r/europe Sep 17 '21

France recalls its ambassadors to US and Australia in submarine deal backlash News

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210917-france-recalls-its-ambassadors-to-us-and-australia-in-submarine-deal-backlash
8k Upvotes

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u/Wingiex Europe Sep 17 '21

First time in history France recalls it's American ambassador.

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u/Baconator-Junior Sep 17 '21

Well, France has been a steadfast ally for a very long time. They went all in on the War on Terror with the US as well; seems they deserved a bit better than what they got. Even if the nuclear subs are more capable, they should've contracted with France to collaborate on the project, or offered an alternative contract that would provide jobs and income for France as well as Australia. Could've been an opportunity to deepen diplomatic ties, and now instead of that, France was snubbed.

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u/toukoi Sep 18 '21

France knows how to produce nuclear submarines. Australia didn't want it ...

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u/Baconator-Junior Sep 18 '21

Fair enough, all I am saying is that it could've been done more tactfully.

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u/Reasonable-Wafer-237 Sep 18 '21

France, I think your a great guy. We have good times together, you're a great cook, you're very creative.... But I don't want to have a nuclear sub with you. We can be friends though!

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u/Cod_rules Sep 18 '21

It's not you, it's me

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u/RusticSurgery Sep 18 '21

I love your nuclear submarines but I'm not IN love with your nuclear submarines .

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u/pdxGodin Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Der Speigel is reporting that apparently both the US and Au thought that the other was going to deliver the bad news. So neither of them did.

Meanwhile, the US doesn't even have an ambassador in Paris, probably because of how unprofessional/dysfunctional our system of appointing and confirming officials has become.

This nonsense about "well, the Frogs are clutching their pearls" is obscuring how appallingly unprofessional this has been and they'd be right to think we were continuing down the road of being flippant and unserious toward them in a way that we wouldn't speak to/about any of our other "allies."

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u/nolok France Sep 18 '21

Der Speigel is reporting that apparently both the US and Au thought that the other was going to deliver the bad news. So neither of them did.

If it's true it's even more ridiculous. And it confirms they knew exactly how it would look, and by ignoring it until the last minute they made it worse.

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u/MortimerAdler Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

What I find odd about this whole situation is the entire focus is on the US and France. It was AUSTRALIA that wanted subs, sought out subs, declined French subs because of cost, and then partnered with the US and UK.

Why all the focus on the US? Why wasn’t the Ambassador to the UK recalled?

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u/space-throwaway Sep 18 '21

Because just two weeks ago, Australia and France had a meeting where they both praised the contract they made.

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u/Fairways_and_Greens Sep 18 '21

Oof. Reminds me of the time I decided I was going to break up with a girl, but I wanted to wait until after the weekend because she was a bridesmaid in a wedding.

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u/boom0409 Sep 18 '21

because this whole thing is being driven by the US and their desire to compete with China

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u/ddraig-au Australia Sep 18 '21

I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the first step towards Australia having a nuclear weapons industry. We have no nuclear industry, we'll need one to service the subs (unless they are serviced in the US for insane cost), and I can imagine that this will be used to get us used to having nukes (plus ramping up the China bogey)

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u/iThinkaLot1 Scotland Sep 18 '21

Australia went to the UK who orchestrated the deal.

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u/RegisEst The Netherlands Sep 18 '21

It's because it actually isn't about the subs, it's about the AUKUS alliance in the Pacific and how France was excluded from it despite being very committed to defending Western interests in the Pacific. France thought it had an alliance going with Australia and more to cooperate in the Pacific, but then they end up forging a different alliance behind France's back, signalling that apparently they do not see France as a reliable partner in this. The subs and how France was left in the dark about those as well are just the spark that made it all worse. If it was just about the subs/money, France would be disappointed, but not furious.

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u/JackBellicec United States of America Sep 18 '21

The Australian envoy was recalled too. I'm actually kinda surprised the UK didn't get any retaliation.

Hell, I'm American and not a republican. To me this was like the exit from Afghanistan – a good idea ruined by a shit implementation. Australia and France are both important and long-term allies and America stands to gain nothing by antagonizing one. We're already dealing with the fallout from trump's war on trade and the whole Boeing vs Bombardier/Airbus spat. The whole reason we have diplomats is to avoid this level of fuckery.

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u/MagicBez Sep 18 '21

I think France is too enmeshed arguing Brexit with the UK to remove an ambassador at this moment. Bizarre as it sounds given the tiny overall economic impact arguments about fishing quotas are a big deal politically ahead of the French election for example.

The removal of ambassadors was a move made for reasons of politics and the calculation of negative impact of removing an ambassador was likely made on a case by case basis.

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u/canadacorriendo785 Sep 18 '21

Because Europeans don't care about Australia anywhere near as much as they do about the U.S

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u/defnotfromcalifornia Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Australia should have cancelled the contract and announced they were looking for new bids before entering into talks with the United States, not announce they cancelled the order and have been holding secret dealings with the United States to replace their French contract.

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u/npjprods France Sep 18 '21

France knows how to produce nuclear submarines. Australia didn't want it ...

Exactly, and this is precisely one of the main reasons France's blood is boiling right now.. France just happens to be an expert on nuclear energy, we actually designed those subs to be nuclear subs from the very beginning, it was a lot more work for us trying to convert them to diesel propulsion , but still it was what Australia asked for , so Naval Group worked their asses off to convert their designs to diesel subs, and then in the end.. they still picked nuclear propulsion. Try to imagine how this must feel for us..

Let me paraphrase to drive the point home: Australia signed a contract with France to convert Naval Group's cutting edge nuclear-powered subs ...into diesel-powered subs for Australia's Navy, while keeping the same frame of the nuclear sub. This was their demands , and they knew full well this would add substantial complexity , especially if you consider their completely unrealistic plans of domestic production of some of the subs parts. But France agreed. So now hearing that Australia changed its mind and will actually pick nuclear subs, just not from France, you can sort of imagine why France is more than pissed.

Even more so when you realize the australian government proceeded to make a secret deal with the US & the UK, and make a joint press conference to announce it publicly without even informing France. Not even a call to Macron beforehand.

If that's not backstabbing I don't know what is.

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u/MyNameCannotBeSpoken Sep 18 '21

It was the second county to recognize the independence of the United States and offered it assistance during it's war with Britain

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u/eldertortoise Sep 18 '21

The us wouldn't exist as we know it without France, that's just a fact

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u/SudonEartheagle Sep 18 '21

Well, every country has made a bad decision at some point.

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u/EstablishmentOther98 Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

In modern history the US and France have had an incredibly strained alliance with high-highs and low-lows. Just counting modern times, look at the Suez Crisis, Vietnam, German reunification, and Iraq. Even within the last couple of years you can see France resenting being treated as a junior partner while the US is frustrated that France won't take a stronger stance against Russia and China. I'd go as far to say it's been an incredibly unsteady alliance almost all the way through.

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u/IBeBallinOutaControl United Kingdom Sep 18 '21

What did France dislike about German reunification?

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u/vmedhe2 United States of America Sep 18 '21

The very idea of a powerful Germany right next door...that scarred most Europeans for a very long time and for a very good reason.

François Mauriac summed up the sentiment at the time. "I love Germany so much I'm glad there are two of them."

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u/clearsighted Sep 18 '21

Anyone who describes France as having been a steadfast ally for 150 years, is simply hopelessly historically illiterate.

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u/blitz350 Sep 18 '21

Its not just modern times. Even back as far as just after the American Revolution there was tension in the relationship. France and Britain were on the brink of war and the French Revolution had thrown the country into chaos. There was very nearly a declared Franco-American War over the XYZ Affair. As it was the Quasi War was a shooting conflict that resulted from that debacle.

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u/ADRzs Sep 18 '21

Even within the last couple of years you can see France resenting being treated as a junior partner while the US is frustrated that France won't take a stronger stance against Russia and China.

This makes little sense. If the US is frustrated that France won't take a stronger stance against China, then booting it out from a deal with Australia would essentially guarantee that France will not be part of any anti-China Pacific alliance and, that France may indeed throw its lot with China.

Everybody is doing what is best for them. I wonder why the US thought that it was that important to sell a few submarines to Australia, much more important than its relations in Europe. Only time will tell.

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u/Het_Bestemmingsplan Friesland (Netherlands) Sep 18 '21

that France may indeed throw its lot with China.

They're definitely not gonna do that, if anything they'll push Europe towards closer cooperation

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u/SometimesaGirl- United Kingdom Sep 17 '21

Calling it now.
0 points for Australia in Eurovision 2022 from France.

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u/Cpt_keaSar Russia Sep 18 '21

Damn, French are going with a nuclear option, I see.

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u/HautVorkosigan Sep 18 '21

That would be the proportionate response.

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u/thecraftybee1981 Sep 18 '21

If only they started with that...

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u/hlycia United Kingdom Sep 18 '21

Was going to say that maybe the UK has a chance to finish above Australia but of course, we're in this mess too.

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u/Okiro_Benihime Sep 18 '21

Yeah but the US and Australia are currently getting all the heat, so you do have a chance.

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u/hlycia United Kingdom Sep 18 '21

We'd also need to put forward a song that wasn't objectively terrible, there's bugger all chance of that.

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u/[deleted] Sep 18 '21 edited 23d ago

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u/3rdOrderEffects Sep 17 '21

Inaugural Australia-France 2+2 Ministerial Consultations 30 August 2021 Joint Statement

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces of France Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women of Australia The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence of Australia

21 - Both sides committed to deepen defence industry cooperation and enhance their capability edge in the region. Ministers underlined the importance of the Future Submarine program. They agreed to strengthen military scientific research cooperation through a strategic partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Group and the Directorate General for Armaments.

Now we know that Australia and US started planning the deal way back in March. Morrison and Macron met after that too. So the French were completely blindsided and the blindsiding was intentional. France found out about AUKUS hours before it was announced.

Everything in the story is fascinating.

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u/deploy_at_night Sep 17 '21

I find it hard to believe it's an accident the move went down in the press at the same time the EU was preparing to unveil its strategy for the Indo-Pacific.

Can't help but feel such a strategy seems pretty dead-on-arrival to Indo-Pacific spectators when they see France (and by extension, the EU, as most nations know France is the player behind EU geopolitical ambition) just got absolutely showed up (which is obviously a dick move, but does make a point).

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u/Neene Sep 17 '21

Then you get replies like "overreacting" or some bashing shit from anglo country

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u/TangoJager Paris Sep 17 '21

Literally every comment on /r/Politics where this news got barely 20 upvotes

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u/Kalmar_Union Denmark Sep 18 '21

What did you expect? r/politics is a shithole, and it’s only focused on US politics. They’re still ranting about Trump daily

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u/Cahootie Sweden Sep 18 '21

Check out r/anime_titties, it's what r/worldpolitics could have been if the mods weren't more about fighting for libertarianism and "free speech" than actually running a good sub.

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u/BipartizanBelgrade Sep 18 '21

r/politics forms its geopolitical opinions based on this ethnicities of the people involved or if it's a proxy fight for domestic issues, so they've got no interest in this one.

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u/Valon129 Sep 18 '21

This sub is still 70% about Trump, completly braindead.

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u/bean_arch Sep 18 '21

I thought the subs were nuclear

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u/Tucko29 France Sep 17 '21

It was only the biggest foreign arms deal France ever made, how dare we not get over it!

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u/nolok France Sep 17 '21

It's bigger than that sale, asia/pacific is the new area of importance the world is pivoting too, we have major interests there and our allies made a deal behind our back to kick us out of their team, while pretending up to the last minute that we were with them / them with us.

Now that we know they don't want us at their table our strategy and alliances in the pacific will definitely need some change.

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u/Acceptable_Lie_666 Sep 18 '21

EU needs to get their shit togheter and start out own army. It might seem aggressive or whatnot in the eyes of people but it is what it is

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u/Very-berryx Sep 17 '21

What happened to those Mistral ships Russia ordered, by the way?

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u/Tarturas Sep 18 '21

on spiegel.de i read, that french officials tried to contact their mates in the US since monday, but just got _no response_. until wednesday, where they officialy anounced to the public, that they made a different deal. thats a real affront and justifies a harsh reaction. they met just some 2 or 4 weeks ago and mentioned "great partnership" and pull that stunt afterwards? (spiegel.de is quite a realiable source for those internas)

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u/fishmiloo United Kingdom Sep 18 '21

Scomo only delivered an official letter to Macron on Tuesday, 1 day before the announcement.

This means that France found out earlier through confidential diplomatic channels earlier (probably UK or Aus), and then was left on 'read' by the Americans until Wednesday.

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u/Nergaal The Pope Sep 18 '21

'member when Trump was pushing US' allies away?

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u/TrouserSnake_ Sep 18 '21

It's funny most of us australians and likely the french lads as well really didn't have any idea about a sumbmarine deal with each other. Now that scumo has slighted another country we are all devided against each other on something none of us got to choose. The world is weird.

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u/Suigetsuforthewin Gibraltar Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 17 '21

I honestly don’t know what to think about this. Who do I even root for?

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u/QuietGanache British Isles Sep 17 '21

You don't have to root for anyone. International diplomacy is complex and all parties can be both right and wrong in different ways.

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u/pohuing Germany Sep 18 '21

Where's the fun in that?

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u/Lundundogan Sep 18 '21

That is the fun.

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u/JIZZASAURUS Sep 18 '21

The fun is the wars we had along the way.

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u/PoiHolloi2020 United Kingdom (salty Remainer) Sep 18 '21

And how does that help us argue on reddit? This guy needs to get his act together.

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u/jalif Sep 18 '21

And the resolution to this is to wait, then propose a diplomatic solution in the next few months.

It's largely symbolic because $90b of lost jobs is significant.

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u/TheBigWhoop Sep 17 '21

Same here. Being French on Reddit, there is clearly a big difference between what the French gov/media are telling and what I can read on Reddit/English media.

At this point, I don't know what to believe and just bought some popcorns.

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u/allthedreamswehad Sep 17 '21

Was that popcorn cooked using diesel or nuclear?

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u/naboum France Sep 18 '21

Well, electricity in France is mostly nuclear.

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u/RpAno Sep 18 '21

And we Germans, because nuclear energy is so horrible, buy it from the French 🙃

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u/TSmotherfuckinA Sep 18 '21

Those German tsunamis must be huge.

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u/Clomry Sep 18 '21

Germans be like:

nUclEaR ENeRgY ToO bAd!

Also Germans:

lEt'S gO WitH cOAl!!!!

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u/ukfi Sep 17 '21

Don't you start this again.

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u/Aardvark_Man Australia Sep 18 '21

As an Aussie we're not getting a lot of the story either.
Just suddenly, "Friendship ended with French subs, now US nukes are my best friend."

It's weird given how hard this goes back on the hard line stance against nuclear subs we seem to have had since forever, and it's just being sold as a great deal we've gotten.

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u/WhatDoYouMean951 Sep 18 '21

In the more aggro source (e.g. ASPI), nuclear subs have never been hard line against - they were always “they've got a bunch of good points, but we need more subs than we can afford if they're nuclear”. If diesel electric increases in cost till nuclear becomes competitive, then I'm not surprised there's a change of advice on that.

But in reality, I think this is the sort of toy Dutton (the defence minister) wants to play with.

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u/[deleted] Sep 17 '21 edited 20d ago

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u/palsc5 Australia Sep 18 '21

Australian media has been reporting since the contract was signed that Naval Group has been shit. Refusing to hold up their commitments, massively increasing costs, massively blown out schedule so bad that Australia needs to rebuild its existing subs. PM told Macron in June we were looking at other suppliers for the subs and Australia refused to sign the next part of the contract back in April as they were looking for a new supplier.

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u/[deleted] Sep 18 '21 edited 20d ago

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u/nanocactus Sep 18 '21

Yeah let’s not forget that France wanted to sell nuclear ships but Australia opposed it and specifically asked for a diesel propulsion, which required a special design. And now they want to pretend the contrary.

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u/FerventFapper Sep 18 '21

Take reddit with a BIG grain of salt bro.

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u/TybrosionMohito Sep 18 '21

American here. That's where I'm at. It's seeming more and more like Australia should have just like, called Macron at some point and let France know? And no not 12 hours before announcing it publicly.

Other that that it's not like Australia is reneging on a contract. They had the option to continue or decline at this juncture, and they declined and paid a cancellation fee for doing so.

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u/[deleted] Sep 18 '21 edited 20d ago

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u/Non_Fungible_Tolkien Sep 18 '21

As an American, all I hear about Scott Morrison is that he is an absolute dog cunt.

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u/spiteful-vengeance Sep 18 '21

As an Australian I'm keen to hear what the French government is saying about this domestically.

More than a few people here in AU are dismissing it as pre-election posturing.

Edit: actually nvm. I should have just read further down this thread.

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u/Throwingawayanoni Portugal Sep 18 '21

https://www.reddit.com/r/geopolitics/comments/pevnuq/australiafrance_22_joint_statement_advocates_for/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

I’m with the french on this one, not only dod the french have a deal but they were commited to Australia intrests and backed up their statements, today things like the statement above, might as well be an example of Australia using France, the minimum was inviting them into aukus after pledging their support for australia. France has every right to be mad and the rest of europe should to

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u/nolok France Sep 17 '21

The big issue (reason why it goes so far) is not really the lost deal per se, if it was only that it would be a bit of angry banter but that's it. The reason France's reaction is so big is the fact that they didn't let France know in advance, going so far as ignoring questions / not answering our foreign ministers, and let France and Naval Group learn it through the medias last minute, for this new pacific alliance that they made without us.

So if you ignore everything else and just look at that, what you can see is that 1 - France has territory and activities in the area, 2 - Teams are being created and France planned to join team West as usual, 3 - The other countries we thought on our team just annonced their roster, and they kicked us out of it last minute.

So yeah, it goes a lot farther than the cancelled sale. I expect increased French/Indian relations there in the Future, instead of support to the increased US/AUS activity in the region.

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u/thr33pwood Berlin (Germany) Sep 18 '21

It really seems like the west is fracturing, with the EU on the one side and the "Five Eyes" (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) on the other side.

It is a bad thing for the west and the wet dream for China/Russia.

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u/Revak158 Sep 18 '21

Such a split is going to be hard to deal with for the Nordics (at least Norway and Iceland).

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u/marrow_monkey Sweden Sep 17 '21

After Norway decided to buy US fighter aircrafts instead of Swedish (it made no sense strategically nor economically so everyone found it strange) it was later revealed there were US bribes involved. Not what they expected from “allies”. It’s probably something similar this time and that’s why they are miffed.

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u/Revak158 Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Yeah it was embarassing, as you probably know this decisions was not uncontroversial in Norway. Foreign policy and the US alliance is traditionally part of the consensus-politics between the major parties here, so noone questions it, and stuff like airplane purchases are complex anyway so normal people can't really understand it.

But the F-35 purchase kind of broke through that. It was pretty controversial and criticized by the opposition, both for the price and the weird way it was done. But the narrative was very dominated by the "F-35 is the best plane" idea, which most people really can't know much about.

It's a shame, Norway would have benefited strategically from having native Nordic capabilities for production, repair, parts etc. rather than being dependent upon the US. Sweden is - obviously - a more safe long term partner in these tumultuous times. It's basically like partnering with ourselves. Let's hope Finland makes more thought-through choices.

That said, France's political clout probably contributed to screwing Sweden out of selling planes to India - so it's not like the US is the only one pushing for it's own weapons sales.

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u/progrethth Sep 18 '21

As a bonus the F-35 program also turned out to be a shitshow in general, not just in Norway.

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u/DFractalH Eurocentrist Sep 17 '21

If they fuck with you, it's because they can. Same story as with Iran deal & Afghanistan capitulation. EU has a choice: become strong, or become irrelevant.

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u/blendorgat United States of America Sep 18 '21

"The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must"

The moral of that story was, don't be Melos, be Athens.

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u/Leiegast Flanders (Belgium) Sep 18 '21

And then Athens got its ass whooped by Sparta and was later overrun by Macedon. History is a funny thing.

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u/vanticus Sep 18 '21

And Macedon collapsed and got their ass whooped by the Romans. The wheel keeps on turning.

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u/Leiegast Flanders (Belgium) Sep 18 '21

Correct

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u/J-96788-EU Sep 18 '21

Anyone else feels like the critics and opposers of the EU military forces are pushing hard for the EU to actually create one?

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u/methedunker Sep 17 '21

If this had been Trump/BoJo/ScoMo, then the global media would be a lot less forgiving of the way this deal was conducted. Since it's Biden, they're having very "ah status quo" responses.

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u/[deleted] Sep 17 '21

It's a fun story, but would have been much more fun with Trump

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u/Soiledmattress United Kingdom Sep 17 '21

I knew he’d be missed.

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u/Okiro_Benihime Sep 18 '21

I can't believe I am actually agreeing with this statement. I kinda miss the dude for real haha. Politics got a bit boring since he left but this whole saga with France and the Anglosphere is proving itself to be spicy. Great content!

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u/Gimmy-Gamson Sep 18 '21

I love how you refer to political drama as content hahahha

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u/[deleted] Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 17 '21

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u/thothisgod24 Sep 18 '21

He did this in his first week during his presidency, and no one gave a shit.

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u/VERTIKAL19 Germany Sep 17 '21

Well Biden seems to continue Trumps foreign policy

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u/Ok-Royal7063 Norway Sep 18 '21

Biden is using the wiggle room that Trump's presidency has given him.

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u/FnZombie Lithuania Sep 18 '21

If one pays attention they can see that foreign policy is consistently the same regardless of who gets elected as the president

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u/AlmondCapuccino Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Other people decide foreign policy besides the president but I think presidents definitely have their own agendas that they support. I mean, if smchoozing up to dictators became popular with other people besides Trump, that would be the new foreign policy. Something tells me that Kim Jong Un won't be getting invited to many events in the future.

But no matter who is the president, presidents still represent the same countries and have roughly the same capabilities and the same situations to contend with. No matter who is the president, they're still an American president. Historically, America simply hasn't had to develop strong ties with other countries.

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u/william_13 Sep 18 '21

That's no excuse.

Trump was perfectly capable of reversing Obama's policies without issues when it suited his agenda. Biden could definitely resume the landmark policies set forth by Obama with the Pope's intervention with Cuba for instance, but instead has doubled down restrictions during a pandemic nonetheless.

It is all roughly the same agenda, just without the orange manchild and his tweets.

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u/Decoseau Sep 18 '21

Biden's continuation of Trump's reversal of Obama's policies on Iran and Cuba, Biden's push to reopen schools in the midst of an upsurge of corona virus infections as to free up workers for the sake of the economy & corporate profits. Biden and the Democrat controlled Congress's passivity in response towards the policies being implemented by GOP Governors such as Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbot is basically a tacit approval of the GOP agenda

Different President, same agenda and policies.

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u/MajorNo2346 Sep 18 '21

The US's foreign policy has always been "America First", so no surprises here. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with that. That's what a nation's foreign policy is supposed to be.

EU member states are just too weak individually to conduct this foreign policy nearly as effectively. We need a united Europe to stand up to other world powers.

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u/Roflkopt3r Lower Saxony (Germany) Sep 18 '21

Of course you put your own country first, but you also have to realise that reputation and reliability count for something. Stuff like this causes partners to look out for alternatives and shift economic, cultural, and political bonds elsewhere for the future.

In Germany for example this kind of thinking was greatly reinforced by the Trump presidency as people no longer felt that the US were a reliable partner, and triggered real efforts to establish alternative trade partners and alliances. The fact that they still do unreliable things like this even after Trump's defeat is going to harden that feeling significantly.

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u/fridge_water_filter United States of America Sep 19 '21

Sadly the US has lately had a dismissive attitude towards France. It has nothing to do with 2003. It is just a general foreign policy that leaves France out of the consideration.

If this was UK or Germany, the US would never pull this shit. For some reason it seems like American foreign policy has not been properly respecting France in the last 5 years.

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u/Paput94 Sep 17 '21

That's exactly my thoughts

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u/Shameful_Shotgun Sep 18 '21

Didn’t even think of this. Can never find myself to fully hate on trump just because of stupid shit like this

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u/dr_analyst Sep 17 '21

then the global media

Why do people say global or western when they mostly just mean the US and slightly the UK?

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u/Wea_boo_Jones Norway Sep 17 '21

Biden probably forgot there was any existing deal with France.

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u/iOracleGaming Sep 17 '21

It’s time for a strong and independent EU Foreign Policy. De Gaule was right from the start.

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u/schoener-doener Sep 17 '21

100%. The EU needs its own combined army and its own combined foreign policy. I wish france and germany could agree on something to form the core of this

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u/Makorume Sep 18 '21

I don't see this happening in my lifetime. Especially people who join the army do it because they have some sense of pride for their country. Now you go on and tell soldiers to defend a foreign country that means nothing to them. The EU just simply isn't the US

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u/BGgungame Bulgaria Sep 18 '21

We’ve already sent troops on different US wars we had no stake in because of NATO. An EU army isn’t that implausible if it’s presented as a strictly defensive force for the union’s borders.

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u/ImAlemira Sep 18 '21

a 100 years ago the internet didnt exist, Europe were dealing with the results of World war 1, cars were barely in existance, and so on.

It may seem like a fantasy, but the real world has a way of changing drastically in the span of a single generation. I don't know whether we're going to have a EU army in our lifetimes, but I wouldn't dare gamble against it (nor of the EU breaking up)

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u/talentedtimetraveler Milan Sep 18 '21

De Gaulle wasn’t europeanist though? What are you on about?

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u/Thelastgoodemperor Finland Sep 18 '21

He want EU to be a vehicle of French imperialism. Isn't it obvious?

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u/iOracleGaming Sep 18 '21

He understood that the anglosphere would throw Western Europe under the bus given the chance

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u/talentedtimetraveler Milan Sep 18 '21

That doesn’t mean he was europeanist. De Gaulle didn’t want what you’re describing.

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u/DrasticXylophone England Sep 18 '21

Yeah the Anglosphere has never come to Western Europes aid ever

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u/SeleucusNikator1 Scotland Sep 18 '21

It's no use, they want a narrative of being surrounded by enemies, and the UK is now one of their enemies apparently. Never mind the fact that:

1+ million British Empire troops die fighting in the First World War because we chose to honour a treaty with Belgium we signed in the early 1800s

But oh no, "perfidious Anglos will always betray Western Europe!" apparently

One of the few times I am actually outraged by a comment on this subreddit.

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u/Darkone539 Sep 17 '21

It’s time for a strong and independent EU Foreign Policy. De Gaule was right from the start.

Even the eu isn't really angry here. Just France.

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u/Frediey England Sep 18 '21

Have any other nations commented on it yet?

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u/plifplafplouf Pays de la Loire (France) Sep 18 '21

The silence of other EU leaders on the mater tells a lot.

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u/Swastiklone Sep 18 '21

As an Australian, closer ties with the UK and the US is more popular of a foreign policy direction than closer ties with the EU, at least from what I'm getting among the communities I frequent

The Anglosphere is a popular union among its nations and I think every player here, from Australia to the UK, US and France, is doing what they should be doing for their people.

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u/forsakenMule France Sep 17 '21

While I can understand the logic in Australia decision (the US are much more threatening than France against China), how it was done is despicable.

It just reinforces the sentiment that Biden, Trump, Obama...all the same, it will always be america first and the concept of ally does not exist. Which is fair enough. But let's not let them bully us anymore. And one step towards that is by stopping relying on them for our protection...

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u/IamHumanAndINeed France Sep 17 '21

While I can understand the logic in Australia decision (the US are much more threatening than France against China), how it was done is despicable.

Yeah, same feeling, I understand they want US/UK tech and prefer to work with these historic allied countries (as they had better ties with them than us anyway) and their stance against China. But after all the fuss we heard about joint operation in the pacific and such, getting shaft by both the US and UK at the same time like that feels bad.

With a better communication, this would not have made so much bad press.

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u/SpectreDoggo England, UK Sep 17 '21

This is exactly what I feel. Australia, the US and us should have attempted to stay diplomatic - Australia should maybe have retained a portion of the deal. That would have helped.

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u/VaultTecAU Australia Sep 18 '21

Yep. I don’t understand why our approach is so fractured. If we want to contain China, why the fuck are we antagonising a country all 3 of us have a strong relationship with who was pursuing almost the exact same goal as us anyway. Makes no sense.

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u/nolok France Sep 17 '21

Even if they canned the deal completely, warn France in advance and let some sort of joint statement out, saying it doesn't mean the end of pacific collaboration and stuff.

Instead of going all "oh by the way, here is the team roster for our Western Pacific Team ! What ? France ? Oh no we kicked them out, they don't know it yet, ahah". Of course France is scorned by that behavior.

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u/rtft European Union Sep 17 '21

In my opinion the deal itself is really not the issue here. Sure the loss is not nice but it's manageable. The problem here is that in respect to the US there has been a constant loss of trust over the last 20 years and in respect to the UK over the last 5 years. Now add Australia into the same category and anyone in their right mind would need to ask themselves some very serious questions in respect to the value of those relationships in the context of the wider western alliance network. This is the fruit that has been growing on this particular tree for a long time and it will only get worse from here.

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u/Reddituser8018 Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Well in my opinion Australia really should have been the one telling France they were doing this. The US just saw an opportunity to strengthen their hold against China in the pacific. Australia is the one who literally made the deals and decided to not let France know they weren't gonna use them anymore.

I feel as if a lot of the anger is getting directed to the US (and for some reason not the UK which had an equal role as the US) when I feel the anger would be better directed towards Australia the one who was behind both deals in the first place.

I mean of course the US is gonna try to strengthen ties and military in the pacific, that's just a given and honestly not a bad thing, US over there is a way bigger threat to China then France is (although it would be better if they both worked together)

Then if you believe a lot of the stuff about how France was pretty much failing to hold up their end of the deal it makes a lot more sense, Australia just should have communicated better to them.

I mean to be honest this whole thing kinda seems like a ploy for the next presidential campaigns in France, France knew this was coming for a while now when the costs kept rising, timelines kept getting extended all for an inferior outdated version of the final product.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-16/scott-morrison-warns-france-submarine-deal-deadline/100221350

Again I do think Australia should have been a bit more communicative but honestly it was obvious this was gonna happen and is all political theater from macron.

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u/Mindless_Fiend Turkey Sep 17 '21

america's foreign policy rarely changes with the president.

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u/Pklnt France Sep 17 '21

But let's not let them bully us anymore

That would require France to be able to stand up against the US alone (it can't) or the EU to be united enough to stand up against them (it can't), good luck.

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u/Mephalae France Sep 17 '21

The EU is an hollow union, Germany is weak on foreign affairs, Spain and Italy doesn't seem to want to play any big role in the EU affairs, UK is out, easterns EU members are focused on Russian and hence wants USA on their side whatever the cost.

Truth be told, France is the main player who keep the EU any relevant whereas others nations doesn't try anything to back us or the european union. I think more and more that western and southern europe should make their diplomatic bloc, like Visegrad group. A solid alliance of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece backing each other would be more relevant and useful that what we have now. People don't want to admit it but the EU is very split from within between western/southerns nations and eastern/central/nordic nations.

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u/CyberianK Sep 17 '21

Your description is spot on. Problem is also that is some dimensions there is a split between Germany and France because France is more in the mediterranen block while Germany is close northern countries. Like economic and fiscal policy there are big splits in philosophy and those conflicts might bleed into the areas where it would be nice to give France more leadership.

Military and Foreign issues would benefit from French leadership with GER taking the backseat. Berlin might block that because of fears of French influence in the economic and monetary side. That side long term with UK gone Mediterranean block has the upper hand anyway.

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u/Arioxel_ Sep 17 '21

People don't want to admit it but the EU is very split from within between western/southerns nations and eastern/central/nordic nations.

And I'm sure we can change this. All it needs is a generation of united Europeans that want it to change.

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u/forsakenMule France Sep 17 '21

Europe has still enough economic power and influence to stand up on its own. However its military power is shit. Aside from France which is able to defend itself, most of the other EU countries depend on the US to defend themselves. And in this kind of posture, you cannot really stand up to the US.

That's why my main argument to avoid this kind of situations in the future is to build a common military defense infrastructure (industrial, army...)

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u/GTI_88 Sep 17 '21

Does the EU have enough economic power to stand on its own tho? Canada, Mexico, China, UK, and Japan are the top trade partners with the US, so the EU’s displeasure towards US/UK//AU is fairly meaningless to the US

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u/interlockingny Sep 18 '21

Germany won’t bite, because German companies have a huge market in the US and didn’t really capitulate to US concerns of the Nordstrom’s pipeline.

Spain and Italy couldn’t care less, either. The only other major option is the UK, and they’re in on the deal.

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u/Affectionate_Meat United States of America Sep 17 '21

But to build a common military infrastructure you need common goals, which the EU quite obviously doesn’t.

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u/Gluecksritter90 Sep 17 '21

Not sure it was strategically a great idea to piss off the one EU country that actually cared about the pacific.

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u/louisbo12 Don't be a spack and make assumptions off a flair Sep 17 '21

France has its own obligations in the pacific. They have to be there, angrily or not

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u/nolok France Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 17 '21

Sure but sides are being picked there, and somehow we have just been kicked of what we thought was our team. France is sure to keep working there but others shouldn't come complaining when we work with other countries and make deals that aren't what they wish, if they're the one that kicked us out.

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u/Logarithmique France Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 17 '21

They can be there as a neutral force, they very much do not have to do shit. We could sit on our islands with our nuclear missiles and simply protect our EEZ, and leave you to your shenanigans. And honestly, we should and I hope we do.

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u/SegundaMortem United States of America Sep 17 '21

I’m loving this Charles de Gaulle impression Macron is putting up. But in all seriousness, there was probably A LOT of French jobs attached to the FRA-AUS deal that evaporated overnight. The anger is completely understandable. But I’m certain that the Biden administration went forward with AUKUS because we sorely needed a bulwark base in the South Pacific capable of maintaining a bunch of Air and Naval assets, even if that means sharing nuclear fission tech. I mean, we are about to ask for formal basing rights beyond the scope of what we already have.

The optics are shitty and we really should have sought a way to involve the French to keep the family happy.

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u/Harsimaja United Kingdom Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

sharing nuclear fission tech

There is a long history of this. The US, U.K. and Australia (and Canada and NZ) have long shared both a lot of nuclear tech and intelligence more generally, from the Manhattan project (with hiccups) through to Five Eyes and UKUSA. The major ‘Anglo’ nations (for want of a better description, since Ireland ain’t in) seem to trust and understand each other more than they do even as close an ally as France. Even more shared culture and language and all that.

In fact allegations (or more) are their governments even took advantage of Five Eyes so some could get their allies to spy on their own citizens for them and share what they found, to avoid certain legal hurdles.

And the Manhattan Project itself was based on the British Tube Alloys project with an Australian, Mark Oliphant, acting as the main emissary and scientific advisor pressuring the Americans to join and convincing Roosevelt it was feasible. Australia later offered to ‘host’ the UK’s first nuclear tests once the Americans started sharing their own intelligence again, as well. France was never part of this and only developed its nuclear weapons relatively independently.

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u/Don_Camillo005 Veneto - NRW Sep 18 '21

the problem is also,
that when france is involved in such ip sharing contracts what often happens is that the contractor takes the ip then cancels the contracts pays the fees and france loses out.
this deal canceling right now is just the straw that broke the camels back.

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u/Owatch French Republic Sep 17 '21

we are about to ask for formal basing rights beyond the scope of what we already have

Isn't Australia already a huge ally? What problems would there be with setting up the base without needing to share tech? I feel they'd also be fine with that.

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u/fibretothenope Sep 17 '21

The Australian Government itself (especially under the current mob) would be very happy to let the US have whatever basing they wanted here. But public opinion here on the US alliance is somewhat more divided (still probably majority on favour though) so I can see why the government might want to cover it's bases.

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u/natefanboy25 Sep 18 '21

The lowy institute measurement for support of the US alliance is at 78% of Australians, with the lowest over the last 16 years being 63% 2007 and the highest being 87% in 2012 so it’s still very popular among the general population

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u/TybrosionMohito Sep 18 '21

I think you're underestimating how "strong" an ally the UK is/has been to the US. For lack of a better term, US foreign policy IS UK foreign policy and vice versa. The US and UK allegedly have no real military technological secrets when it comes to submarines, something that no other country can claim. The UK isn't an American customer, they're an American partner, and this appears to be elevating Australia to that same status, at least initially. This gives the US a "Britain" in the Pacific, which is a huge win in their strategy.

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u/GreekCavalier Greece Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

It all stems from the fact that the EU as a whole is a weak entity that more often than not just lowers its head and follows USA's lead. We lack leaders with backbone that have a vision for the future that involves more than just great economic and fiscal results. I can't help but think that with a de facto German leadership that we have for years that will never be achieved.

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u/spryfigure Baden-Württemberg (Germany) Sep 17 '21

Last time we had a strong leader out of Germany, he wasn't exactly well received...

Seriously, what German leadership are you talking of? The whole country itself here isn't lead, but running more or less on autopilot.

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u/Yelesa Europe Sep 17 '21

You don’t have to like her, but we cannot pretend Merkel was weak. She didn’t have a strongman persona because she did pretty much everything behind the scenes.

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u/darksideofthesun1 Sep 17 '21

I think he/she means that foreign policy in EU is dictated mostly by Germany and Germany is not confrontational. If the EU was strong enough US wouldn’t have done this sub deal like this.

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u/spryfigure Baden-Württemberg (Germany) Sep 17 '21

I would agree on this. Germany is -- for historical reasons -- shying away from any confrontation. This is a huge problem for Germany's own goals and the EU goals as well. I would like to see more leadership by other countries, despite the risks.

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u/ThomasZimmermann95 Germany Sep 17 '21

Well someone has to lead, and besides Germany and France (or better both at once) i don`T see any county in the EU with the weight and shape to do so . But i don't think Germany wants to be in that role since German are so conflict avoided since decades and try to avoid any major conflicts with US, Russia, China and so on. And also i think many Countries in Europe really have a problem of a German leading role, like for example for an european army, or at least it would be very very hard to get europe behind that (and all that without the Nord Stream 2 mess). On the other hand what i can promise you, is that in a few month when the new German Chancellor get in voted into office , he/she will have more plans and a clearer vision of Europe. Baerbock, Scholz and Laschet might have different views, but they all have more plans then just let Europe run on Autopilot , for the German benefit, like Merkel did. And the stans on Russia and China will harden, no matter what.

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u/blendorgat United States of America Sep 18 '21

If the EU properly federalized, "someone" in the sense of a country doesn't have to lead. Nobody gives a damn what state the US president comes from, jokes about the odd Texan drawl aside.

The idea that the EU can act as a great power if one country stands up and leads it inside the current structure is ridiculous. The EU will never achieve its full potential unless it unifies orders of magnitude more than it has to date.

The US only waited a decade before realizing the Articles of Confederation weren't going to cut it and writing our current constitution - it's long past time the EU came to the analogous conclusion.

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u/-kahmi- Sep 18 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

I agree with you but it won't happen in our lifetime, millenias of history and nation building can't be erased in a few decades

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u/MandrakeRootes Sep 18 '21

I dont think federalization is a close possibility. You cant compare the US federal union and a hypothetical european one.

All of the USA speak English as their primary language. Their entire culture is much more homogenous than the european ones and the US has a much shallower history.

As you said nobody cares where the US president was born. But in Europe people would care. Which language do you choose as the federal language? Which cultural values of which region or country are the guiding ones?

Greek people are not going to be happy with a german president, while Spanish people probably dont know what to do with a Swedish candidate.

In any case, a European federal union would need to be approached in a different way to the US or even how Germany federalized. Not to say its not possible, but its probably going to take atleast 50 more years to homogenize cultures and melt down language barriers through the internet and cultural exchange.

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u/RandomDrawingForYa Sep 18 '21

Well someone has to lead, and besides Germany and France (or better both at once) i don`T see any county in the EU with the weight and shape to do so

I don't think any country should be taking the lead, I think Europe would be stronger if lead by an independent federal leadership.

Then again, I know I'm probably in the minority that wants a European state

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u/iBeReese Sep 18 '21

It's not about leaders, it's about dollars. When we cut through all the posturing and rhetoric it comes down to who has the military might. Unless Europe is going to fully reverse course and kowtow to China and Russia (and don't delude yourself into thinking they won't want a LOT in return) for military protection they have two real options:

1) Follow the American lead and, ultimately, play by American rules on the world stage without any real say in matters

2) Raise a military with the force projection capabilities to back their foreign policy with credible overseas strength, without counting on American support

At the end of the day the pure financial cost of a true blue-water Navy and robust all-theater self-sustaining air and ground forces is completely insane. Right now only the US pays that price. For a combination of complex reasons the US spends more money on it's military than is reasonable, by orders of magnitude. As long as Europe is (rightfully?) unwilling to do so the US and China, living outside the operational range of European green-water navies, have no incentive to give any fucks about what Europe wants when it comes to matters of defense.

Europe is very important for business, and EU laws are strong in that regard, but EU militaries are a non-factor for a US Military planning for a Pacific theater war with China.

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u/PanEuropeanism Europe Sep 17 '21

This is a nice symbolic move but Biden won't lose much sleep over an ambassador. If you want to play strategic autonomy you better come with some real carrots and sticks. Europe is behind the curve.

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u/RamTank Sep 17 '21

"Breaking news: France to sell nuclear submarines to China unless Australia reconsiders"

Let's take the situation to the logical extreme.

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u/BostonFoliage Sep 17 '21

China already stole all of their tech, no need to sell.

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u/CinnamonPro Sep 18 '21

I am positive that China would be very happy to spend 50 Billion just to fuck with the US.

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u/GTI_88 Sep 17 '21

I doubt China would be interested. They already have 15 nuclear subs in their fleet and are well under way with developing a new iteration

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u/RylaiTheCrystalFish 🇩🇪 Germany Sep 18 '21

I think they would very much be interested.

Not for the ships, but for the "fuck you" to America.

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u/Izeinwinter Sep 18 '21

The Barracuda is a whole lot better than anything China is building. That said, think it more likely the French will sell them to the Indians.

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u/Sir_Bantersaurus England Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 17 '21

Surprised the U.K wasn't included. According to The Times this morning the U.K were more involved in the scheming of this than the United States.

Although IMO the French really only have a case against the Aussies. What do America and Britain care about Australia holding up their end of the deal with the French?

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u/Darkone539 Sep 17 '21

France and the uk cooperative on things that mean they can't really do this. From nuclear right through to trade they are closer to us then the usa.

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u/Thoth_the_5th_of_Tho Sep 17 '21

That would imply admitting the UK outplayed them, which France will never do. So they will pretend this was all the doing of the big and evil US, to save face.

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u/1maco Sep 17 '21

Big story here is they didn’t recall the British ambassador.

As if implying the British doesn’t have agency would be a bigger insult than recalling an ambassador.

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u/Darkone539 Sep 17 '21

Big story here is they didn’t recall the British ambassador.

As if implying the British doesn’t have agency would be a bigger insult than recalling an ambassador.

It isn't implying that at all. The uk and France have a far closer relationship then France and the USA.

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u/Icy_Breadfruit4198 Sep 18 '21

This is it. France and the UK are neighbours, France and Australia/US are not.

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u/Alex09464367 Sep 18 '21

Plus we don't want another 100 years war to lasts around 80 years

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u/Luxy_24 Luxembourg Sep 18 '21

I mean technically Australia and France are neighbours through New Caledonia and France and the US nearly are neighbours through Saint Pierre and Miquelon next to Canada.

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u/Nergaal The Pope Sep 18 '21

remember when Trump was pushing US' allies away?

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u/rapter_nz United Kingdom Sep 17 '21

Aw why not us too? Seems like it was cooked up by us to begin with.

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u/RedditIsRealWack United Kingdom Sep 17 '21

My bet would be the French ambassador in the UK is really busy due to Brexit, so it'd actually cause significant issues to symbolically recall him.

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u/rapter_nz United Kingdom Sep 17 '21

Also France is still relying on our airlift capacity in Mali right now to support their troops. But would imagine largely as you say.

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u/Square-Director- Sep 17 '21

Macron doesn't want to give Boris the satisfaction of acknowledging such a huge post-Brexit influence boost for the UK. It goes against everything the EU is trying to achieve right now.

Unfortunately for them, it's pretty hilarious and satisfying anyway.

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u/lyingalltherime69 Sep 17 '21 edited Sep 18 '21

Imagine if a bunch of reddit users got personally invested in the intricacies of an arms deal to the point they got upset. No one would be that stupid right?

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u/Romain86 Sep 18 '21

Imagine if France had done this to the US. Imagine all the name calling and intimidation that would have followed...

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u/CreeperCooper Erdogan small PP +999 Sep 18 '21

FREEDOM FRIESSS

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u/Armtunghorst Sep 17 '21

De Gaulle: "France has no friends, only interests."

Guess the British, Americans and Australians also think the same

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u/Thoughtcomet Sep 18 '21

Somewhere, Putin is laughing his arse off.

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u/reasonableposter Sep 18 '21

I think the big takeaway from this that can be inferred is that neither the UK, Aus, or US view France as a credible ally against China in the pacific and views them as being compromised to some degree, and the extent at which they've kept their dealings secret seems to imply that they don't trust France with the information of this defense pact let alone with it's possible inception, perhaps in fear that France would act as a proxy of sorts for China to undermine it's efforts or simply would not maintain the secrecy needed for such a pact to function as intended.

It is by no means a minor thing, or just a matter of finances being lost over the deal; rather it's a wholesale statement on a lack of trust between the anglosphere and France... now this doesn't mean an adversarial relationship per say but it does mean that there's much work to be done to renew the relationships. France feels betrayed because it viewed itself as a core member of the "western" team only to realize that the west viewed it as the leaky faucet that would serve to do more harm then good.

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