Above Photo: Jinhwa Oh
The United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have come together to sign an agreement called AUKUS. According to the creators of this agreement, it is a pact to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Through the unveiling last week of the new Australia-UK U.S. trilateral military alliance, Australia will enter into an undefined arrangement with the USA and the United Kingdom for “regional security” in the Indo-Pacific Region. The pact binds Australia decisively to the United States and Great Britain for generations.
It involves Australia purchasing nuclear-powered submarines, the “basing” of American troops, and storing “ordnance” in Australia. It has provoked fury from the French, sharp criticism from China, concern from several nations in the Indo-Pacific and confusion in Australia. Added to this background is Australia’s membership in the so-called security alliance known as ‘QUAD’ formed as a result of quadrilateral talk among Australian, Indian, Japanese and US authorities, which has the hallmarks of a quadrilateral military alliance in the making.
Australia’s purchase of long-range attack nuclear-powered submarines involves ditching a previous French-Australian submarine deal which led France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to term the pact “a stab in the back”. Also, the former British prime minister is concerned about Britain being dragged into a war over the future of Taiwan.
The other elements of AUKUS include enhancing joint capabilities, deeper military interoperability, “new architectures” of meetings and engagements between defence and foreign policy officials, and to “spur co-operation across many new and emerging arenas” – cyber, applied AI, quantum technologies and “some undersea capabilities”.
Australia being dragged, of course with the gleeful consent of the rightwing administration of that country, into the maneuver would not serve the general public of that country. Buying a few nuclear-powered submarines will not deter the military capabilities of China or Russia is concerned. Maybe Australia’s present administration dreams of performing the role of US imperialists’ henchman in the region – The role Israel plays in the Middle East.
However, the maneuver would make Australia the ‘infectious agent’ that infects the ‘disease of war’ in the region. Wasting funds that could be used for the benefit of the Australian people in such a manner, when 3.24 million people in that country (13.6% of the population) and 774,000 children under the age of 15 (17.7% of all children in Australia) live below the poverty line, is a crime only power-hungry capitalists can justify. More than one in eight adults and one in six children live below the poverty line in Australia.
Of course, there are fears that Australian nuclear-powered submarines will change the dynamics in the South China Sea, Especially when Australia has not joined the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Furthermore, analysts predict the pact will encompass the Asia-Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and is an arrangement with global reach and profound, long-term implications. AUKUS will also lead to a major arms race in the wider Asia-Pacific region. Many fear that it will “gravely undermine regional peace and stability” and aggravates the arms race..
Regrettably, the three Anglo allies have chosen to carry out their loathsome exercise when Asian nations have preached maintaining Southeast Asia as a “zone of peace, freedom and neutrality”, free from interference by any outside powers. AUKUS could also be viewed as an attempt to impose an Anglo Saxon Imperialist dominated military hegemony in the region. For, Many Asia Pacific nations have only recently emerged from a long period of oppressive European imperialism. Furthermore, the nuclear submarine project might heighten military tensions in Asia. It could be assumed that acquiring nuclear-powered submarines is acquiring nuclear weapons in the future. Moreover, the move topples the international nuclear non-proliferation policies also.
It is not wrong to assume that AUKUS is a military response to economic competition from China. As Vladimir Lenin’s most famous works, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” point out, imperialist states employ military means in order to advance self-interested economic ends. The connection between imperialism, capitalism and militarism is still relevant despite imperialism and capitalism are at their last stages.
All peace-loving people must urgently become aware of what is at stake since the historical parallels between the run-ups to World War I and 2 now are unmistakable. Indo-Pacific, actually and practically there is no such region as Indo- Pacific, there is no any single civil multilateral organization formed on this “Indo –Pacific” basis. This Indo –Pacific term was coined by US war department and for its war purposes only. Because the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are far away from each other. Due to these military organizations South and South East Asia Regions as well as the Indian Ocean, are slipping from a ‘Zone of Peace’ to a hotbed of nuclear politics. For this, Australia to be blamed because its leaders are inviting this war mongering US administration to our region. Especially, the masses in Australia should oppose the wasteful spending of funds for an impractical operation that would benefit only the imperialistic agenda of
the administration clans in the US and the UK. Sending war-fighting subs to potential conflict in the Indo-Pacific region is hardly that, and it is yet another breach of international law by the three Anglo allies. It is time to stand up and oppose the reckless and immoral move.
No to Military Coalitions!
No to QUAD! No to AUKUS!
No to War! Yes to Peace!!
Peace & Solidarity Organization Srilanka (PASOS)