who knew, heh?"

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 16 2021 23:56 utc | 69

Yeah, Right "What everyone seems not to notice is that Scott Morrison did not have any new contracts ready when he stood up for his little pantomime yesterday. No MoU with anyone. No tenders to announce.

Very noticeable from where I'm standing but as that has been the norm for quite some time, hardly worth mentioning. Unless of course someone is foolish enough to think oz is an independent country. Exactly the same when Gillard announced the agreement to base US forces in the north.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 0:00 utc | 70

I live in Oz and literally cringed whilst watching Old Joe, Boris and That Fellow Down Under announce the "new" alliance. It made me think of that old American slapstick comedy team "The Three Stooges". Except that in this case all three are fall-guy Curly. But just as much a comedy routine. The Chinese may die laughing.

Posted by: Alex in Oz | Sep 17 2021 0:02 utc | 71

Tom Fowdy writes, Outlaw US Empire throws EU under the bus, "with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stating: 'This unilateral, brutal, unpredictable decision is very similar to what Mr. Trump was doing.'"

This also puts Modi on a very hot seat as he meets with the SCO, some of which I outlined on the open thread.

I'm also on record saying the Outlaw US Empire's in retreat, not just redeploying. Fowdy gets most of it correct:

"Europe is no longer strategically relevant to the US in the way it was for decades, not only with regards to Russia but also to the Middle East. This is a new era, and the new Cold War is not like the last one because the centre of gravity is not in Europe, it’s in Asia."

No, the "center of gravity" is outside of Asia. Indeed, the Eurasian Bloc currently consists of Russia, China, ASEAN, SCO (do note the new members), CSTO, EAEU, and the Arc of Resistance. The only Asian entities are Japan and (partially) India. Strategically, abandoning Afghanistan was a HUGE mistake, which makes this new focus on China idiotic with defeat ensured. As I wrote above, it's a Howler!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2021 0:03 utc | 72

@ karlof1 | 56
The lack of western Statesmen/Leadership is indeed due to widespread selfish lust for money and power, concealed as an ideology of money=virtue, and the failure of US institutions to control money power. Finance should be a regulated public utility, and money power strictly excluded from government and mass media. Greater public education in history and foreign cultures would impede warmongering.

Now enjoying Fairbank’s China: A New History at your suggestion despite its 1992 perspective. Very concise and perceptive.

Posted by: Sam F | Sep 17 2021 0:05 utc | 73

Biswapriya Purkayast @14, Stonebird @23


Was trashing the Mistral deal the price France had to pay to get the Australian submarine deal?

Quite likely, as both happened seven years ago.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 17 2021 0:08 utc | 74

... in fact a NIREX nuclear waste report N/085 sated 2003 suggests both the Rolls Royce PWR1 and Astute's PWR2 use 95% HEU as fuel. And says PWR2 has a 30 year core life.

Posted by: r | Sep 17 2021 0:13 utc | 75

"I'm also on record saying the Outlaw US Empire's in retreat, not just redeploying."

Rather than one or the other it is both. It is retreating in what it considers less important spheres which helps prevent domestic unrest in US. What we will see now is a new era of warfare. The last 20 years it has been somewhat adhock with US and UK not always working to the same objective and some competition between them. Now it is a war of survival for anglo dominance and this will be very different. The war of terror saw the use of UN designated terrorist groups on a massive scale complete with with mainstream propaganda arms and methods of raising revenue.
US/UK uses projection constantly. It is a very good rule of thumb, that whatever the anglosphere accuses target nations of, is what five-eyes itself is doing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 0:18 utc | 76

No huge surprise to learn that Scotty From Marketing does what he always does best ... act in ways that are not open and transparent, and which suggest he can be easily bribed or blackmailed, or led astray, especially if there is the possibility of a clandestine benefit for him from more powerful people.


A closer look at Scott Morrison’s CV

Morrison's pre-parliament career casts doubt over his strategic campaigning abilities, his management skills and an apparent tendency towards a lack of transparency.

... In among a string of election campaign failures, Morrison had a regular habit of leaving or being pushed out of jobs before his contracts were finished.

There were two stints that have, perhaps understandably, been scrubbed from his Wikipedia page.

The first was a period at big four consulting group KPMG in 2000, where he was attempting to start up a tourism practice. The second was an ill-fated turn as the strategic director for the campaign of New South Wales Liberal leader Peter Debnam during his failed 2007 election bid.

A self-styled “marketer” (he actually has a Bachelor of Science in applied economic geography from UNSW) Morrison instead hired others to do the marketing work, according to a number of people that worked with him in his various tourism jobs, while he focused largely on the networking. This networking brought him into contact with Liberal grandees who promoted him ever higher, until he landed in — or rather was parachuted into — federal parliament in 2007.

Morrison’s first role in the tourism sector was as deputy chief executive of the Australian Tourism Task Force, then-chaired by former Labor tourism minister John Brown. Showing his talent for ruthlessness, Morrison jumped ship to rival group Tourism Council of Australia (TCA) to became the general manager. The TCA was run by Bruce Baird, the former transport minister in the Nick Greiner and John Fahey NSW Liberal governments (1989-2005).

Morrison left the TCA in 1998 at the same time Baird entered federal parliament. By December 1999, the TCA was technically insolvent, despite a questionable “start-up” loan of $2.3 million by the Howard government. It was eventually tipped into administration under Grant Thornton in December 2001 and disbanded. “The damage was done by Bruce and Scott,” a former staffer noted.

In 1998, Morrison moved to New Zealand as the the inaugural director of the newly created Office of Tourism and Sport, reporting directly to NZ tourism minister Murray McCully. The two entered a widely reported power struggle with the independent NZ Tourism Board. In a 1999 report, NZ auditor-general criticised Morrison’s role, particularly his commissioning and handling of a report critical of the board ...

... By late 2000, Morrison had been installed as the NSW director of the Liberal Party. He would get his first taste of the political power of “the boats” when the Tampa incident flipped the 2001 federal election the Howard government’s way. But the Liberal campaign for office under leader John Brogden in 2003 was a flop. The party lost a single seat on a flat vote percentage, compared to the previous poll, to the third-term Bob Carr-led Labor government.

But in the 2004 federal election, where Morrison apparently impressed then-PM John Howard, the Liberals picked up a handful of NSW seats. And after leaving his first stint at the Liberal Party, Morrison appears to have been handed the job of MD at Tourism Australia from 2004 — replete with a photo of John Howard in his office.

Morrison immediately brought in South African Ian McFarlane, who had worked with him in NZ and engaged M&C Saatchi to do the “100% Pure New Zealand” campaign, something McFarlane takes clear credit for on his LinkedIn page.

“It was clear that they wanted Saatchi again,” said one staffer, once McFarlane had arrived at TA. This time it was to develop the controversial “Where the Bloody Hell Are You” campaign.

Meanwhile in the office, it was case of where the bloody hell was Morrison? “He was an invisible MD, he wasn’t present he wasn’t around, he wouldn’t know anyone’s names,” one long-time staffer said, who also said McFarlane showed disdain for group processes. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) would have similar concerns in its 2008 report on the group.

Morrison’s three-year contract was cut short as he clashed with tourism minister Fran Bailey. “Two ‘A’ type personalities,” a TA staffer at the time, told Crikey. He was sacked in 2006 in a unanimous decision of the board led by former Nationals leader and deputy PM Tim Fischer, which has never been fully explained. It’s noteworthy, again, that Clark was the deputy chairman of TA. There also remain unanswered questions about tenders from the ANAO report that have still not been made public ...

Sco-Mo's tendency to disappear when he is most wanted or needed resurfaces time and again, most notably over the summer bushfire season 2019/2020.

We might ask also where the bloody hell he was when Australia failed to install appropriate quarantine facilities in a timely manner, allowing people returning from overseas to bring COVID-19 into the country and to spread infection. Most mass infections that have and are hitting the poorest communities the hardest have been brought into the country by tourists or other wealthy people with money to burn (and money to donate to political parties).

Also we don't have to look that far back into Australia's history to see what happens to Prime Ministers when they are too independently minded or are seen to be too pro-active. Back in 2010, just before a general election, the then PM Kevin Rudd was shafted by his own party (Australian Labor Party) supposedly for his micro-management leadership style and frequent flyer tendencies. More likely, he was thrown out as leader because he wanted Australia to be more like the EU at the time, critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and of Israel's theft of the personal passport details of dual Israeli-Australian citizens (to be used by Mossad operatives as cover to assassinate Palestinian and other Arab leaders, thereby endangering those Israeli-Australian citizens). Rudd also had a pro-active attitude in wanting to counter China in trade and defence issues when he was expected to take Washington's orders.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 17 2021 0:21 utc | 77

My detailed comment timed out. Where is the refresh button on an Apple? I tried 'command R'.

Thanks for the accurate article b.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 0:28 utc | 78

@ karlof1 | Sep 17 2021 0:03 utc | 72 with the Tom Fowdy writing about shifting centers of gravity

I think a better description is one that says that there are competing centers of gravity rather than shifting from Europe to Asia.....Its one small world and everything effects everything else

And even after you buy into the center of gravity concept, this event with Australia shows just how concentrated in some ares that gravity is.

Thanks for the ongoing commentary and links

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2021 0:28 utc | 79

Posted by Jen @ 77

I agree with you on Kevin Rudd's overthrow and the reasons why. Here is some more background for foreign readers, MERC has plenty of links to follow up:

Here is what Malcolm Turnbull had to say in today's AFR:

"Mr Turnbull, who is reserving his position until briefed, nonetheless reminded people of his autobiography in which he revealed the French subs were chosen because they could one day be converted back to nuclear.
"That would prompt a massive political debate about nuclear power,” he wrote.
Mr Morrison said that unlike the French reactors, the US reactors, which had been only shared with the British, did not need to be serviced for the life of the submarine, meaning Australia would not have to lift its moratorium on a civil nuclear industry to accommodate them."

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 0:57 utc | 80

@ Posted by: AtVK | Sep 16 2021 21:21 utc | 44

A while ago I speculated here that the USA is entering its fourth phase of historical development. This phase I termed "byzantine phase" for short.

This new phase is the manifestation of a slow decline of the American Empire. It will be marked by, among other factors, in:

1) the shift of the economic center of gravity of the USA proper from the East Coast and the Sun Belt to the West Coast (the three West Coast states that wanted to secede some years ago), plus, maybe, some key hinterland States such as Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas; New York and Washington D.C. may or may not retain their importance as the spiritual capitals of the Empire well into this period;

2) growing resort to Christian fundamentalist population from all across the USA proper, but specially from the Deep South States, to recruit and man the US Army, Navy and maybe even the Air Force, that is, the Christianization of the USA Armed Forces. This is due both to the fact that the other groups of the US society will not want to enlist and because fracture of the American societal fabric will impel the Pentagon to have to resort to the most conservative elements of society to quell and crush the internal enemy: the so-called "Marxists"/"Leftists"/"Woke";

3) crescent loss of territory, mainly in the East (of the USA), which will result in the relative decline of the European Peninsula and the relative rise of Australia, Oceania, Japan and South Korea, but mainly Australia (and maybe also Japan); that is, I'm calling that loss of American territory will have an Eastern bias: since the main target is China, the Empire will abandon its eastern provinces first, only to give priority to its Western provinces;

4) increasing use of universalist rhetoric, that is, the more the American Empire loses territory and influence around the world, the more it will degenerate ideologically and intellectually towards some kind of messianic and esoteric claim of universality and eternity of the American Empire (a la the Roman Empire in the East, up to Heraclius);

5) increasing brutality towards Latin America, which will mean intensified use of Monroe Doctrine in order to quell the inevitable revolts and revolutions that will happen in Latin America; increasing urge to destroy Cuba and Venezuela, which are the only socialist countries in the subcontinent;

6) rise of fundamentalist Christianity within USA proper, in order to adequate the new lowered life style fruit of a decreased economy (Cultural Counter-revolution), e.g. loss of women rights (need for rising birth rates in order to compensate for the loss of cheap immigrants, women as "birthing pods");

7) in general, increased use of the proverbial stick instead of the proverbial carrot, because of lack of resources, towards its remaining provinces (reverse Soviet Union) in order to slow down decaying quality of life in the USA proper, which may (nazism) or may not (social-fascism) have a racial, or religious (classical fascism) legitimizing narrative.

8) other important aspects I may have forgotten to tell here.

I also predicted this metamorphosis will take a lot of time, probably some 150 years, up to 250 years.

This is my wild prediction. I may be right or make a fool of myself.

Whatever the case, one thing is certain: the USA analyzed the case of the fall of the USSR and is definitely not willing to collapse suddenly like the Soviets did. The Americans will suck their provinces dry before showing the slightest signs of collapsing, they will fight to the end. The Soviets, hearing the cry for independence and right of self-determination of its smaller republics, quickly and easily gave them up, and dissolved the Union; that's definitely not gonna happen with the American Empire: its "allies" will collapse first, one by one.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2021 1:06 utc | 81

A little section here from a global times article I linked in the open thread...
" It will not sign a treaty of alliance like what Japan, Australia and the UK have done.

Because once such a treaty is signed, the losses will outweigh the gains for India. Given the gap in national strength, under the framework of a US-India alliance, India will merely play the role as a follower."

The actual agreement may and I think is far more important than subs. Subs may well be a deliberate red herring if this deal locks us into the militarily as UK and Canada are locked in through NATO.

This from Guardian

The US, UK and Australia are setting up a trilateral security partnership aimed at confronting China, which will include helping Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The initiative, called Aukus, was announced jointly by US president Joe Biden and prime ministers Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, joined virtually by videoconference. They presented it as the next critical step in an old alliance.

Morrison said teams from the three countries would draw up a joint plan over the coming 18 months for assembling the new Australian nuclear-powered submarine fleet...

Prior to this I think we just had the ANSUS treaty which was more a letter of intent rather than a binding agreement. I suspect this Aukus agreement will lock us into US military action against China, giving US control over Australian military forces similar as US excercises control over NATO military forces.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 1:13 utc | 82

Posted by Jen @ 77

Pastor Morrison's tourism marketing moment, the advertisement courtesy of UK based, Saatchi & Saatchi, but banned in the UK.

'Where the Bloody Hell Are You'. AKA Lara Bingle's 15 minutes of fame:

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 1:14 utc | 83

@58 MB
"I had a feeling from the start that these kind of deals were what brexit was all about."

So did I. When Brexit first came on the scene, my immediate reaction was "they're circling the wagons. It's going to be the Anglosphere .vs. the world".

There are a few implications, centered on India:

a. India doesn't really fit into the BRI model, and it doesn't really fit that well into the Anglosphere model, either, just less-badly. India has population, needs markets and raw materials and the industrial make-over that China just completed.

a.1. Markets. If India doesn't join BRI, it's cut out of the eurasian markets. No EU (not part of the Anglosphere, right?), all that leaves is UK, Canada, U.S. and Australia, possibly some M.East non-BRI participants. Will any of those candidates want to run a trade deficit to support an industrializing and exporting India? Problematic. U.S. might be willing to trade imports for dollars, but will India go for that? How will the dollar fare once the Anglosphere plan gets in gear?

a.2 Raw materials. Import from Australia and Canada. Export what? Again, how much longer will a diminished Anglosphere be willing to export jobs to India?

a.3 Industrial make-over. Will the Anglosphere be willing to conduct the second, massive tech and production equipment transfer (first was to China) to India? How will that play at home?

So, from the U.S. point of view, its looking more and more like the "pivot" is indeed a strategic retreat. It looks like it's an Anglosphere plus possibly India retrenchment. Karlof1, what's your take on how the "retreat" is going to play out?

Looks to me like it's going to be more of an economic contest than a military or a financial one. Looks like military and financial levers are reaching the end of their efficacy...and the economic contest is not looking that good right now for the U.S.

U.S. needs to concentrate on rebuilding itself. Retreat home and get to work.

===== relatedly....

Nuke subs to Australia? For what? U.S. has plenty nuke subs. They can go anywhere, stay as long as they like. Why does anyone need any more of them? I must be missing something basic...the idea is making no sense to me.

I also subscribe to the "it's a political PR show" interpretation, and it seems ... surreal. Maybe the sub deal is a carrot to cement the notion of "join the Anglosphere". But forsaking China for the Anglosphere carries really big risks for Australia.

Think about how much raw material won't get sold to China by Australia. That's going to cause some political friction within Australia.

Here's a quick thumbnail sketch of Australia's exports, excerpted from

Australia’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were iron, coal, petroleum gases, gold and aluminum. In aggregate, those major exports account for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Australia. That relatively large percentage suggests a concentrated range of exported goods.

Australia leads the world for exporting iron, coal and petroleum gases.

The latest available country-specific data shows that 85.6% of products exported from Australia were bought by importers in: China (43% of the global total), Japan (9%), United States (6.2%), South Korea (6.2%), United Kingdom (4.9%), India (3.4%), New Zealand (3.3%), Singapore (2.6%), Taiwan (2.6%), Hong Kong (2.2%), Vietnam (2.1%) and Indonesia (1.6%).

So who are those subs going to get pointed at? The customer who buys 43% of Australia's exports?

Only possible alt market (big enough) for Australia is India, if indeed this wagon-circling "Anglosphere" strategy is actually afoot.

Should be seeing some movement on the India-Anglosphere-Aussie trade deals and "integration" shortly. If so, that lends credence to the Anglosphere theory.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Sep 17 2021 1:16 utc | 84

vk 83

That last paragraph is also my take on the US. As for time frame, the next twenty years will be interesting especially the next ten. Everything is heating up fast and the sides are separation. It is possible that the empire will draw down to just the anglosphere five-eyes countries locked off from the rest of the world but I think it more likely the anglosphere will ensure it's own destruction in an attempt to not lose global domination.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 1:21 utc | 85

Tom Pfotzer 86 "Nuke subs to Australia? For what? U.S. has plenty nuke subs. They can go anywhere, stay as long as they like. Why does anyone need any more of them? I must be missing something basic...the idea is making no sense to me."

I think nuke subs is media cover for two things. 1)US will be basing nuclear powered ships and subs along with nuclear weapons here. 2) the actual signed agreement locks Australian military into and under US command.

The agreement will most likely be something very difficult to get out of if on the faint chance, some actual independent and honest politicians were elected to office.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 1:30 utc | 86

Australia will no doubt be able to reclaim its independence if the U.S. col!apses. Which I think is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Lysias | Sep 17 2021 1:39 utc | 87

Tom Pfotzer "Should be seeing some movement on the India-Anglosphere-Aussie trade deals and "integration" shortly. If so, that lends credence to the Anglosphere theory."

Indian hatred of China is the same as Ukraine nazi hatred of Russia. In this way India is the jewel in the anglosphere crown. Nuclear armed and possessing a massive deposit of cannon fodder.

Modi looks to be Trying to US the US against China but retaining India's Independence. It was only Modi on the Indian side that prevented a much larger border war erupting over the Galwin valley incident when he said never at anytime did Chinese set foot on Indian soil. I don't think much of Modi, but he may well be a target for regime Change as there will be plenty of takers that would lead India into a great deal of death and destruction on the border with China. Then India will truly be the jewel in the anglosphere crown.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 1:46 utc | 88

I think the nuke subs are just a quick cash grab by the Americans. They key here is to understand the USA is going through a period of gerontocracy.

The USA elites certainly don't trust the millennials to take charge of the Empire. Up to Bill Clinton, there was some hint some kind of smooth generational transition was taking place, in a process that culminated with Gen-X Obama (who took office at the perfect age). However, after Obama, the Boomers took the office back, in a clear process of reaction against the new generation of politicians both from the Republican and the Democrat elites.

Those nuclear submarines deal must be seen, therefore, through the lens of a gerontocrat. Joe Biden and his generation will not live to see what will happen in the next 50 years. They're desperately trying to leave the Empire in excellent conditions to the millennials, so that even them could not screw it up. That's why their decisions are, at the same time, very short term but symbolically long-term. Those nuclear submarines are a symbol, a message to the next generation (millennials), of what they expect to see from them after they die.

In this sense, Kamala Harris is the perfect metaphor of the despair of the American gerontocracy. She's a non-entity. But she's a caricature of what the boomers see as the young, coming America. It's like some kindergarten teacher gave them a blank paper and a case of color pencils and asked them to make a draw of what they think their country will be in the future, and the result was a Kamala Harris.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2021 1:50 utc | 89

I have to jump in here to correct some egregiously wrongheaded comments about submarines supposedly becoming 'obsolete' and 'easy to track.'

Nothing could be further from the truth! Submarines are fiendishly difficult to find in the world ocean, which is basically a black hole, as far as being able to locate anything in it!

[Recall that it took nearly three years of a massive search effort involving France and the US to find the ocean floor wreckage of Air France flight 447 in the South Atlantic.]

Unlike the earth's airspace, which can be completely monitored 24/7 and all flying objects tracked by radar and other means, even out to near space, this is not the case with the world ocean, which is completely IMPENETRABLE by radio waves. This means that neither radar, nor radio communications can work.

In fact, communicating with a submerged sub is effectively impossible---other than sending extremely low frequency signals [ELF] that require an antenna that basically consists of a very large chunk of the earth landmass itself.

Both the US and Russia have such antenna systems, which require soil of unusually low electrical conductivity, over a huge area. Here is a graphic outline of the Russian ZEVS ELF system in Siberia.

Obviously the sub cannot communicate back since it has no such huge antenna. It has to either surface or release a radio buoy to the surface in order to talk back. But using such a device makes it possible for the adversary to intercept such signals and even home in on the location.

The ELF system would be used to send a launch order to subs carrying SLBM nuclear intercontinental missiles.

There is no known physical principle that could make it possible to find subs from space satellites as some have speculated here.

The only way to find a sub is to LISTEN for it. Sound carries very far in water, due to its density. And subs use sophisticated SONAR arrays to listen for the distant sounds of adversary boats.

A similar kind of device is used by anti-sub aircraft, by dropping a sonobuoy to the surface which consists of a small sonar listening device and a radio transmitter that sends back information. But this is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is only viable in relatively confined navigation channels were it is known that subs have traversed in the past, or you suspect that they may be there.

Mostly these are exercises in futility against modern nuclear submarines. If they do not want to be found, they won't be!

From time to time, we hear some sensationalist claptrap about new whizbang 'technologies' being developed to find subs. For instance this piece in the ridiculous National Interest popular magazine, about Chinese experiments with lasers and magnetic anomaly detection.

This is all pie-in-the sky. Such techniques have been explored for years by the much more technologically-advanced Russia and US [although China is making very big strides in all areas of difficult science nowadays].

The most promising technique for locating subs is by means of ocean-floor sonar detection networks, like the US SOSUS, which is no longer in operation, but consisted of undersea cables with passive sensors that bridged the so-called GIUK gap, for Greenland-Iceland-UK.

The Russians are now building a much more comprehensive active detection network that rings the entire Arctic Ocean. A graphic here, and an article here, by the prominent amateur researcher HI Sutton [who despite lacking formal military-technical credentials is a knowledgeable source].

The network will consist of a multiple sonar arrays analogous to the famous US Navy SOSUS system (actually nothing like the vintage SOSUS in technology terms but a convenient analogy).

The logical aim is to provide Russia with real-time tracking of the latest NATO submarines operating in northern waters. This addresses the NATO submarine advantage head-on and would allow persecution of prowling US-UK nuclear powered attack submarines, and improve survivability for Russia's own nuclear armed ballistic missile submarines.

This system will be powered by miniature underwater nuclear reactors placed on the ocean floor. These undersea nuclear power plants will power the ocean-floor sonar arrays, and there is a good description and lots of interesting graphics in the above-linked article.

Obviously things like this sub detection network are huge undertakings, and there is no guarantee that they cannot be compromised in some way. The history of military technology is one of measures and countermeasures.

The simple fact is that subs are the most deadly weapons carriers in existence. And will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Ships and aircraft trying to find adversary subs need to get fairly close---sound does carry for long distances in water, but not like radio waves in air.

But subs do not need to get all that close to surface ships that they may be targeting. They are equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles [supersonic and even hypersonic in the case of Russian cruise missile subs] that can have a range of hundreds of kilometers. That is well outside the range of any detection or antisub weapon that a ship or aircraft may carry.

Even surface ships are difficult to find. Ground-based radars cannot reach ships in the ocean because of the curvature of the earth that limits the radio horizon. I have written here about Russia's long-range hypersonic weapons, some of which, like the Zircon and Kinzhal, are designed to target ships from long range of several hundred to over 1,000 km.

But that poses the problem of how do you know where the enemy ship is located?

Well, one method is radar surveillance aircraft, but they cannot be up all the time and everywhere at once. The solution is having radar onboard orbiting satellites.

This is exactly what the USSR had for years, the RORSAT system, for radar ocean reconnaissance satellite. It was the only such system ever in existence, and it was used back in the day for the same purpose of finding US surface ships for Russian ship, aircraft and sub-borne missiles to target [which were high supersonic and long ranged of up to 1,000 km even back then].

That system has been out of commission for years, but Russia is now putting up a similar radarsat system called Liana. These will also be able to intercept ship communications, unlike the old sats.

That network is still being built out, and there is some info here, and here.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 1:56 utc | 90

France Reportedly Cancels Washington Gala After 'Betrayal' Submarine Deal

Yeah, sure, that will teach them.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2021 2:00 utc | 91

@ Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 1:56 utc | 93

Nobody here is stating nuclear submarines aren't great.

The problem is Australia will:

1) only build 8,

2) they will only arrive well into the 2030s; and

3) they don't have the personnel (yet, and for the foreseeable future, for that matters) with the adequate know-how to operate them.

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2021 2:02 utc | 92

I think @OrientalVoice and @Yeah,Right make a logical assessment. Drags out, goes nowhere, screws the French for no clear reason. Australia might actually come out ahead, playing just the cancellation fees.

@Gordog, thanks for the detail, and I agree that some comments above who say subs will be obsolete have it are mistaken. However some of that is the stuff of nuclear war fantasy - keeps a million men employed in a various countries, but Australia is not one of them. And they should be thankful for it -- if something goes wrong, it's them and Africa that's left.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 17 2021 2:30 utc | 93

I start to see why Russian military science is so far ahead of western military science. China is catching up fast, leading the world in a number of technologies now. Western Academia seems to get hemmed in by its education, locked into this belief that what they have been taught and know is all there is to know in whatever field. It is something that is very strong in the medical field, perhaps not so at the leading edge of non big pharma research. Knowledge that should be a foundation to move further mostly becomes boundaries...
I guess this is one of, or a big reason why China and Russia are now becoming the center of the world in most spheres.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 2:33 utc | 94

They would have let France join the alliance but then we would have had FAUKUS.

We can't have that can we?

Posted by: jiri | Sep 17 2021 2:41 utc | 95

jiri @ 98


Posted by: gottlieb | Sep 17 2021 2:46 utc | 96

Forgotten facts in B's article:
1) The PCC's South China sea illegal grab by changing pristine coral islands into concrete airports/ docks hundreds of kms from China itself.
2) The PCC's self declared future grab of independent island Taiwan, recently demonstrated in aggressive military fly-overs.
2) The PCC's product export restrictions on Australian products last year, hitting Australian coal, timber, cotton, meat, barley & wines. Iron ore next? All this for criticizing the PCC's overseas export of Covid while keeping internal lockdowns.
4) The PLA aggression in the Himalayas towards India and Bhutan leading up to dozens of deaths in may 2020. Anything for their steel Belt - not exactly a silk scarf.

Sure, the US-elite plays Maffia around the globe, but the PCC is playing catch up with Triad tricks as the direct neighbors have found out.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 17 2021 2:53 utc | 97

the Aussie military finally reveal the REAL reason for the nuclear subs!

Posted by: powerandpeople | Sep 17 2021 2:56 utc | 98

China - First trip to mars successfully deploys lader module from the orbiter, which successfully lands and successfully deploys a vehicle that returned scientific measurements, photos, and I think video. Successful operation landing on and exploring far side of the moon. Bring back rocks - I don't recall if that was the same operation or separate successful operation. New to space but making very few mistakes when jumping quickly to the leading edge.
Quantum communication. Quantum communication through optic fibre has been the norm there for some time in links that require top security. Has successfully tested Quantum communication via satellite enabling secure communications not hemmed in by node to node optic fibre. Also at the leading edge of quantum computing.

China testing/researching laser to find submarines..... The little I know of it, much depended on the abilities of the receiver to detect just a few photons of reflected light, and that was the type of receiver they were using. At some point, the submarine will go the way of the battle ship and aircraft carrier. The way Russian and Chinese science are progressing, that time is not far away. Russia has had a breakthrough in physics that is incorporated into one or some of their new weapons systems......

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 3:03 utc | 99

Breaking news,

China has applied to join the 11 member Pacific trade bloc:

Current members are Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, Peru and Malaysia.

China has a sense of humour.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 3:05 utc | 100

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