Harold Hutchison / September 21, 2021

Australian Subs: Mix of Good News, Bad News

At the cost of angering our French allies, another ally bolstered defenses against Chinese aggression.

“We will repair our alliances,” Joe Biden proclaimed in his Inaugural Address. His premise was flawed, but let’s take that at face value and say he sure has a funny way of doing it, even if the reasons are defensible and the result is desirable.

Australia’s decision to cancel a contract with France for a dozen diesel-electric submarines and to instead pursue nuclear-powered attack submarines, known as SSNs, is a big deal on multiple fronts. Australia currently has six Collins-class diesel-electric boats, a Swedish design modified to use American Mark 48 ADCAP torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The deal brings a mixed bag of good and bad.

The best part is that it bolsters the naval capacity of a close American ally with superior technology aimed at countering an adversary. We’ve talked about the shortage of hulls in the water for the Navy often, and the submarine force has been of particular concern. Australia’s choice is like gaining an additional 12 forward-based SSNs, and that is a huge plus in containing Communist China. Don’t take our word for it — the ChiComs are screaming bloody murder.

The fact is, containing China is very different than fighting a global war on terror, and George W. Bush forgot that in the aftermath of 9/11. Failing to massively increase naval construction to keep China contained was a massive error of omission that we are paying for today. Just after Biden engineered the dishonorable debacle and betrayal of Afghanistan to his shame, this move is a brilliant one that should have been offered by Donald Trump four and a half years ago.

That said, the Australian decision comes with some bad news. France is understandably angry at the loss of a huge defense deal and has taken the extraordinary and unprecedented step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia over what French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called a “stab in the back.” He added, “There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt.” French President Emmanuel Macron’s move to recall the ambassadors shows there is some fence-mending to do, especially since France took out a jihadist that was responsible for the deaths of American military personnel earlier.

And the decision to go with SSNs might not have been finalized without the dishonorable debacle Biden created in Afghanistan. Australia may have fair reason to doubt America’s commitment and would understandably want more capability to feel secure. In addition, New Zealand has told Australia that the new nuclear subs will not be welcome. The fact is, New Zealand doesn’t seem to be holding up its end of the military alliance, and that has been the case for a long time. Perhaps that could change soon, but at some point, this defense deadbeat needs to be caught up on its obligations, or to no longer be considered a reliable ally.

We can also be thankful that Senator Chris Murphy’s idiocy is nowhere near becoming law at this point, or who knows what sort of obstacles would be happening. The United States should be offering to build some of the subs for Australia and make space on our production lines for the newest Virginia-class SSNs.

The bottom line is that Australia has taken a very positive step, one that will greatly aid in containing Communist China. But much more has to be done, including some serious housecleaning among the deep state that views grassroots Patriots as a bigger threat than China. The bad news is that the Biden administration can’t be trusted to do so.

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