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 later 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

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

The same old BS game of butt kissing tribute to the empire du jour.

No doubt the said submarines come with USA crews and maintenance contracts etc. And will no doubt be used as frontline 1st sacrifice if/when the time comes.

It's called milking the cash-cow basically. Aust is just the new Saudi Arabia.

Submarine business here in Oz is basically just a political 'big numbers' card game of geopolitical virtue signaling. They are not really needed and they never really arrive. No need to get too excited, imo.

Posted by: imo | Sep 17 2021 3:08 utc | 101

antonym #100

Taiwan is a China island. It has net been an independent island since the Dutch sailed their spice galleons there in the 1600's. At that time the locals were less than friendly toward unwelcome visitors. The Dutch recruited a cannon fodder mercenary army from China and landed them on Taiwan to slaughter the indigenous locals. Over time Taiwan became part of China, was annexed by the colonial Japanese and then after Japan was destroyed in 1945, the island was ceded back to China. I understand that is by formal treaty.

China has possession of Taiwan by formal international agreement all else is mendacious belligerence propagated by the idiot USA and its clients of Japan and five eyes.

It is independent in that China has been unwilling to put down its rebellion due to the attractiveness of the technology transferred there by the UKUSA founded manufacturers. China does not seek wars as it is far preferable to develop negotiated trade and financial integration.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 17 2021 3:18 utc | 102

As an arms supplier, France has competed very well against USA.

Example: French Rafale has done surprisingly well against USA's F-35 for international sales. Many countries have bought them.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2021 3:21 utc | 103

Paul 103

I doubt China finds any humor in what we are doing. It will though give us every chance to avoid following the US to its destruction, but there is no way our dear leaders will depart from the US.
We are the southern anchor and Japan the northern anchor of US power in the Asia pacific.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 3:23 utc | 104

... and a likely reason why diesel is out is that the toadying cretins in Canberra have let the nation's strategic fuel industry wither away. Refineries here are fast becoming little more than bulk storage tanks for imported fuels from/via Singapore. Well, that idiot and dubious 'globalisation' strategy of decades past obviously has limitations if/when China decides that the Chinese-triad run Singapore are in fact just the southern part of the South China sea's chain of Spratly Islands.

This irrationality is very dangerous. Either the US empire is going to settle down into its mild peer-to-peer sunset days, or we all (globally) are going to be in deep doodoo's.

Posted by: imo | Sep 17 2021 3:27 utc | 105


Do more real research before you bring your US and InDian propaganda to this site.

Posted by: surferket | Sep 17 2021 3:48 utc | 106

This was the headlines in Australia a bit over a year ago..
"Australia to spend $270b building larger military to prepare for 'poorer, more dangerous' world and rise of China"

No doubt a good percentage of those billions even back then was for naval bases for US nuclear powered and armed ships and submarines. Remaining percentage for land based missiles?

I guess we will be very useful for the US in soaking up return fire if they kick anything off which US seem intent on doing re Taiwan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 3:52 utc | 107

Posted by Peter AU1 @107

China took note of the very public and calculated insults by Julie Bishop and Alexander Downer on the 7.30 Report. Both retired foreign ministers had their instructions from the Trump administration. They came out of the woodwork, like the worms they are, to make trouble.

This was followed by the ugly public rebuke when China's plane loads of donated PPE. masks and ventilators were rejected and they flew back to China.

Australia's defence procurement and manufacturing has been an expensive and politicised shambles for decades. Much depends on where it will be built and marginal seats win.

French defence contractor Thales, chose Bendigo, Victoria.

The Liberals privatised Sydney's Garden Island Naval Dockyard and created the ADI conglomerate. Now Garden Island has lost the superb machinery and most of the workers.

They couldn't run a chook raffle.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 3:57 utc | 108

I guess off you wanted to wreck a country it would be difficult to draw up a better plan than what has occurred. The destruction of the bit of Tech nad manufacturing we did have so we rely totally on exporting raw materials and importing manufactured goods, even down to refined fuel, then turning on the country we sell most of the raw materials to.
I think in the not too distant future we will see US companies owning whatever is left of the country.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 4:07 utc | 109

Gordog | Sep 17 2021 1:56 utc | 93
"Both the US and Russia have such antenna systems..."

Conveniently one of five transmitting stations is located near Exmouth, Western Australia. The Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt, formerly known as U.S. Naval Communication Station North West Cape.
All five stations are on sovereign US territory.

The 1967 disappearance of Harold Holt - assassinated by the CIA or a defecting Chinese spy.
I tend to favour the CIA assassination theory due to fact that the US Navy named a ship after him - USS Harold E Holt.

Posted by: ted001 | Sep 17 2021 4:08 utc | 110

@surferket 109

I had preferred Australia to buy French nuclear subs but that might have run into an US / Chinese road blocks ?? Better the EU gets more independence from the US, but little hope under a Macron, not a De Gaulle.

As for propaganda, I read a lot here. Intolerance to different views is an authoritarian streak, so you would fit right into the PCC.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 17 2021 4:10 utc | 111


It's not Intolerance of viewpoints but that of trash propaganda brownie points that's insulting the average readers of this site.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 17 2021 4:26 utc | 112

No time for devil's advocate opposite boy,
Some viewpoints just suck up oxygen.

Posted by: ld | Sep 17 2021 4:39 utc | 113

This 'Antonym' character is spouting nothing but very CRUDE propaganda.

To me it is offensive as hell, because it's a pack of BRAZEN lies, with not a smidgen of truth behind it.

That he has the nerve to point fingers about 'intolerance' of dissenting views is pure douchebag territory.

I had hoped no one would engage with such BS, but since several commenters have, it's simply time for plain speaking.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 4:40 utc | 114

@112 Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 4:07 utc

"I think in the not too distant future we will see US companies owning whatever is left of the country."

I'm on the western side. The 'country' colony is owned by the English/British Monarch. Full Stop. When King Charles arrives things might change but I doubt it.

I spent much of my working life in (IT) within the mining development and regulation domain. I have no empirical data on the topic. However, in-house anecdotal discourse at the time (c. 2000) implied that, with extremely low historical royalty rates to the state government (commonwealth only gets oil/gas off past the 12mile state waters line), and all the other oligopoly business with international mining companies that control the markets (and have no real value-add purpose with a single market called China), that around 70% of the total value of this 'Saudi-level' business model flowed off-shore to London and New York in the form of profits and shareholder dividends. Some local workforce (wage) benefits but otherwise it was a '1/3 of a continent sized' mining quarry.

Overseas readers may not appreciate the micro-statistics/dynamics at play in the western third of the continent. Area: 2.646 million km² and Population: 2.667 million (Sept 2020). Capital city, Perth's 2021 population is now estimated at 2,067,333. That leaves about 500k outside the city and most of those lives in a handful of regional towns (mostly the 30k size and one at 80k). The agricultural south west corner is under economic reprisal blockade from China (grains, wine, meat) as the latter responded to Trump's market blackmail to bail out the highly subsidized USA farmer domain -- fast becoming a Bill Gates industrial-scale plantation empire --by simply re-assigning Australian export quotas to the US market.

Thanks to the scum sucking Canberra criminal cretins (CCC) New Zealand has more agency than this 21st century colony. We are not even the waging tail on the dog, more like a flea on the tail. Time for a revolution, Gough Whitlam style? No way, most of the geriatrics living (and voting) out here are UK expats living on their UK-pensions at the expense of a devalued aud$.

Given all this, the plantation owners (London + New York) are simply consolidating their assets and moving international funds (called $tribute) to bolster their fiat-money printing scam under the false illusion that it has anything to do with free market capitalism. China now has Russia and Afghanistan and Iran to encircle the central Asian dominions.

Climate change and Belt-and-Road developments (with gold-based reserves) basically ensures that any embargo of Australian raw materials is small strategic value in the long run and only a minor inconvenience in the short term. And probably a useful next-stage catalyst at that. A population of 25-million is not even a row in the Chinese economic foreign market spreadsheet. Brazil can supply iron ore and any competitive distance deficit is mitigated with a market demand of 214,380,101. That's an awful lot of tractors to trade!

Posted by: imo | Sep 17 2021 4:45 utc | 115

We in the Australian anti-war movement have come up with another form of the new acronym, which sums up well how Australia is actually going to benefit from these subs: USUKA!

Posted by: Stephen Darley | Sep 17 2021 4:46 utc | 116

This 'Gordog' character is spouting nothing but very CRUDE propaganda.

To me it is offensive as hell, because it's a pack of BRAZEN lies, with not a smidgen of truth behind it.

That he has the nerve to point fingers about 'intolerance' of dissenting views is pure douchebag territory.

I had hoped no one would engage with such BS, but since several commenters have, it's simply time for plain speaking.

Did you like it? Don't worry, I will not disturb your nervy snowflake existences much more.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 17 2021 4:55 utc | 117

Spot on b. We all remember poor old Gough who was one of the finest PMs we ever had.

Australia is just the USA's largest aircraft carrier, no more no less. Very depressing.

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 17 2021 4:55 utc | 118

A simple but slightly longer internet search on his crap points would have shown the arrows pointing to the real truths.
But he insist on his drivels that are just propaganda points fit for the legions of sheep commenting on mainstream FB comment sections.
Not everyone here is in favor of China but they bring something worth thinking further to the table here.

Posted by: Surferket | Sep 17 2021 4:58 utc | 119


I grew up in the southwest but left there when I was 17. Re the monarch and the odd flag wavers of her majesty's flag. I have often though of getting a black flag with the white silhouette of Ned Kelly in armor, and in white Arabic lettering have printed on it 'such is life' and have it flying high in my front yard. I guess there would be some interesting developments if I did that.

I haven't been in the sort of occupation or really researched it much but had been fully aware that when it came to foreign 'investors', US and UK owned a very big chunk.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 5:02 utc | 120

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 17 2021 4:55 utc | 117

Nah man, keep at it. Notice how none of your low-quality posts have been deleted? It's not like any of your well-worn talking points are any different from what all of us in the English-speaking world have to endure from our mainstream media echo chambers on a daily basis. You just have to endure a little more pushback on forums like this. Think you can bear it?

Posted by: JD | Sep 17 2021 5:05 utc | 121

Defense Schmeefense! As if a handful of subs can protect Oz from anything. IMO, too many over-complicate this submarine scam which is quite simply, an imperial tax foisted upon Australia.
Australia is one of the few paid up poodles that still possesses actual y'know goods of value. Real wealth that isn't from financialisation jiggery pokery, so Oz is being hit with a 'loyalty surcharge' of $80 Billion to $150 Billion. The latter figure includes all the addon costs for maintenance & refueling which will be charged over the lifetime of the subs. It does not however include the cost overruns and inevitable 'unforeseen circumstances' which judging by previous such taxes will push the final figure closer to $300 billion.

Meanwhile in Oz Joe Public is being snowed by the $2.4 billion figure which is the amount the has been wasted on the frog subs so far. Anyone who casts a beady eye over the story in the Oz media has to dig deep to find much talk of the $150 billion figure.
From the link above:


To put the sheer size of the F-35 fighter project into perspective, the program’s budget blowout alone is the equivalent of three National Broadband Networks.

It is 77 times more expensive than the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, which opened last month.

Just as the project is supported by both halves of the Oz political structure, right & far right, here in Aotearoa all major political parties from the Greens across to the conservative National Party, currently in opposition, doubled down on their support of NZ law which prohibits nuclear powered vehicles of any sort land, air or sea within Aotearoa's territory. Pretty much a knee-jerk reaction given the huge public support for this blatant furphy.

The law was passed during the term of an ersatz leftist administration back in the 1980's. While kiwis were running around patting themselves on the back for 'standing up to amerika' the same government re jigged the reserve bank so that it's primary objective was no longer maintaining full employment, it became minimising inflation, the kiwi dollar which had up until then been controlled by that reserve bank who used various instruments to hold it at a fixed level, now floated it, meaning we lost control of our economy and Aotearoa's major energy, communication, transport, financial and agricultural assets which up until that time were owned by all citizens were sold off for pennies in the dollar. Some local grub with good political connections would buy the asset initially then after some months had passed it would be flicked on (with a considerable mark-up) to overseas investors.
In effect the Labour Party frauds passed a law banning a few ships with one hand whilst ceding real control of the nation to the very types who the anti-nuke law was aimed at, with the other. Of course amerika confined their pushback over the nuke ban to a few pungent soundbites, there was no need to do more. After Labour got tossed out on their arse for such shameless perfidy, the new National Party government rinsed and repeated by flogging off all remaining assets of the citizens.

Kiwis also see some whatchamacallit, schadenfreude in france copping the rough end of the pineapple on the sub deal as many remember it was the froggies poisoning the Pacific with nuclear testing which kicked off the anti-nuke movement in Aotearoa, when a mob of frog spies murdered a bloke on a anti-nuke boat moored in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) then blackmailed their way out of criminal charges, that was the final straw. It took a decade and a half of france soft soaping kiwis to wash that stink away, but the combination of Oz nuclear subs and french loss brings all that stuff back.

Canada, the only other fully paid up poodle with tangible wealth will likely cop an imperial tax as well, if that has not already happened I imagine amerika will wait a touch to monitor repercussions on Oz then put the word on the Canucks.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 17 2021 5:49 utc | 122

You're somewhat lucky being down there in a small land attached to the arse end of nowhere. Yankistan requires our north so that is is what it has got, not to mention the installations ect Whitlam was a bit pissed about. NZ is perhaps the safest place to be for the duration.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 6:05 utc | 123

@Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 17 2021 5:49 utc | 122

Us Canucks have to make a decision soon between the Saab Gripen, the US F35 and the US F18 Super Hornet. Given Sweden's cold climate and thirst for sales I am sure that Canada could drive a great bargain with them and get a very reliable plane, but I am afraid that the poodle would find a US boot up its arse if we made that decision - so it will be F18 as the least worst option, but the F35 will probably get the nod.

The order is for 88 aircraft, which if the US invades us for our water etc. will be completely useless, and if the Russians and Chinese decide to attack over the Arctic will also be completely useless. So more a protection racket payment to the bully down south. Shame, as all that money could be spent on some real ice breaker ships - the kind Canada will need to protect and patrol its northern maritime border in a melting world.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 17 2021 6:15 utc | 124

karlof1 @ 56:

Thanks for your comments. I wasn't visiting this blog much back in 2016 time frame so I missed all those discussions at MOA on Neoliberalism. Your sizing up of them with the Greek vocab of Pleonexia seems like an accurate assessment of what they are up to, most of the time. Looks to me like they are just shills of American exceptionalism and moral hypocrites. But I doubt that the modern characters you cited, Soros, Clintons, Musk, Bezo, et al have brains enough to actually execute the essence of any definable philosophy. I see them as shallow minds who, out of dumb luck, got into positions of power and influence in the U. S. at a time when the voting public happened to be rather stupid and ill-led. These people showed proficiency in rhetoric and emotional manipulation, but deficiency in deducing after effects of policies or impacts to national interests. Perhaps they have no ideas of what constitute national interests to start with, but unfortunately we ( and many foreign people) ended up suffering from their juvenile thought processes and antics.

Neoliberals still carry this tag--Liberals. The saying goes: If you are 20 and not a liberal, you don't have a heart. If you are 40 and still a liberal, you don't have a brain. All these Neoliberals you cited are over 40. They fit that characterization.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 17 2021 6:16 utc | 125

Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 4:07 utc | 109

I've been lurking for number of years but this Thomas The Yellow Submarine saga has fired me up. It does remind me of something I heard Paul Keating say at a Lowy Institute discussion. Quoting a report on the discussion in the SMH :

"Glug, glug, glug" - that's the sound a sinking battleship makes, according to Paul Keating, who deployed the sound effect to devastating effect on Wednesday to underline his argument that the United States could not expect to dominate China in the South China Sea.

"I always say to these American admirals that every great battleship went down in the first week at sea in the Second World War,"

imo Paul Keating was the last of the Oz PMs prepared to think outside of the box, and still does.

Posted by: Menz | Sep 17 2021 6:22 utc | 126

The statement continued: "The American choice […] shows a lack of consistency France can only note and regret."

Exactly. The only thing France is doing is “noting” and “regretting”. What a joke.

If the French elite had cojones, they would hit back. For example, they could approve Sputnik V through their national regulator and, by being the first large Western nation to do so, put more pressure on WHO/EMA to do the same, potentially hitting the revenues of Anglo-Saxon vaccine manufacturers.

But all we’re going to see is “regretting”. They can’t even protect their own vaccine manufacturers:

The U.K. terminates its COVID vaccine contract with Valneva—wiping out almost half its market cap (Fortune, Sophie Mellor, September 13, 2021)

The U.K. government has canceled its order of 100 million doses of the late-stage COVID-19 vaccine from France-based biotech firm Valneva—leading company shares to plummet by 45%.

The U.K. government said it had terminated the contract because Valneva was in breach of its obligations under the deal—a claim Valneva “strenuously” denies. The deal was worth up to €1.4 billion ($1.65 billion) with the vaccine set to be manufactured in Scotland. Deliveries were expected to start in 2022.

Back in April, talks between Valneva and the European Commission also broke down because, the EU executive said, the company failed to meet “a certain set of conditions.” Valneva’s prioritization of the U.K.’s order was reportedly a factor.

There was a subsequent resurrection of the talks in late June, suggesting the EU no longer saw this as an obstacle, but Valneva never secured an EU purchase agreement. It has been negotiating vaccine contracts on a country-by-country basis.

Heck, they wouldn’t even hold a proper burial ceremony for a French general and Napoleon’s friend, whose remains were found in Russia—something they must do according to their own laws—just because the Anglo-Saxons told them they must hate Russia, and the French oblige.

Posted by: S | Sep 17 2021 6:30 utc | 127

Menz 126

Yep. Also worth looking up Malcolm Fraser's last articles before he died. They can be found at "the Conversation" website unless they have been wiped. He and Keating would have been on opposite sides earlier, but their views on what is happening and where we are headed as country far past their time in power is the same.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 6:32 utc | 128

S | Sep 17 2021 6:30 utc | 127

Bio is the current era of warfare that many will see. Last era was terrorism, era before that - up front proxies. before that WWII.
I wont be around to see the outcome, but for the multipolar world to live in peace without continuous attacks from five-eyes it can only end one way.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 6:42 utc | 129

Moneycircus on PCC influence in Australia:
Tender secret

The following is not news to Australians but may raise questions about Chinese influence.

Berejiklian was, she admits, the secret partner for over five years of Liberal NSW politician Daryl Maguire who is linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Maguire helped run the Australia Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China, which is a CCP organization that seeks the absorption of Tawian solely on the terms of the People's Republic of China. [5]
Maquire’s activities on behalf of the CCP go deeper. In 2013 he held a press conference on Tibet on behalf of United Front Work Department, an organ of the CCP that focuses on overseas Chinese. [6] Maquire received thousands of dollars in cash at his parliament office as part of a scheme for Chinese nationals to acquire visas fraudulently. A business in NSW would pretend they employed the nationals. He shared the profits with his business associate, Maggie Wang. He also brokered property deals for a major Chinese developer. [7] In Oct 2020 NSW upper house called for Berejiklian’s investigation for corruption. One Nation MP Mark Latham said Maguire had used Berejiklian as ‘a spy’ within her own office. Berejiklian rose to premier of NSW during the 2013-2018 relationship. [8] Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, says the country faces a crisis of Chinese influence, if not a tipping point. His book, Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State, details how it has penetrated public life from universities and business organizations to community groups. [9] It is partly due to a wave of Chinese emigration — which, as we saw, Daryl Maguire facilitated — but also due to billionaire money, conflicted media owners, gullible students and business associations that are effectively Chinese promotion agencies. He alleges 40 former and sitting Australian politicians do China’s bidding, often lured by money from billionaires like property developer Huang Xiangmo — the same man tied to Maguire. Xiangmo called the allegations of hidden Chinese influence, racism.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 17 2021 6:46 utc | 130

Chu Te #32

Right on the money - been in the planning for 40 years

Posted by: m | Sep 17 2021 6:58 utc | 131

Video explainer of Australia’s new multi-billion dollars nuclear submarine deal w US

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 17 2021 7:03 utc | 132

@120 -- Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 5:02

Indeed, fellow countryman.

Most of it is locked up in State Agreements which can't be touched without fear, horror, shock, economic hitman coup, economic risk etc. The usual FUD narrative. Name one other rent (royalties are classed as rents) that have not gone up since the 1960's! One agency annual report came out in the late 1990's with a royalties target of 10% -- some are/were at 3%. Went through all levels of approval and was published. 1998 rings a bell. The oligarch pressure came on and an errata had to be published to remove that 'target' -- Go figure.

Btw, as you may know, the state was basically developed by land grant to the British capitalist railway consortiums which then sold land for farming to pay for the tracks and rolling stocks to haul out the trees, grain and animal stocks. Some interesting history here

I can't find the link, but from my last research project under employment (on sinkholes would you believe) turned up an obscure report/Act (1960's vintage from memory but could be wrong) whereby the government paid out the last of the London shareholders in one of these 19th century railway ventures. I only stumbled on due to the fact that the house collapse and sinkhole had been partly due to an earlier quarry mine operated by said northern railway company.

It was the colonial business model and I'm not making value judgments on that. Just pointing out how long those London capitalist fingers (and government bailed out bank accounts) stretch across the centuries (and equator). I have a feeling it may have come under this model ...

Posted by: imo | Sep 17 2021 7:06 utc | 133

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

I'm assuming you're talking about our government and 1%. If you're including most Australians who woke up to discover an alliance was made completely and utterly without consultation tyrannically and in secret, then: fuck you.

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 17 2021 7:23 utc | 134

Judging from the post at #130, the curries need to get real and flick a few dollars in the general direction of NSW pollies. That mob (pretend left or right) are never averse to a 'donation' from anyone. The best bit is the hold that NSW pols have over whichever mob is in control of the federal shouting match. That means that any favours done to sydney vote-catchers quickly attain a national flavour.

The curries should quit their incessant whining at ordinary decent australians and do as the chinamen have done, that is invest a few mill into one or other (preferably both) of the major political parties then sit back to collect the rewards. However I betcha they don't as AFAIK for a curry the only good back-hander is one that goes to a curry pol. IOW the wailing & moaning will continue.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 17 2021 7:39 utc | 135


I have not run onto the railway sale of land before -did not know about it.
My father won a ballot block in or just before 1960. We moved to WA when I was six weeks old. Father and family - my older sister and me - A Plymouth car towing a caravan and a truck towing a trailer driven by his mate. I went back over there when my father was passing away and the trailer much repaired was still in his back yard. I traveled all round Australia and the Girl I married turns out to be the niece of my fathers mate who drove the truck.
Much of my life and where my children grew up was in central west Queensland. That area had originally been huge squatters runs. After I think WWI it was cut up into small soldier settlement blocks of about twenty thousand acres. The requirement to hold these blocks was that the government supplied the wire and the cockies had to cut the posts and erect dog and roo proof fencing - usually enclosing two blocks or and area of forty thousand acres.
My wife and me had title to a small block here in Vic. It was given to us by my father inlaw as he would very much liked us to live close to them. We never sold it or done anything with it other than pay the rates based on its value as a block that could be built on which was stipulated when the block was subdivided off his farm.
At this stage in my life withe ill health ect we looked at building there but changing zoning regulations had made that impossible. As a nest egg to be saved for a rainy day, the changes had made its value close to worthless. The title to that block was "Estate in Fee Simple". That is a very old legal term. Its exact definition was spelled out in a commonwealth vs NSW court case when the commonwealth was acquiring the land for the ACT.
On researching it, I ran onto a small group of others also looking into it. The person I contacted told me straight up their phones were monitored. A few days after that I was raided. On the morning it occurred I had been up all night trying to find and eliminate a bug I was sure was in the computer. I had been looking for it for some time, and that morning at 7 am I said I thought I had eliminated it. We were renting g a flat at the time time. It was simply a shed that had been set up to live in while the owners built a house. There were four of us coming and going throughout the day. The owner and his partner living in the completed house and me and m,y wife living in the shed.
At ten am that morning there was a very short gap between the partner of the owner going out and ,my wife returning. In that gap, both places were raided for mobile internet devices. Other than a broken window and missing ipads, very little touched in the owners house, expensive rings left sitting on the sink ect.
My flat where they found what they were after was totally ransacked. Everything gone through.

When I was researching that legal term, the full transcript could be easily found at a website once you knew what you were looking for. That has been erased from the internet and western search engines. Several years ago I used yandex to try and turn it up again and that brought up a section of the relevant part of the transcript at a blog, but the actual official transcript of that court case had been erased from the internet.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 8:05 utc | 136

“well-suited for countering economic coercion.”

Exactly how will more weapons help Australia economically?? For starters, these subs cost over double, so Australians are already 50 billion out of pocket, and once China reacts fully, they can kiss good bye to whatever is left of 36% of their total exports, which is China's share, or should we say now, was.

AUKUS will cause a RUKUS, Australia is being played for A SUKU, and sticking so close to the US will only FUKUS in the long term.

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 17 2021 8:14 utc | 137

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

"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."

Interesting if true. We wouldn't have been told about that at the time.

Two views of a Mistral as a Russian ship leaving St. Nazaire.
the Americans are ALSO increasing their airforce in Australia. "For their own good"?

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 17 2021 8:14 utc | 138

I mightn't always agree with them but you have an original way with words debs :)

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 8:15 utc | 139

Et Tu 137

China's diversification of raw material imports will not not change. Oz made out it was china's mate and with the sudden turn, china has called treachery. China is correct in that, and I doubt will change the course it decided on after the Alaska conference. Economically, oz is a dead man walking. Its illustrious leadership has embarked on a cruise to a place that's not good to think about.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 8:33 utc | 140

As Gorgog explained, detecting submarines is hard, although methods exist that require large investments. Something that China, lacking funds and places in South China Sea that could anchor that infrastructure, would be never capable to build. Wait: they have both?! But do they have time? Oh, well, submarine program is pencilled to leisurely proceed through decades to be completed by 2050. How much time did China need to build its bullet train network? Quite a bit less.

So the hardest thing about submarines (for Australia), apart from submarines themselves, is the purpose. Perusing few articles, I encountered a key phrase: sunken costs. Submarines are good at sinking ships, but they are almost without competition in sinking costs. And it is not like Australia can embark on a stealth bomber/fighter/Santa Claus sled multi-purpose multi-capable airplane program.

The most surprising thing I learned today is how PM of Australia made his carrier. Tourism promotion? When I was younger, I thought that government posts in tourism and sport are rewards for useful but stupid party apparatchiks, deserving some plums but kept away from possibility of inflicting harm. Given that vast experience, so-called "American blackmail" could be a conversation in which an American official said "How about you buying our submarines? " and Morrison saying "Yup" (or whatever "yup" is in Australian).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 17 2021 8:39 utc | 141

I defer to Gordog, but in fact nuclear submarines are quite easy to find provided that they are operating in shallow water off the coastal shelf, and in areas where there are plenty of hydrophones for triangulated detection. In practice, that means, within Tomahawk range of the Chinese mainland. This, of course, is one of the reasons why the Chinese have been frantically taking control of seamounts in the South China Sea.

Nuclear submarines are very good for ballistic missile operation because they can sit deep and far away from anywhere, even though their reactors are very noisy.

And, yes, eventually diesel-electric submarines have to come up for air. However, in the modern world most such submarines would give themselves away the moment they fired their missiles; the point being that they could sneak up on their targets quietly and almost undetectably. The Chinese, by the way, have a lot of diesel-electric submarines (some of them now equipped with power plants which don't require surfacing, though these can't operate for long periods) and therefore can pose a much more serious threat to U.S. allies in the region (including, of course, Australia) than the Australian nukes pose to China.

It is, as b says, a very silly plan. But it has been ballyhooed across the world, because AUSTRALIA DEFIES THE YELLOW PERIL, just as they did in their goldfields in the good old days when men were men and sheep were apprehensive.

Posted by: MFB | Sep 17 2021 8:42 utc | 143


So the hardest thing about submarines (for Australia), apart from submarines themselves, is the purpose. --> So the hardest thing to find about Australian submarines, apart from submarines themselves, is the purpose. By the time they will be in service, they will be militarily useless.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 17 2021 8:43 utc | 144

Piotr Berman
In oz shitkicker spelling, it is yep, yeah go fuck yourself ect. Other than that you seem to have an accurate view of the situation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 8:55 utc | 145

So the name of the new alliance is


From A-UK-UK

But A is not Australia, it is Austria, as everyone knows. Australia is AUS. So the proper name would be:


Which incidentally perfectly encapsulates the nature of the relationship...

Posted by: Cosham | Sep 17 2021 8:57 utc | 146

* I meant AUKUS in the second line, obviously

Posted by: Cosham | Sep 17 2021 8:59 utc | 147

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 17 2021 7:23 utc | 134
'm assuming you're talking about our government and 1%. If you're including most Australians who woke up to discover an alliance was made completely and utterly without consultation tyrannically and in secret, then: fuck you.

That is uncalled for, you only insult people in their faith in you, I always thought of you as gentleman.

Posted by: Grishka | Sep 17 2021 9:01 utc | 148

Patroklos has correctly picked things. Australians can be a little up front and direct.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 9:11 utc | 149

Grishka 148

Gentleman... officer and gentleman... .... jeez
another living in the world of academia with eyes glued to instruments oblivious to the world about them.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 9:33 utc | 150

Posted by: imo | Sep 17 2021 4:45 utc | 115

thanks for expressing your opinion so well, I agree.

The battle for Australian mining resources was lost after Whitlam and his minister for mineral resources, RFX Connor, were dismissed by the coup.

I am very wary of those attacking our erudite barfly, gordog, and I question their motives. Beware.

Posted by: paul | Sep 17 2021 10:08 utc | 151

paul "our erudite barfly"...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:13 utc | 152

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:13 utc | 152


Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 10:20 utc | 153

Keep your head in the cockpit and watch the instruments..Advice that was given out but exceptionally dangerous in the game I was in...
A clown I used to know talked bullshit and said something to me about blinding people with science...mmm keeping your eyes in the cockpit and eyes glued to the instruments works well until the actual real world earth meets your face.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:21 utc | 154

Oriental Voice @ 48 -- "It's actually a manifestation of stupidity and shallowness of the ruling class. America lacks strategic thinkers...."

It is not strategic thinkers in the ruling class that the US needs, but humane thinkers, thinkers with humanity, thinkers who are not only clever, but wise, and most important of all, human, and not satanic.

Right now, the US is exhibiting the thinking best called the banality of evil: evil things done for evil ends by evil means by evil men who cannot conceive of any other way to live.

Banal. Sad.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 17 2021 10:32 utc | 155

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:21 utc | 154

Keep you eyes on the road and you hands upon the wheel.

It sounds like a person I knew who used to speak to me in Bob Dylan metaphors. This time it's Jim Morrison metaphors.

Just say what the problem actually is.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 10:38 utc | 156

karlof1 @ 52 -- "In other words, the Aussies raised China's ire for what amounts to a nothingburger. OMG, What Folly!!!!"

I can't help asking what if this is not about sense and sensibility, but about brown paper envelopes, about getting it while you can, about the skim for some people?

Regardless, the US gains a huge, unsinkable aircraft carrier that comes with its own supply of cannon fodder; useful idiots to carry out war orders; and huge strategic depth for defensive manouvre (the capital city is near land's end).

p/s -- Thanks for the definition of pleonexia. I call it wanting to eat other people's lunch. The US has been doing that for most of its 200-year existence.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 17 2021 10:43 utc | 157

Antonym, 111

Oh noes!

He said AUTHORITARIAN, what shall we ever do now?

Spontaneously combust, I guess?

This sort of pious incantation is not only boring and disingenuous as fuck, it's extremely rich coming from somebody who's ostensibly adopting the stance of what amounts to the Hindu Nazi Party.

Posted by: Misotheist | Sep 17 2021 10:44 utc | 158

Roger @32 -- "Problem is, its like connecting a whole bunch of one-legged men and hoping that they will be able to run."

Too funny. Your thought will make a good cartoon.

And yes, on the energy front, China is escaping the Malacca Straits chokehold on the fossil fuel front. Look up the molten-salt thorium nuclear reactor that the Chinese has recently begun building.

The US struggles to play Chess while China plays Go (Japanese name) or Wei Chi (Chinese name, literally, "surround game").

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 17 2021 10:51 utc | 159

kiwiklown 157

Brown paper envolopes and money have very little in relation to what is occurring now. This is all about anglo dominance, a fight for survival of anglo dominance and must be viewed as such. For those hooked into anglo dominance of the world, loss of that is unthinkable, similar to looking at extinction or genocide. The coming era will be infinitely worse than the recent era of terror.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:54 utc | 160

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 10:54 utc | 160 -- "This is all about anglo dominance, a fight for survival of anglo dominance and must be viewed as such.:

I see. A fight to the death. War with China is on the table.

Which may explain Xi's deliberate switch from relatively free conspicuous consumption, Western-style, of the last couple decades, to the beginnings of a wartime social posture -- no more sissy boys; no more superstars (actresses / songstresses); new history school books for Hong Kong; gambling law reviews for Macau; no more tuition centres (some funded by Western hedge funds); building a new navy in a huge hurry; etc

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 17 2021 11:01 utc | 161

Paul "Just say what the problem actually is."

All sciences and technology is something I have a great deal of respect for and interest in.
"Keep you eyes on the road and you hands upon the wheel." something about our education system/culture seems to cause most or many that master various fields to keep their eyes upon the wheel.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:02 utc | 162

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 17 2021 10:43 utc | 157

Kia ora, e hoa,

its's the end of NATO and the end of ANZUS , hari.

Ke te haire mai te te marangai.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 11:11 utc | 163


That is very much the way I see it. China battening down the hatches, preparing for a storm - preparing for a war that is sure to come. Russia have already done so. What form this war will take is anyone's guess. Russia has the edge in conventional and strategic weapons and has made clear its nuclear umbrella covers its allies.
Perfidious albion obtained that title by merit, a trait that was passed onto her offspring.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:14 utc | 164

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:02 utc | 162

Agreed , then the bar is lucky to have Gordog to help us with those scientific details.

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 11:29 utc | 165

Paul 165


Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:38 utc | 166

From Reuters...

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Australia and the United States announced expanded military cooperation on Thursday, including rotational deployments of all types of U.S. military aircraft to Australia, a day after announcing a submarine deal denounced by China as intensifying a regional arms race.

The sub deal I think is very much a red herring to distract eyes from the military agreement. Reuters now have a paywall so I can't read the full piece and haven't bothered with the link.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:59 utc | 167

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 11:38 utc | 166

Thank you I also agree with your reply to Kiwiklown, re. 'preparing for a storm'.

My quote in te reo Māori to Kiwiklown " Ke te haire mai te marangai". translates to "prepare for the storm."

'Te' being the definitive article, or 'the' in Te reo Māori [the māori language].

Posted by: Paul | Sep 17 2021 12:02 utc | 168

Although I think the cancellation was unwise, it should be said that American submarines, for technical reasons, were always the Australians’ first choice. But when they made their deal with the French, the Americans weren’t selling to anyone else. Also the French contract wasn’t going well.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 17 2021 12:11 utc | 169

Uninspired/uninspiring thinking going on here.
First if we allow that these new toys are in fact unfindable, a point of view I do not accept given the huge lead time between now and when the boats are put in the water, time I reckon china will spend developing ways and means to detect 'em, but lets pretend that china is unsuccessful. So what?

When a blue does kick off, 3 or 4 Oz subs will have the opportunity to fire a bunch of cruise missiles at Chinese targets.
Subs may still be undetectable but the missiles on the boats aren't undetectable now, let alone in 20 years time so most will be nullified before they reach their target.

Sure a few of these missiles with conventional warheads could get through, so many (by western metrics) Chinese may die, some of the chinese navy may be sunk as well, but given the fact that those Chinese butchered will be a tiny fraction of the population and those boats sunk are merely a part of what is already the largest navy on the planet, one has to question why has Oz even tried, since the odds of these submarines having a meaningful impact on any conflict are zilch.

Where some see so-called science, I see war porn. This is exactly the same "I've got the best/biggest tools" nonsense which has kept the arseholes stealing from us in the name of patriotism since the year dot.

Even if those boats succeed tactically they will gain no strategic advantage, pretending they could do is just the same old, same old bullshit spruikers for war profiteers have been spouting since the time of sticks and stones.

In the end it comes down to whichever people are successfully occupying the teritory and as we have seen time and time again when amerika cranks up a blue, the types who come from the territory under contest just about always defeat the highly trained, expensively equipped amerikans & their puppets, simply because they are far more passionately attached to the outcome than any mob of imported & indoctrinated amerikans plus their equally propagandised sidekicks.

Why? Cos Blind Freddie can see through these deceits even if the 'experts' cannot.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 17 2021 12:36 utc | 170

zerohedge suggests that the other shoe just dropped:

“Getting nuclear subs makes sense for our national defense,” said Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, who has been leading a push in parliament to develop Australia’s nuclear industry. “But no country in the world has nuclear subs without having nuclear power,” he said.

“I thought before the subs deal we should have nuclear power — it makes even more sense now.”

Posted by: Michael | Sep 17 2021 13:09 utc | 171

One minute video--

Video explainer of Australia’s new multi-billion dollars nuclear submarine deal w US

Posted by: arby | Sep 17 2021 13:50 utc | 172

@arby | Sep 17 2021 13:50 utc | 172

Same as @132 and worth repeating :-)

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 17 2021 14:21 utc | 173

"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."
Thenk You for reminding us, B.
But I can assure You that the mainlander Chonese remember the coup-de-crace agains Gough Whitlam very well-- and lots of other strange happenings to the Aussie top politicians. Also, many foreign students sojourning in Mainland China (including Aussies)1972-80 were extremely well informed about these happenings.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Sep 17 2021 14:33 utc | 174

@ imo
@ Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 17 2021 5:02 utc | 120

Australia's Direct Foreign Investment from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

For year 2020 (percentage as a whole of all DFI)
Rank 1: US 23.3%
Rank 2: UK 18.5%
Rank 5: Hong Kong 3.5%
Rank 9: China 2.0%

Posted by: awaiting approval | Sep 17 2021 14:33 utc | 175

AP's Matt Lee Sums Europe's Loss of Faith in Biden

Just three months ago, on his first visit to the continent as president, Biden was hailed as a hero by European counterparts eager to move beyond the trans-Atlantic tensions of the Trump years. But that palpable sense of relief has now faded for many, and its one clear winner, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is on her way out.

Since June, Biden has infuriated America’s oldest ally, France, left Poland and Ukraine questioning the U.S. commitment to their security and upset the European Union more broadly with unilateral decisions ranging from Afghanistan to east Asia. And, while Europe cheered when Biden pledged to return to nuclear negotiations with Iran and revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, both efforts remain stalled nine months into his administration.

... Biden enraged France and the European Union with his announcement that the U.S. would join post-Brexit Britain and Australia in a new Indo-Pacific security initiative aimed at countering China’s increasing aggressiveness in the region.

. . .

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who in June extolled the “excellent news for all of us that America is back,” expressed “total incomprehension” at the announcement of the initiative. “It was really a stab in the back,” he said. “It looks a lot like what Trump did.”


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2021 14:38 utc | 176

Peter, about using lasers on sats to locate submarines:

Let's consider this idea more fully. Even if we can perfect a technique that can use a special type of laser beam to penetrate water and bounce back a COHERENT signal, that is simply the beginning of the battle.

Consider the narrow beam width of a laser and then consider the vast geographic area of the world ocean [or even specific water areas closer to the landmass to be protected]. How are you going to scan that immense area using such a narrow beam? Is that even practical? Will it ever be?

Next, consider the orbital mechanics of a sat flying in low earth orbit. It is passing over the earth at a speed of about 18,000 mph, in the same direction the earth is rotating about its axis, west to east. Since the speed of the earth's rotation is about 1,000 mph, the sped of the sat relative to the earth's surface is still about 17,000 mph.

It means that it is going to be very difficult for a sat to do much scanning with a tiny little laser beam. That is just very basic physical reality.

This is the reason that spy sats circle the earth in a polar orbit. Instead of flying west to east, they fly from south to north, or vice versa. That way the earth is spinning in the exact perpendicular plane beneath them, and they will pass over every square inch of the earth's surface in an intermittent time period. This is usually several days that go by, before the sat covers the exact same flight path over that particular slice of the earth.

People seem to have a goofy idea that there is today an ever-present eye-in-the-sky that is all-seeing and can even zoom in on a bad guy trying to escape from secret agents, lol! That is called fiction and nothing at all to do with reality.

It is very difficult even for spy sats with advanced optics to make out anything bigger than a car or truck that can be clearly seen with the eye, without resorting to 'specialist' techniques where you have people basically 'interpreting' what is depicted below.

A resolution of say one meter means that is the size of a single PIXEL. Obviously you need a bunch of pixels together in one spot in order to form some kind of coherent image of an actual object. Let's recall that your HD computer screen has over two million pixels.

So that is injecting some reality into the discussion of finding subs with satellite lasers. Yes, it is a pipe dream for all intents and purposes.

And besides all of that, you have the problem of laser scattering in the atmosphere, from fog, water droplets in clouds, dust, etc. In addition, lasers require POWER. That is not easy to generate on a satellite. That's why the Soviet Rorsat radar sats used small nuclear generators.

And another commenter stated that it's 'easy' to locate subs in shallow coastal waters by using a network of hydrophones on the sea floor.

No, it is not 'easy.' A hydrophone is not the same as SONAR, which is an echo-location technique that works in a way analogous to radar. A hydrophone is simply a microphone that works unerwater.

The SOSUS system I mentioned previously has been long abandoned because it never worked. It used hydrophones. Yet Russian subs quickly learned how to avoid detection and would regularly pop up off the coast of the US to prove it.

Yes, hydrophones near the Chinese coast do have some utility---they can, at least in theory, detect anomalous underwater noise, and antisub aircraft and ships can then be directed to the area to hopefully find an intruding sub. But Tomahawk missiles have a range of up to 2,500 km, so they can launch from well outside littoral waters.

Peter mentioned another pipe dream, which is quantum computing. This is my favorite example of big hype that has gone nowhere after 30 years of breathless promotion.

Today, even leading researchers in the field are admitting that it may in fact be a dead end!

The general problem is that the science of quantum mechanics is not fully formed. The particular problem relates to quantum 'coherence' which is easily disturbed, even by mere observation. This means that these 'computers' generate a lot of garbage, which is euphemistically called 'errors.'

These errors must be 'corrected' in some way. The problem is that this error-correction itself takes a huge amount of computing overhead.

Some researchers think that the problem of error correction will prove intractable and will prevent quantum computers from achieving the grand goals predicted for them.

Right now, the hype is about achieving something like 50 'qubits' which has purportedly been demonstrated. But some researchers believe it will take 10,000 qubits to make a single LOGICAL qubit that is usable in computing, the rest being for error-correction.

More optimistic researchers say only something like 800 qubits would be needed. Still a pipe dream. The quantum coherence in these devices is measured in microseconds. It is extremely fragile and tenuous.

Things like theoretical physics get a lot of attention in our media and marketing-driven world. Probably because very few people understand it, so it is easy to baffle people with bullshit. The CERN particle accelerator has produced basically nothing of any value, despite many billions and decades of 'work' by physicists and literally mountains of research papers published.

But the simple fact is that 99 percent of our modern world is done with good old Newtonian physics. There are a couple of exceptions. One is satnav systems like GPS which rely on Einstein's general and special theories of relativity to slow down their onboard atomic clocks to compensate for the effect of gravity and speed on time kept by a clock.

Some also claim that semiconductor design involves the use quantum mechanics in order to get the doping of the silicon with additive materials just right. But this is not really true in practice. It is more of an empirical process of trial and error, rather than a mathematical computation predicted by a coherent theory, as for instance the trajectory of a flying object.

Also it is more a case of understanding that that atoms are made up of smaller particles like protons, electrons etc. This is not really what 'quantum states' and 'superposition' and 'uncertainty' is about. No technology in use today uses these things, other than these experimental quantum computers.

Some people will even claim a toaster works on quantum physics because the red glow is due to quantum physics!

Quantum encryption is a very different matter, because it is a very simple thing that can be done using these quantum states. It is simple because encryption relies simply on generating a long prime number, one that cannot be factored [divided]. Even a tiny credit card chip of just several transistors can accomplish this.

The fact that Chinese have shown quantum encryption over sat communication is the same thing as over a cable, which has been done for a long time. There is no difference between getting your TV or internet from a sat or from a cable.

The bottom line is that we are bombarded with half-baked 'science' BULLSHIT in the popular media. This crap is churned out mostly by people who have no understanding of science whatsoever.

The pros who work in these scientific fields are happy to be funded and to publish vast numbers of journal articles and such, of which the huge majority is completely worthless. It is simply a requirement in academia to publish something.

The bigger picture is that we have in the last couple of centuries figured out pretty much everything that is currently within reach of our limits of understanding. It is idiotic to think that this pace of innovation can continue, and that there are more huge discoveries on the way.

We have for a long time been at the point of REFINING our techniques, and making use of the basic physical principles that have long been fully explained and understood.

What is 'innovation' at this point? Making an iphone with rounded corners? Apple got a patent for that. Publishing massive mountains of journal papers that absolutely NOBODY READS?

All of this is what we used to just call busy-work. It is like the Soviet enterprises where you would come to work and not actually do anything. [This isn't actually a bad thing, in my opinion.]

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 15:01 utc | 177

Also a relevant comment by ted001 at 110, who mentions the very low frequency [VLF] antenna in Australia.

The Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt is a very large conventional antenna array consisting of 13 very tall radio towers, each one nearly 400 meters [over 1,200 ft].

The difference is that VLF can only penetrate water to a depth of about 10 to 40 meters. It is useful of course, but is not the same capability as ELF [extremely low frequency, which is at about 80 Hz. VLF is about 1.8 kHz, which is about 200 times smaller wavelength.

Just like ELF, the sub has no way to communicate back at this low frequency.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 15:12 utc | 178

The US has no alternative but confront China if it seeks to retain its hegemony. But it will be facing the very war it needs to avoid.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Sep 17 2021 15:24 utc | 179

S @Sep17 6:30 #127: The only thing France is doing is “noting” and “regretting”. What a joke.

This is excellent commentary!

Peter AU1 @Sep17 6:32 #128: Bio is the current era of warfare ...

I tend to agree. Frightening stuff.

paul @Sep17 10:08 #151: I am very wary of those attacking our erudite barfly, gordog ...

There are many erudite people at the bar. I think you mean technically adept. In non-technical matters, Gordog hasn't been nearly as good. I always look forward to his technical comments, though.

kiwiklown @Sep17 10:51 #159: The US struggles to play Chess while China plays Go ...

Is USA playing chess or chicken? They are quite good at chicken. Go players? Not so much.

Debsisdead @Sep17 12:36 #170: given the huge lead time between now and when the boats are put in the water ... Even if those boats succeed tactically they will gain no strategic advantage ...

Your musings are biased in that you speculate on China's gaining technology that could defeat the advantage of a sub but assume there's no change in technology on the opposing side.

If the subs are outfitted with improved missiles (hypersonic?) then they may well have a strategic advantage.

Peter AU1 @Sep17 11:59 #167: The sub deal I think is very much a red herring ...

I think you're right to suspect more under the surface (pun intended).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2021 15:25 utc | 180

Karma to France for backing out of the helicopter carrier ship deal that it had with Russia after MH17.

Posted by: Geronimo | Sep 17 2021 15:25 utc | 181

Gordog @Sep17 15:01 #177:

The bottom line is that we are bombarded with half-baked 'science' BULLSHIT in the popular media.

And your thoughts on the politicization of science?



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2021 15:31 utc | 182

Hi B, Just wanted to let you know that your website is not accessible by Tor Browser since yesterday afternoon. Was something changed?

Posted by: Dave | Sep 17 2021 15:33 utc | 183

@ Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 15:01 utc | 177

You're talking as if Australia would get those submarines fully operational tomorrow, when in reality it will take decades. We don't even know if they will ever get out of the paper.

You're asking the wrong questions. The main question is: are those eight submarines, delivered two decades from now, be decisive to win the war for the West? Put it in simpler terms: is it enough?

Posted by: vk | Sep 17 2021 15:37 utc | 184

France is well known to have been using bribery for most of its large contracts outside Europe: Iraq, Libya, Saudi arabia, Morocco etc...among many that saw intermediaries becoming sudden millionaires. Bribery is omnipresent in the french government. It is way of life.
Losing the submarine contract is a good lesson for France.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 17 2021 15:46 utc | 185

The thought of Mighty Australia shaking its nuclear fists at puny China sends me into screaming fits of laughter.
One positive note: it must be as obvious to Macron now as it is to Mutte that what remains of Europe's future lies to the east, with sane, cooperative Russia and China, not to the west with its psychopathic nucleo-Argus Eyes.

Posted by: pasha | Sep 17 2021 16:13 utc | 186

Great Article Roundup, "B":

The Chart comparing Time on Station btwn SSKs and SSNs were nice.

The Blackmail-Acquisition of Murican SSNs instead of upgrading the Shortfin to Regular/Nuclear Barracudas serve multiple purposes:

Strategic -
*Create the AUKUS Faction (or a "Raucous" "R"AUKUS, Raucous Racket?) to Face Off CHN. The Anglo-American-ZioMasons (WDC/NYC_WallSt/CityofLondon/Jerusalem) make up the Core Plutocracy and Vassal Oligarchy of this Hegemony.

*The Hegemony have a great deal of Colonial Influence to lose.
**HKG will diminish as CHN will handle the Mainland Trade and Trade Financials.
**TWN will submit or be Invaded (only 110 Miles across the Strait - that Helicopter Distance)
**AUS have been targeted for a Takeover by CHN_Expansionists since the 1970s. The CHN now have a "Blue Water Navy" capable of Trans-Oceanic Deployments; and have the SeaLift/Amphibious Assets to Reach AUS, and from AUS - NZL to Boot Out the Commonwealth.
**FRA are excluded, since Shortfin_Barracudas would require some-to-mostly FRA_MIC-based Weapons/Components.

Tactical -
1) The "R"AUKUS_SSNs can operate like USN and RN SSNs - and
1A) Escort(meet up with / keep up with / protect) Carrier Strike Groups Operating in the South CHN_SEA which will have to cover great distances btwn available Friendly Ports(Kyushu_JPN, Okinawa_JPN, PHL, and SGP) and stay At Sea for Extended Periods.
1B) Stalk CHN_PLAN Carrier/Amphibious Strike Group Equivalents.

Kind Regards,

Posted by: IronForge | Sep 17 2021 16:21 utc | 187

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 17 2021 15:01 utc | 177

Excellent post, the Tokamak hopes harken back to the times of Sakharov and we're still waiting for fusion energy. Not being a technical specialist I can appreciate all the technical details explained by you by simply relying on my high school science education, and all that you explain makes a lot of sense to me, but then again, we really had to work hard back then, with logarithmic tables, slide rules and no time for all the BS and pick an answer test systems use today. Education abandoned the universal renaissance search for knowledge and changed it for the search of social status, the results are here to be seen, and that is why it has become an expensive commodity, student debt is its consequence.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2021 16:26 utc | 188

vk @Sep17 15:37 #183

You're asking the wrong questions. The main question is: are those eight submarines, delivered two decades from now, be decisive to win the war for the West?

This begs the question of what is the right question. And vk points the way to that question having nothing to do with the submarines.

Peter AU1 was also onto something when he wrote @Sep17 11:59 #167: The sub deal I think is very much a red herring ...

<> <> <> <>

"What role does Australia play in regional stability?"

They are now part of a tripwire of defense relationships.

Tensions between China and Australia just add to the claims of China bullying its neighbors. I suspect we'll see more antagonistic measures from Australia (and other countries in the region) in the near future. For example, Philippines President Duterte claims that Chinese occupy the Julian Felipe Reef (aka "Western Philippines").

Death by a thousand cuts?

Furthermore, many people question if USA would go to war with China to defend Taiwan. But there is no question that USA would go to war with China to defend Australia, South Korea, Japan, etc. The more that these countries have defense ties to Taiwan (and each other), the more likely that USA is drawn into a war over Taiwan.

This is Cold War containment.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2021 16:32 utc | 189

Oriental Voice @125--

Thanks for your well reasoned reply! The best examples are those unknown to the public. I don't agree with the inclusion of liberal in the description/definition as I've written before for there's nothing liberal in its essence; as Putin has noted, it's vastly illiberal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2021 16:40 utc | 190

@ pasha (#185), what is the national hierarchy in the Financial Empire? Understand the Financial Empire’s structure, pillars of power, ploys,.. to gain clarity and understand our world.

The Financial Empire is a global debt based financial system administered by the City of London and Wall Street, and enabled by NATO & Six Eyes 👁 (Five Eyes [USA+UK+Aus+Can+NZ] + Israel).

The Global Financial Empire's hierarchical structure looks like the following:
Crown / Core: SIX Eyes - English Union, huge debt generators, negative trade balance (U$A, UK)
Conquered: EU/Germany,.., Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea – Debt distributors, positive trade balance (supporting the US$)
Capture: Russia, China, Brazil, Africa, Iran, ME – (Resource/Asset rich)
Circumference:Rest of the world - India, Poland,...

U.S. Seeking Basing in Australia After Submarine Deal
“U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is hoping to secure more U.S. military basing rights in the region, multiple current and former officials told Foreign Policy, in the wake of a landmark deal to build nuclear-powered submarines with Britain and Australia. Plans to bring rotations of U.S. fighters and bombers to northern Australia will be raised at a remote ministerial meeting...”

How will the Financial Empire end?

Posted by: Max | Sep 17 2021 16:44 utc | 191

kiwiklown @157--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, the skim! But that doesn't alter the reality of the situation. It still remains pure folly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2021 16:55 utc | 192

@Patroklos 134

I have relatives in Sydney and Goluburn, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. In any case I said "Australistan", which in my lexicon means the regime, not the people (compare "Amerikastan" and "Modistan").

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 17 2021 17:11 utc | 193

It’s long overdue to dispense with Political Correctness and just admit that Australia is an American military colony masquerading as a "sovereign democracy."

This new USUKA (pronounced “U Sucka”) military pact is merely Australia coming out of the closet and flamboyantly flaunting its true nature.

In terms of fundamental issues of war and peace as well as geopolitics, the Australians obey the dictates of their Anglo- American master ... I mean their Beloved Lord and Protector of Freedom, Democracy, and the Rules-Based New World Order.

Whenever Australia steps out of line, the Americans and British will "regime change" its government like it did in 1975 to the maverick Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. The fact that Whitlam was democratically elected (as measured by Anglo standards) is merely an embarrassing political contradiction that must be forgotten down the MemoryHole.

The British-American coup that ended Australian independence

Throughout most of its history, Australia has participated in America's wars of aggression from the Vietnam War to the decades-long colonial occupation of Afghanistan to the invasion of Iraq, as part of the Coalition of the Killing.

Now, the Australians have signed up to be on the frontlines for what will likely be World War 3.

Good On Them!

Posted by: ak74 | Sep 17 2021 17:30 utc | 194

The biggest Folly in this is illustrated by this article "Chinese remember Sep 18 Incident amid Japan’s ruling LDP turning election into anti-China contest." 18 September 1931 is the date I mark as the beginning of WW2 as do most Chinese:

"Sobering air raid sirens in numerous cities, silent tributes observed by ordinary Chinese on streets across the country, airing of documentaries about trials of Japanese war criminals on national television and countless messages of "never forget" on social media platforms - China is in full gear as it marks a day of remembrances and reflection: the 90th anniversary of the September 18 Incident, which falls on Saturday.

"Though it has been nine decades since that fateful day in 1931 which marked the start of Japanese militarists' large-scale invasion and war crimes in China for years to come, the emotions, anger and hatred remain very raw for many Chinese over what is widely viewed as an incident that inflected national humiliation.

"Those sentiments have been further fired up by Japan's recent provocation and hostility toward China, including challenging China's bottom line on the Taiwan question - reflected in the chaotic leadership election campaign for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which kicked off on Friday with candidates appearing to be competing over their anti-China rhetoric and stances.

"Observers said that the rising outrage and indignation that will be on display on Saturday and which has been building up for months in China toward Japan's recent provocation should serve as a stern warning to Tokyo that it's on a dangerous path — if it continues to antagonize a much more powerful China than before....

"On national television, the documentary Asia-Pacific War Crimes Trials, a global award-winning series that focuses on the trials of Japanese war criminals after World War II is scheduled to be rebroadcast." [My Emphasis]

Provoking the Chinese Dragon IMO is a huge mistake by the Outlaw US Empire for two very important reasons. First, it can't win any war against China as the lost Trade War has already proven. Second, the Empire is geoeconomically dependent on China for its domestic wellbeing, a fact proven by the failed Trade War. The only reason why Japanese politicos are doing what they're doing is for the same reason Aussies just broke their arms contract with France--they're being ordered to do so even though such actions go directly against those nation's best interests. Escalating the mostly dormant nationalism of 1.4 Billion Chinese is well beyond folly and borders on insanity, but that's exactly what Outlaw US Empire policy has accomplished since Obama/Biden/Clinton's woeful pivot to Asia that received a huge boost from Trump's Trade War.

IMO, this article is no ruse, and I suggest reading it completely to understand why.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2021 17:52 utc | 195

USUK didn't just get rid of Whitlam. They also got rid of Kevin Rudd.

I wonder what Rudd thinks of this new alliance.

Posted by: Lysias | Sep 17 2021 17:57 utc | 196

Plenty of alternative acronyms have already been offered, but the one I like best so far (from a wit on twitter) is USUKAS(s). It works descriptively, as well as in terms of the relative importance of the 'partners'...

Posted by: tspoon | Sep 17 2021 18:13 utc | 197

Posted by: Paco | Sep 17 2021 16:26 utc | 186:

Education abandoned the universal renaissance search for knowledge and changed it for the search of social status, the results are here to be seen, and that is why it has become an expensive commodity, student debt is its consequence.

You hit that nail :-). Yes, use of slide rules and log tables is not just to get to an answer. It is a process through which much of learning and research is gained, with the kind of intensity that makes the gain stick. Nice comment, yours.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 17 2021 18:13 utc | 198

Surprisingly, Harold Wilson was prime minister of the UK when Whitlam was deposed. I wonder what, if any, role Wilson and his Labour government played in Whitlam's deposition. Wilson, it turned out, would be deposed only a few months after Whitlam.

For both depositions, Ford/Kissinger were in power in the US. Falcon Christopher Boyce witnessed secret US communications preparing for Whitlam's deposition.

Posted by: Lysias | Sep 17 2021 18:13 utc | 199

To use a slide rule, you need to understand the problem you're trying to solve. You have to be able to approximate the answer. That will tell you where to put the decimal point in what the slide rule tells you. It will also tell you if what the slide rule tells you is way off because you made some silly mistake.

None of this is true for people who compute using a calculator or computer.

Posted by: Lysias | Sep 17 2021 18:22 utc | 200

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