AUKUS and Afghanistan Debacle has diminished America’s reliability as a player and partner
The AUKUS deal also leads to the question of how Australia could be transferred sensitive nuclear propulsion technology.
The chaotic exit of America from Afghanistan and the Taliban blitzkrieg which swept away all the opposition and established its writ over Afghanistan has eroded America’s image as a reliable partner. It could be one of the reasons for the US to form the AUKUS defense pact and reassure its allies that it is willing to walk the talk and is going to play a dominant role in the Indo Pacific region.
AUKUS is a security pact that has been executed between three nations — Australia, the US and the UK. The pact enables the transfer of technology of nuclear submarines to Australia. The basic aim of the pact is to enforce the free and smooth transit of ships in the Indo Pacific region. It must be understood that 60% of world trade passes through this region. AUKUS will enable Australia to patrol the Indo Pacific waters for longer periods with the help of Nuclear Submarines. The pact will also help to contain China which has claimed a large portion of the South China Sea as its territory and has aggressively started to patrol these waters with its warships and Nuclear powered submarines.
AUKUS deal angers France and China
However, the move has made a key western ally France very angry. The anger of France is understandable since it lost billions of dollars by the way of a lost Submarine deal with Australia. Australia is going for the Nuclear Submarine from the US and has ditched its contract awarded to France for making 12 conventional submarines. The Chinese representation has termed the AUKUS Defense Pact as a cold war situation.
US President Joe Biden with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
The deal is surely wrecking the relation which the US enjoys with Europe. The deal will place the UK in a spot and a feeling is prevalent that BREXIT and AUKUS defense pact could be interrelated. The deal also puts into question the QUAD forum which has been formed mainly to checkmate. Though Indian officials are not talking openly, India has expressed displeasure for being kept out of the deal. The deal also leads to the question of how Australia could be transferred sensitive nuclear propulsion technology, something which has been jealously guarded by the five permanent Security Council members, all of which possess nuclear weapons and nuclear submarines.
AUKUS pact causes cracks within NATO
The deal also creates cracks within the NATO alliance which are looking carefully at the US and its commitment to European security. Turkey is already taking a separate path much to the annoyance of the US and its allies. Turkey has even obtained weapons from Russia including the SS-20 anti-missile system despite US protestation. India and French leaders have been holding closed-door discussions and its details are still awaited.
It is for the second time in history that the US is facing flak for abandoning its allies and exiting from the scene. The Afghanistan Withdrawal is erringly similar to the hasty US exit from Vietnam and leaving its allies to their fate.
The Hasty US Exit From Afghanistan
The U.S. poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan and set up an army of more than 3.5 million. However, Afghanistan never had any army in its turbulent history. The ethnic fault lines run very deep, and the Uzbek, Tajik, Hazara, Pashtun, and other tribes led by their warlords had their own armies, which locally looked after their interests.
The world’s influences always insulated Afghans, and events around the globe had a minimal bearing on their affairs. Had they not been the pawn of the big powers, they would have lived happily in their cocooned existence. However, Afghanistan was regarded as the entrance to Central Asia by first the British, then the Russians, and now America. Every power had its own interest uppermost, and no one cared a damn about the interest of the Afghan people.
And then suddenly, US President Joe Biden announced a military exit from Afghanistan. The U.S. military worked round the clock to evacuate remaining Americans from the war-torn nation as the Taliban enforced its rule in Kabul. But why the U.S. forgot its lessons learned in Vietnam? These are questions that will haunt the U.S. administration in the years to come.