Security deal worrying, academic says


A deeply concerning precedent has been set by the new security alliance between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, a University of Otago international affairs specialist says.

The AUKUS enhanced security partnership, announced yesterday by the leaders of the three countries, sets a precedent that endangered nuclear non-proliferation, Prof Robert Patman said.

The alliance was also likely to be viewed by some Indo-Pacific nations as an unwelcome intrusion by Western military powers, he said.

Prof Robert Patman. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Prof Robert Patman. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The AUKUS deal will result in a greater sharing of technology and more co-operation between scientists, industry and defence force personnel.

The nations were "all working together to deliver a safer and more secure region", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the online trilateral partnership announcement with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, Prof Patman said the new defence pact was a challenge to nuclear non-proliferation.

"Australia, which is a non-nuclear power, is getting nuclear-powered submarines as part of an international arrangement.

"Just imagine the reaction if Iran chooses to do the same.

"This is a precedent; Iran could cite the Australian case.

"Many people who are interested in non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be deeply concerned about the implications of this."

Prof Patman said some countries would also fear the security deal could stir up Chinese militarism rather than calming a volatile situation in the region.

"This does look, to many people in the Indo-Pacific, as the empire striking back; a series of English-speaking countries coming together to assert their interests in the region.

"It could politically backfire."

 

Comments

Patman sure leaves out a lot. First of all to compare Australia to Iran, two very different cultures not to mention Iran's nuclear ambitions regardless of sanctions. Second, he cites stoking "Chinese militarism", here failing to mention that China in this year alone has constructed more then a 100 nuclear missile silos and has also embarked on expanding it's nuclear arsenal to rival all nuclear devices in the world. Sometimes these academics really fail to see the forest for the trees. When China is threatening to nuke Australia via its various state mouthpieces, what do you expect Australia to do. Kowtow, beg for mercy or just hand the country over??? Gimme a break!!!

I don't usually have a lot of time for Prof Patman's meanderings, but I think he may be right on this issue. Certainly this new "pact" is going to heighten tensions, not that the Chinese can claim the high ground on that score.
It's certainly a more realistic view than those who are expressing regret that NZ was not included in the new "pact".
Personally, I feel that after the way the US has reated us since we had the temerity to go nuclear free, considering that we had backed them in the Vietnam war; the way the UK dumped us when they joined the European common market after we had provided them with canon fodder and been their bread basket through two World Wars, and the way Oz has treated our citizens who are resident in their country over the last decade or so and exported their terrorist to us, why would we want to be part of it?
And let's never forget that all three of them knew that the French Govt were going to attack us in Auckland harbour on 10 July 1985 and made deliberate decisions not to give us the heads up.
Nah, we're better off out of that toxic group of hypocrites.

US/UK/Aus knowledge of Rainbow Warrior bombing prior to the event? That's new to me. The source?

 

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