Does the AUKUS submarine deal compromise Australia’s sovereignty? (Stephan Fruehling, The Strategist)

Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines—and the decisions by the UK and US to support that endeavour—is momentous. If we’re looking for reliable and considered judgements about why and how it came about, we need to await the work of future historians.

Looking just a few years into the past can help us understand some of the equally momentous changes that likely played a role, some more obvious than others. When I last examined the acquisition of nuclear submarines on this forum in 2016, I thought that a marked deterioration of the strategic environment and a marked improvement in allied confidence in Australia’s technical and organisational competence as an operator of submarines would be necessary conditions. Public commentary on the AUKUS deal has focused on the former. No doubt, however, the low-key but real personnel links that have been built between Australia’s submarine (and wider shipbuilding) enterprise and the US Navy since the 2012 Coles review played a significant role in the latter.

Does the AUKUS submarine deal compromise Australia’s sovereignty? | The Strategist (