AUKUS : US, UK and Australia forge military alliance to counter China

randomradio

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Amarante

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(...)

Remember selling Exocets to Argentina ally?
(...)
Please,
Could you explain what you are trying to mean, or suggest?

30 years after, here is what the beeb and officials say:

How France helped both sides in the Falklands War
By Mike Thomson
BBC Radio 4


In his memoirs, former UK Defence Secretary Sir John Nott describes France as Britain's "greatest ally" during the Falklands War. But formerly secret papers and other evidence seen by the BBC show that was not the full story.




Before the war, France sold Argentina's military junta five Exocet missiles.

At the time, few suspected that the regime's longstanding claim on the Falklands would lead to war, and the sale went largely unnoticed. But when in May 1982 these Exocet missiles were used to strike Britain's HMS Sheffield and Atlantic Conveyor, with the loss of 32 British lives, near panic ensued in London.

At the start of the conflict, France's left-leaning president, Francois Mitterrand, had come to Britain's aid by declaring an embargo on French arms sales and assistance to Argentina.

He also allowed the Falklands-bound British fleet to use French port facilities in West Africa, as well as providing London with detailed information about planes and weaponry his country had sold to Buenos Aires.

Paris also co-operated with extensive British efforts to stop Argentina acquiring any more Exocets on the world's arms market.

But Mitterrand's policy of supporting Britain provoked dissent among some senior officials in the French foreign ministry.
In a stinging memo dated 7 April 1982, France's then ambassador to London, Emmanuel de Margerie, described British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as "Victorian, imperialist and obstinate". He went on to add that she had a "tendency to get carried away by combative instincts".
In another document entitled The Falklands: Lessons from a Fiasco, senior French official Bernard Dorin accused Britain of "superpower arrogance" and claimed the country had shown "profound contempt for Latinos".

Behind the scenes, actions were speaking louder than words. In what would appear to be a clear breach of President Mitterrand's embargo, a French technical team - mainly working for a company 51% owned by the French government - stayed in Argentina throughout the war.

In an interview carried out in 1982 by Sunday Times journalist Isabel Hilton, the team's leader, Herve Colin, admitted carrying out one particular test that proved invaluable to Argentinian forces.
"The verification process involves determining if the missile launcher was functioning correctly or not. Three of the launchers failed. We located the source of the problem and that was it. The rest was simple."

The BBC made efforts to contact Mr Colin to request an interview, but received no response. The French company he still works for, Dassault, told us that after 30 years that it was unable to confirm whether or not it had authorised the work his team carried out in Argentina at this time.
But it is now clear that, thanks to tests they carried out, the Argentinians were able to fire Exocets at British forces from three previously faulty missile launchers.
Francois Heisbourg, who at the time was international security adviser to the French Minister of Defence, Charles Hernu, insists that his government did not know that the technical team was there. But, he says, the fact that it evidently was is inexcusable.
"It is now undeniable and... one should not belittle it. This was not what was supposed to be done. It is the sort of thing which mars what should otherwise have been picture-perfect co-operation between the two countries," he says.

But not all in the French government were in the dark about the technical team's presence in Argentina during the conflict. Pierre Lethier, former chief of staff of the DGSE - the French equivalent of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 and signal intelligence headquarters GCHQ - admits that his department did know about them.

"This is what intelligence is for. You need sources. We had difficulties to penetrate the Argentinian army at that time during the Falklands conflict. So, the more helpers you have the better you are," he says.

Lethier told me that the DGSE had an informer among the members of the technical team who was able to give them some information about what the Argentinian military was doing. But he is fiercely critical of the French team for the technical help it gave.
"It's bordering on an act of treason, or disobedience to an embargo," he says. "I mean, it's clear that if the head of state in France decrees an embargo, it's an embargo. Full point."

Britain's Defence Secretary at the time, Sir John Nott, told me that although he knew that a French technical team was in Argentina then, its work was not thought to be of any great importance. British efforts, he insists, were mainly focused on stopping the Argentinians getting hold of any more Exocets.
Had he, I enquired, asked Paris to withdraw the team? That, he could not remember. Overall, he added, the French did give Britain substantial help during the conflict.

But, does he, nonetheless, now feel a little let down by a nation that he had previously described as Britain's greatest ally? This was his response:
"We asked Mitterrand not to give assistance to the Argentinians. If you're asking me: 'Are the French duplicitous people?' the answer is: 'Of course they are, and they always have been.'"


Was that what tou meant?
 
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Amarante

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😄 I think, I🧠, I think again, but I still can’t find a connection between a North-Atlantic Treaty and the South China Sea. I might be dum in geography... Does China has a shore with the Atlantic Ocean?

For all that, of course France is concerned a lot by the IndoPac. We are locals. Millions of citizens and 90% of France s EEZ. Partnerships.

If a pic is better than a word:
 
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randomradio

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😄 I think, I🧠, I think again, but I still can’t find a connection between a North-Atlantic Treaty and the South China Sea. I might be dum in geography... Does China has a shore with the Atlantic Ocean?

For all that, of course France is concerned a lot by the IndoPac. We are locals. Millions of citizens and 90% of France s EEZ. Partnerships.

If a pic is better than a word:

It's a pretty good way to protect French Indo-Pacific territories. By telling China that France is not interested in a direct military confrontation, the Chinese will also reciprocate by not threatening or attacking French territories. And when NATO pointed out that China is a threat, the French decided to tone it down, indicating France's unwilligness to challenge China.

French military presence in the Indo-Pacific is peanuts, so the stance is understandable.

And this is the French military's stand too.

And, as I've pointed out before, France has no intention of expanding its naval footprint beyond what it already has, so there's no secret intent on challenging China either, this is official policy.

Personally, and from India's perspective, I don't mind, it doesn't affect us in the long term. This is a problem for French military allies like the US to worry about. France can naturally make its own decisions, but just one result of this is France has lost a very important contract for Naval Group. So it's natural that France's allies will not take kindly to France's lack of interest in their security needs elsewhere.

Furthermore, you can expect that countries that have the option to choose between US and France as a weapons supplier in the Indo-Pacific, they are more likely to go American, no different from what Europe has been doing.
 

BMD

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😄 I think, I🧠, I think again, but I still can’t find a connection between a North-Atlantic Treaty and the South China Sea. I might be dum in geography... Does China has a shore with the Atlantic Ocean?

For all that, of course France is concerned a lot by the IndoPac. We are locals. Millions of citizens and 90% of France s EEZ. Partnerships.

If a pic is better than a word:
The world is changing and NATO needs to change with it.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Scott Morrison "Deliberately Deceived" France: Ex Australian PM On Submarine Deal

Former Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull's government had approved the submarine deal with France in 2016.

Sydney:
Former Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday his successor "deliberately deceived" France when he scrapped a multi-billion-euro submarine deal with Paris in favour of nuclear-powered US or British alternatives.

Turnbull, whose government approved the submarine deal with France in 2016, was scathing about the way Prime Minister Scott Morrison handled the switch, which was part of a new strategic alliance with the United States and Britain.

"Morrison has not acted in good faith. He deliberately deceived France. He makes no defence of his conduct other than to say it was in Australia's national interest," Turnbull told the National Press Club in Canberra.

"France believes it has been deceived and humiliated, and she was. This betrayal of trust will dog our relations with Europe for years," he added.

"The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt."

Turnbull said that despite the new US-Britain-Australia defence partnership, there was no contract signed for Australia to buy nuclear-powered submarines, expected to be either Britain's Astute or the larger US Virginia class.

"Australia now has no new submarine programme at all," he said. "The only certainty is that we won't have new submarines for 20 years and their cost will be a lot more than the French-designed subs."

Morrison has said the decision to switch to nuclear-powered submarines was driven by changing dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region, where rising military power China is increasingly asserting its claims to almost the entire South China Sea.

But Paris reacted with fury to the switch, saying it has lost a contract originally worth Aus$50 billion ($36.5 billion, 31 billion euros).

Describing the cancellation as a "stab in the back", France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia.

French President Emmanuel Macron has since held talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden to start patching up relations and instructed his ambassador to return to Washington this week.

There has been no announcement on the return of the French ambassador to Canberra, however, and no talks reported between Macron and Morrison.

Morrison and Turnbull are rivals within Australia's Liberal Party. Morrison took over as prime minister in August 2018 when Turnbull was ousted by a hardline conservative faction of the party.
 
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Amarante

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It's a pretty good way to protect French Indo-Pacific territories. By telling China that France is not interested in a direct military confrontation, the Chinese will also reciprocate by not threatening or attacking French territories. And when NATO pointed out that China is a threat, the French decided to tone it down, indicating France's unwilligness to challenge China....

It would be some kind of Munich-1938 bis, but France and Europe have learned the hard way thats ain’t things go. As for exemple, « South-China Sea » countries have never, anytime, threaten China nevertheless China occupies atolls, and build bases. Not threatening China is far from being a guaranty.

French military presence in the Indo-Pacific is peanuts (…)

Excuse me Sir: Bharat, how many regiments, sea or air bases east of Malacca? Or even in the IOR?
Conversely, France has many « aircraft carriers » there: Al-Dhafra, Djibouti, La Réunion, Nouvelle Calédonie, French Polynesia.


Personally, and from India's perspective, I don't mind, it doesn't affect us in the long term. This is a problem for French military allies like the US to worry about.

US have no allies, hey have their own plans, and have vassals (see Aus, UK): America first.

France can naturally make its own decisions, but just one result of this is France has lost a very important contract for Naval Group.

Don’t be worried for NG

So it's natural that France's allies will not take kindly to France's lack of interest in their security needs elsewhere.

[Quotation]: “This is definitely a political decision, not one taken by the Greek navy,” Karaiosifidis said. “The cornerstone of the deal is the defense assistance clause. One could not imagine something similar coming from the other countries.”
France inks Greek defense deal after losing sub contract

Furthermore, you can expect that countries that have the option to choose between US and France as a weapons supplier in the Indo-Pacific, they are more likely to go American, no different from what Europe has been doing.

Ask the greeks 😄

—————

An ending thought:
[quotation]: (...) The trilateral submarine deal should strengthen the hand of the United States and its allies in the face of growing Chinese power, but the damage caused by the alienation of France could outweigh this.(...) “China must be laughing all the way to the bank,” said Francois Heisbourg, senior advisor for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “They have the prospect of removing Europe’s potential presence alongside the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific area.”
(...) “There is a downside for China, but the upside I think is greater – the notion that Europe is essentially going to stay in the wings and not play an active role in the Indo-Pacific as a whole,” Heisbourg said. (…)
 
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randomradio

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It would be some kind of Munich-1938 bis, but France and Europe have learned the hard way thats ain’t things go. As for exemple, « South-China Sea » countries have never, anytime, threaten China nevertheless China occupies atolls, and build bases. Not threatening China is far from being a guaranty.

They are not in a position to threaten China. And they are only building up capacities now. They definitely need help, or they will fall to China's influence. That's the obvious outcome.

Excuse me Sir: Bharat, how many regiments, sea or air bases east of Malacca? Or even in the IOR?
Conversely, France has many « aircraft carriers » there: Al-Dhafra, Djibouti, La Réunion, Nouvelle Calédonie, French Polynesia.

None of those threaten China. For example, none of those can protect Taiwan from a Chinese invasion.

It's not about how well France can defend itself after all.

Don’t be worried for NG

Actually France is raising a tantrum. It's destabilising the anti-China effort.

[Quotation]: “This is definitely a political decision, not one taken by the Greek navy,” Karaiosifidis said. “The cornerstone of the deal is the defense assistance clause. One could not imagine something similar coming from the other countries.”
France inks Greek defense deal after losing sub contract

Ask the greeks 😄

Some countries choose US and France, but when they plan to choose only 1, they always choose US. Do recall that Greece is buying an equal number of F-35s.

Anyway, this is the point I'm making, that France is only interested in tackling threats that are relevant only to Europe. They don't even want to think of making China an enemy.

An ending thought:
[quotation]: (...) The trilateral submarine deal should strengthen the hand of the United States and its allies in the face of growing Chinese power, but the damage caused by the alienation of France could outweigh this.(...) “China must be laughing all the way to the bank,” said Francois Heisbourg, senior advisor for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “They have the prospect of removing Europe’s potential presence alongside the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific area.”
(...) “There is a downside for China, but the upside I think is greater – the notion that Europe is essentially going to stay in the wings and not play an active role in the Indo-Pacific as a whole,” Heisbourg said. (…)

I recall reading an article about this subject and it was telling. France wants peace in the Indo-Pacific, but for the countries around China, war is the most likely reality. Which is why Indo-Pacific alliances will be centered around building up actual war potential that's usable against China. So there are significant ideological differences between France and Australia when it comes to this.

Trump's position on NATO was also telling. He openly said Europe has to do more, which was indirectly a message that the US won't be able to protect Europe like it could in the past. Which is why I support France's position to begin a Common Defence, where Europe becomes in charge of its own security, so the US could focus on China and Russia in the Pacific.

Personally, I think Europe is going to have to militarise to at least half of America's level over the next 30 years, particularly the navy. By then China could be twice the size of the USN without even seriously trying. Their production capacity itself is twice that of the US. But it appears Europe prefers to bury its head in the sand.
 
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Bon Plan

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The first french subs was intended to be ready in 2030 at the latest (the first metal cat was sheduled in early september for 2023...).
Now the first US made SSN may only come in 2040 at best. The collins subs are already quite old and not very potent.
I think it's a political move that will make noise for decades in Australia.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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The Egyptians, who had bought us the BPCs planned for the Russians, would be interested in two of the submarines planned for the Australians. There would be no need to integrate the American weapon system, but just to keep the SSN Barracuda one, which would greatly reduce the price and the delay.
 

BMD

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The Egyptians, who had bought us the BPCs planned for the Russians, would be interested in two of the submarines planned for the Australians. There would be no need to integrate the American weapon system, but just to keep the SSN Barracuda one, which would greatly reduce the price and the delay.
If you paint them yellow you could pass them off as rubber ducks.
 

Amarante

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(...) Now the first US made SSN may only come in 2040 at best. The collins subs are already quite old and not very potent (...)

DON’T COUNT YOUR SUBMARINES BEFORE THEY’RE BUILT​

(Erik Sand is an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a former U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion officer)


(@randomradio, I don’t forget to anwer you when Im able to write a summary)
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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If you paint them yellow you could pass them off as rubber ducks.
1633012574995.png
 

randomradio

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DON’T COUNT YOUR SUBMARINES BEFORE THEY’RE BUILT​

(Erik Sand is an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a former U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion officer)


I doubt that level of cooperation will happen, where the US/UK will hand over nuke tech. It's going to be more about the US/UK doing most of the internal work, while the Australians build the hull and assemble it.

(@randomradio, I don’t forget to anwer you when Im able to write a summary)

Sure, take your time.