The newly announced AUKUS alliance has offended the US’s close ally France, as the country feels backstabbed and betrayed.
As the US and Australian deal has sent the earlier concluded French -Australian deal for submarines packing, France is angry with the United States and, being a long-term US ally, for all the right reasons.
Australia pledged to France to buy their submarine technology for almost $40 billion in 2016. With the initiation of AUKUS, the earlier deal stands null and void.
Now, the money is going to the United States for its nuclear-powered submarine deal.
These crises are not meager, considering the spat it initiated in Europe. All the European Union is backing France against the United States, which is promising to give tough times to both Australia and the United States if the alliance stands.
France and the US Damaging Relations can Kick off a Domino Effect in Europe
France and the US relations have starting intensifying to an unprecedented extent for the first time since the end of World War II.
The two countries enjoyed wonderful bilateral relations both in terms of military and finance regimes. But this disagreement is likely to stand until or unless a settlement is made.
The crisis is so intense that France has even recalled its ambassadors back from Washington and Canberra.
The country even canceled the celebration in the event that was supposed to be conducted over the US and France’s growing ties. All of this happened within a week of the announcing of the alliance.
This US and France tussle will not stay between the two countries only. The European Union has already jumped into the matter, with increasing calls to reevaluate their priorities and view their allies.
Due to the bond between the EU, the betrayal of one country is being considered the betrayal of the whole group. So, the group is likely to come up with a counter plan soon.
Canceling France Will Backfire in the Indo-Pacific Waters
The tensions did not end here. France is irked over the United States for its exclusion from its Indo-Pacific strategy.
The AUKUS alliance is specifically made to counter growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific region. However, making this alliance can make the sufferings worse for the US Indo-Pacific strategy.
France is one of the most important global players in the Indo-Pacific region, controlling a large number of territories and islands in the sea. The country occupies almost 11.7 million kilometers in the Pacific Ocean and South Indian Ocean.
The French-controlled territories in the region house almost 1.5 million residents and more than 8000 troops, not to mention that the area is the home of some exclusive economic activities by France.
Hence this deal to offend France is likely to trigger an offense from the European countries as well, where they can reevaluate their strategy for the US and its allies in the region.
Now France can feel closer to China compared to the US in its Indo-Pacific policy. Both France and China have common ambitions now in the region to dilute the US presence in the waters, which can help them come closer to one another.
Going forward, this military alliance is also expected to conduct military and naval exercises to demonstrate its military might in the Indo-Pacific waters. So, France can be the biggest hurdle in allowing that show because of its powerful presence in the waters.
The United States needs to reconsider its approach towards the changing power structure in the waters of the Indo-Pacific region.
Without French support, the US does not stand a chance to dominate the most important region of the contemporary world.
This is just the beginning of the new alliance, and revising it in the initial stages can help the US to retain its most important ally of Europe.
Otherwise, if a trust gap is created, China and Russia can step forward with France to form an anti-US power bloc to deal with the new alliance in the Indo-Pacific region.
French reaction is enough to tell the United States that the country is not going to settle the mess easily. Just before the global leaders are gathering in the outskirts of the United Nations for the annual meeting at the United Nations General Assembly, this development is surely worrying for the US foreign interests.