Friday, September 24, 2021

Regional alliances can have a global impact




Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Sheean arrives for a logistics port visit on April 1, 2021 in Hobart, Australia | Photo: Getty Images / LSIS Leo Baumgartner/Australian Defence Force

Sept 24, 2021. Greece.


If it turns out that US-led alliance is gaining strength, it could prove to be an effective means not just in deterring China but also in reestablishing the US deterrence all over.

By  Dan Schueftan

It turns out that good news can come out of Asia, and they may be good for Israel: The major global powers have realized that an assertive and rising China could pose a real threat to the region and beyond. The fact that Biden administration resolved to deal with this through a series of alliances aimed at containing Beijing, even by force, is a very important development. 

This American posture is no small thing. Although the US has long realized that there is something that needs to be done about China, only recently did US policymakers put this into action because of Xi Jinping increasing grip on power.

In light of China's threat, Australia has decided to scrap a $60B deal submarine deal with France so that it could join a security pact with the UK and the US that would grant it access to American nuclear submarines. This should be seen as a response to the Chinese efforts to assert control in the South China Sea through artificial islands and a reaction to Chinese actions on Taiwan and Hong Kong.

This new tripartite alliance between the UK, Australia, and the US complements the framework that has long been in place between the US and its three major partners in the region: Australia, India and Japan. 

One might dismiss the latest development as just a submarine deal, but the fact of the matter is that having the US, UK, and Australia build 8 nuclear submarines underscores a deep partnership. 

China has a good reason to be anxious, and France has every reason to feel outraged. But as far as Australia is concerned, this is designed to guarantee that it would be able to rely on the strength of a superpower to counter the rising threat of China despite the flourishing economic ties between the two (China is Australia's largest trading partner). The anglo-speaking alliance is based on shared cultural foundations and a common heritage of two world wars, as well as a deep sense of trust and gratefulness. 

France, as well as India and Japan, are the other nations that could be hurt by the new alliance. France will undoubtedly be hurt by the economic and strategic aspects of the alliance, because of the loss of tens of billions of dollars that were supposed to go into the coffers of its defense industry. 

This will also hurt its economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, and this is why the French foreign minister has called it a "stab in the back" and a "breach of trust" aimed at sidelining a European ally.

That's why France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the US (although in the latter case he has returned to his post) and canceled a gala dinner that would have celebrated the crucial French assistance to the 13 colonies during the Revolutionary War France is also unhappy with the fact that the British have managed to reap economic and strategic dividends in the post-Brexit world, which has weakened Europe on the global stage. 

India has tried to maintain its freedom of operation between the two emerging blocs and it is unlikely that the new reality would result in a major adverse impact on New Delhi. 

After all, India is essential for any containment effort against China, and therefore it is hardly surprising that the foreign ministers of France and India have agreed to bolster their strategic partnershipץ India is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which China is also a member, alongside Islamic states from the former Soviet Union, Pakistan and Iran. 


India has been operating Russian nuclear-powered submarines. Japan is threatened by China and North Korea and has a lot to worry about vis-a-vis Russia. As far as Tokyo is concerned, the greater the US involvement in the region is and the stronger the anti-China alliances are among Beijing's adversaries, the better. If the US manages to assuage Japanese concerns and bolster relations, they will not have any reason to worry.

If it turns out that US-led alliance is gaining strength and reliability, it could prove to be an effective means not just in deterring China but also in restoring American deterrence globally, including in the Middle East. There is even a chance that the US will sober up when it comes to the Iranian threat, and if that happens, Israel would be able to celebrate as the Americans once again choose their partners based on a combination of who shares their values and helps their interests. 


Israel Hayom. Com