Johnson visits the United States: a timely submarine deal


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As of: 09/21/2021 8:06 PM

Away from Europe and towards ‘Global Britain’: Great Britain’s Prime Minister Johnson is hoping for more global political weight – by joining a defense pact with the US and Australia. But at what cost?

Analysis by Annette Dirt, ARD-Studio London

Boris Johnson looked elated when questioned by the British press in New York these days. He says that the relationship with US President Joe Biden is so wonderful, they even discovered a common hobby: “We are both big railroad fans,” he explained to his fellow traveler. BBC. Now we also know in the White House that the British Prime Minister tends to exaggerate and that only a few weeks ago the British-American-American relationship was characterized mainly by atmospheric turbulence.

In Washington, it was recorded how London handled the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. London press reports that British ministers have called Biden a “gaga” and a “loser”, and he has been hit hard by his lack of participation beforehand. Those names were harmless. The US President will not forget it, The Times then quoted an employee of Biden’s crew – but apparently decided to have a short memory for now and invited Boris Johnson to Washington – Thank you for joining the British company in the AUKUS tripartite defense agreement, At its heart is a new submarine deal, from which the United States in particular is gaining.

AUKUS has a few catches in London

Washington will soon deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Australia to be able to take a stronger stand against China from the Pacific, which is increasingly asserting its claims to power there. The French, who had been negotiating a very similar deal with Australia for years, were driven out. This Australian-British-American security pact, which Johnson has now willingly joined, has some points, especially for the British themselves.

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, immediately noticed, as junior partner, that the kingdom could be drawn into a military conflict with China in this way. And most acute: Relations with France, which have deteriorated sharply since Brexit, are now on their way to a new ice age. Because the French, whose submarine deal with AUKUS was coldly and without any warning scrapped, began to froth – and with them the European Union, which was ignored by its NATO partners and once again degenerated into spectators after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Nothing more than an address

But Johnson was clearly worth it, thinking he could finally fill the Brexit mantra with content: away from Europe, toward “Global Britain”. This title, which has appeared in nearly every major speech by Johnson over the past few years, was in dire need of substance, and so British Prime Minister AUCUS came at just the right time. Moving to the Pacific alongside the US feels like an old imperial grandeur, and so the British press, close to the Conservative Party, celebrated the deal as a new attempt to save the world on America’s side.

At the same time, the new British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stressed the strategic role of Asia as a trading partner of “Global Britain”. In 2030, this region will be home to two-thirds of the global middle class, she said in a recent speech.

But so far AUKUS is nothing more than just another title for the British. The British role in this tripartite agreement is actually rather insignificant. Even the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian declared that London was “the opportunistic fifth wheel in the wagon”, which is why they did not bother to summon the French ambassador to London, as happened in Washington and Canberra.

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Was the deal worth the consequences?

In London, too, there are now growing voices questioning whether joining AUKUS is worth offending European partners in this way. The former ambassador to NATO and France, Lord Peter Ricketts, pointed out the serious damage that a deep disagreement with France could mean to NATO, and posed the obvious question whether it would be better to include France in the American University of Kosovo decision sooner.

An idea that Johnson voluntarily put forward yesterday in New York: The relationship between Great Britain and France is indestructible, he explained. In addition, the AUKUS charter is open to other partners. It is highly doubtful whether this delayed vision can still repair the damage done. France canceled a scheduled bilateral defense meeting with the British until further notice.

The question thus remains open as to how Johnson intends to fill his sense of mission in his foreign policy beyond the rhetoric of content. In the long run, his “global Britain” will have to remember that the world also has its European neighbors on the doorstep.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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