Australia Continues Plunge Into Military Brinkmanship

This is just the latest in Canberra’s continually expanding policy of feeding vast fortunes into Washington’s standoff with Beijing at the expense of its own people, writes Caitlin Johnstone.  

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on video link with U.S. President Joe Biden during Sept. 15 announcement of the AUKUS pact. (C-Span clip)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Australia has joined the U.S. and U.K. in an “enhanced trilateral security partnership” called AUKUS with the unspoken-yet-obvious goal of coordinating escalations against China. 

Antiwar reports:

“President Biden and the leaders of Australia and the UK announced a new military agreement on Wednesday aimed at countering China. The pact, known as AUKUS, will focus on the sharing of sensitive military technologies, and the first initiative will focus on getting Australia nuclear-powered submarines.

 US officials speaking to CNN described the effort to share nuclear propulsion with another country as an ‘exceedingly rare step’ due to the sensitivity of the technology. ‘This technology is extremely sensitive. This is, frankly, an exception to our policy in many respects,’ one unnamed official said.”

This deal will replace a planned $90 billion program to obtain 12 submarines designed by France, an obnoxious expenditure either way when a quarter of Australians are struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic that is four times more likely to kill Australians who are struggling financially.

This is just the latest in Canberra’s continually expanding policy of feeding vast fortunes into Washington’s standoff with Beijing at the expense of its own people.

If readers are curious why Australia would simultaneously subvert its own economic interests by turning against its primary trading partner and its own security interests by feeding into dangerous and unnecessary provocations, I will refer them once again to the jarringly honest explanation by American political analyst John Mearsheimer at a debate hosted by the Australian think tank Center for Independent Studies in 2019. 

Mearsheimer told his audience that the U.S. is going to do everything it can to halt China’s rise and prevent it from becoming the regional hegemon in the East, and that Australia should align with the U.S. in that battle or else it would face the wrath of Washington.

“The question that’s on the table is what should Australia’s foreign policy be in light of the rise of China,” Mearsheimer said. “I’ll tell you what I would suggest if I were an Australian.”

Mearsheimer claimed that China is going to continue to grow economically and will convert this economic power into military power to dominate Asia “the way the US dominates the Western Hemisphere” and explained why he thinks the U.S. and its allies have every ability to prevent that from happening.

“Now the question is what does this all mean for Australia?” Mearsheimer said. “Well, you’re in a quandary for sure. Everybody knows what the quandary is. And by the way you’re not the only country in East Asia that’s in this quandary. You trade a lot with China, and that trade is very important for your prosperity, no question about that. Security-wise you really want to go with us. It makes just a lot more sense, right? And you understand that security is more important than prosperity, because if you don’t survive, you’re not gonna prosper.”

“Now some people say there’s an alternative: you can go with China,” said Mearsheimer. “Right, you have a choice here: you can go with China rather than the United States. There’s two things I’ll say about that. Number one, if you go with China you want to understand you are our enemy. You are then deciding to become an enemy of the United States. Because again, we’re talking about an intense security competition.”

“You’re either with us or against us,” he continued. “And if you’re trading extensively with China, and you’re friendly with China, you’re undermining the United States in this security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective. And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.”

Nervous laughter from the Australian think tank audience punctuated Mearsheimer’s more incendiary observations. The CIA is known to have made numerous attempts to assassinate Castro.

There you have it. Australia is not aligned with the U.S. to protect itself from China. Australia is aligned with the U.S. to protect itself from the U.S.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

26 comments for “Australia Continues Plunge Into Military Brinkmanship

  1. ld
    September 19, 2021 at 04:53

    Here is your new leader
    we chose him just for you
    the other guy is gonna die
    and we’ve arranged a coup
    our good and faithful minions
    share all of our opinions
    so if you want to live
    here’s what yer gonna do

    to our friends….

    Arrest our competition
    and buy our submarines
    and force your population
    to submit to our vaccines
    just do as you are told
    don’t make us use the stick
    for we can be quite ruthless
    when we want to be a prick

  2. John Clark
    September 18, 2021 at 09:29

    This is my first time on this site, I found it to be very interesting! Thanks for all your work.

  3. Nylene13
    September 17, 2021 at 14:58

    Glad to see you are criticizing Australia for once, instead of just the U.S.
    If Australia had any backbone, Julian Assange would have been home a long time ago.

    I don’t know what We the People can do about all this.
    We could not even get Bernie elected.

  4. Stevie Boy
    September 17, 2021 at 11:07

    The US just needs Australia, ie. the country, not the Australian people nor the Australian government. With unrestricted access to the land the US can now station troops, missiles and other weapons systems there. It is simply a base for surrounding and threatening China, just like Japan. This strategy has been used against Russia with the UK and various puppet states in Europe.
    Australia can be proud of itself, it is now officially America’s b*tch.

    • kiers
      September 17, 2021 at 18:37

      why was Australia ALLOWED to sell dirty coal to China in the 100s of Billions of dollars?

  5. Donald Duck
    September 17, 2021 at 08:55

    Will the United States regard it’s relationship with China as permanent however? Moot point I would have thought. Great powers have no particular penchant for unstinting loyalty to their weaker vassals. We shall see. Neutrality would have been my option but what do I know.

  6. mgr
    September 17, 2021 at 07:15

    Mr. Biden’s statement on this was that just as the US faced the challenges of the 20th century it will face the challenges of the 21st century the same way. I guess irony is not dead after all; let’s double down on failure? As a result of the US “facing the challenges of the 20th century,” the entire world is now on fire both figuratively and literally; with increasing conflict and a looming, world-wide, environmental catastrophe on the horizon. Biden is a product and supporter of the very “status quo” that has brought the world to this point. Apparently, he cannot imagine anything different. The same though is equally true of the American political offerings that came before him, from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Unfortunately, this status quo is suicide for us all.

  7. Lee C. Ng
    September 17, 2021 at 03:28

    Mearsheimer thinks from a Western perspective. Thus it’s natural for him to assume that China, remembering its hundred years of oppression by the West, would want to be a hegemon in the East. It’s true that China would want to be as strong as possible, but only not to be bullied again; never to behave like, as he puts it, the US in its relations with Latin America. During the 1960s/early 70s Western media had correctly reported that Mao Zedong regarded “superpower” as a dirty word. Mao was merely echoing a Chinese tradition. China accepts tributes from other states but always gave more in return and never pillage and plunder weaker states. This was pointed out by former Malaysian Prime Minister who referred to the centuries-old relationship his people had with China. He contrasted such relationship with the West: Malacca was invaded three times in succession and within a short period by Portugal, Dutch, and Britain who went on to colonize the entire Malay peninsula (besides Borneo).

  8. KiwiAntz
    September 17, 2021 at 00:20

    Scotty from Marketing, as the Aussies call their cowardly, feekless Leader, has singlehandedly destroyed Australia’s Diplomatic & Trading relationship with China thanks to this new AUKUS Alliance? The Borefest that is Scott Morrison, a man so lacking in any Charm, charisma or personality that even Biden couldn’t even remember his name in that Press conference, is a one man, Mad Max, Aussie wrecking ball that’s ruined Australia? China now views Australia as a enemy not a friendly Partner & Australia will bear the cost of that change in status to the detriment of its Economy, which is already in freefall thanks to COVID! How will Australia pay for the US Nuclear Submarines, I hope America accepts exports of Kangaroo meat, Fosters Beer or diggerydoos in lieu of a cash payment as Australia can’t rely on Chinese Trade dollars to pay for these stupid & useless American Submarine, weapons of War?

    AUKUS is causing a huge RUKUS, but is there any surprises here, everyone knows Australia is just America’s lapdog lackey, down under in the Sth Pacific? Next to America, Australia is the most dumbed down, braindead Nation on Earth, thanks to Rupert Murdoch & obviously the Aussies haven’t paid any attention to America’s 20 yr Afghanistan Disaster which ended in humiliating defeat & which proved beyond any doubt that America is finished as a Imperial Empire & that if the going gets tough, it will cut & run & leave its Allies to fend for themselves, like in the Kabul withdrawal debacle? But like a brainwashed Cult victim, Australia has hitched its wagon to the declining, dying US Empire? The arrogance & delusional magical thinking to believe that Australia, the UK & America, Nations who have just been defeated by the raggedy Taliban in Afghanistan & now believe they can sabre rattle & threaten China with War & believe they can win that War is just foolish, ridiculous & ludicrous thinking! Advance Australia Fear! Pathetic!

  9. Pericles
    September 16, 2021 at 22:59

    I think both John Mearsheimer’s and Hugh White’s predictions will come true. Australia, perhaps against its best interests, will align with the United States in a futile effort to contain China. The United States, facing domestic instability and financial collapse, will ultimately end up withdrawing from East Asia. Moreover, I think China senses this and is waiting patiently for this eventuality to occur.

    • val
      September 17, 2021 at 09:16

      Yeah, China is patient if they are anything and its wise on China’s part to be patient and not make enemies, cause what good would it
      do to have so much power and have your neighbors hate you.

      Its Amazing China has done so much even in my lifetime. Amazing to see.

  10. Rex Williams
    September 16, 2021 at 21:59

    It is refreshing to have the likes of Caitlin Johnstone and John Mearsheimer telling it how it is. And on Consortium as well. Must be one of the only avenues for such items to ever see the light of day.

    In AUKUS we see a trio of Anglo white guys with the US as the string puller. So now the US has AUKUS along with QUAD, using India and Japan to add to the flavour, NATO, with Europeans circling Russia and forming convenient friendships with the likes of Ukraine to wreak havoc, sooner or later in the Crimea. And all working for the Yankee Dollar in the guise of the US military / industrial boys backed up, sponsored and supported in this feeble-minded country by the likes of our disgraced government and the ASPI organisation in Canberra. What a team.

    What a game we play, ably represented when required for a photo shoot in Washington by the likes of Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.

    It is theatre.

    Say no more.

    September 16, 2021 at 21:29

    Should have called it AUSUK.

  12. casualreader
    September 16, 2021 at 21:06

    I doubt very much that a military conflict with Australia is in the front mirror nor the rearview mirror of China. Australia is not a part of China’s economic growth plans. China must be giddy to form a relationship with a new government of Afghanistan and all the EVs it can manufacture. Sooner or later Australia should expect the THADDs to arrive on their land without looking for permission from the US. Be warned.

  13. Zhu
    September 16, 2021 at 20:16

    I suppose a US invasion of Australia is more likely than a Chinese invasion.

  14. September 16, 2021 at 18:53

    How many Aussie Dorks are prepared to Fight China while America is afraid to. The Iraqi Kurds have been Betrayed 3 Times by Uncle Sam. People who served America in Vietnam and Now Afghanistan trusted America and end up Falling from Fleeing US Planes.

    • Confusious
      September 16, 2021 at 23:14

      Using our friends to finance and die for us is an old trick. Israel has been doing that to the USA for years and years. I guess it just depends on who you pay.Walzting Matilda.

  15. Moi
    September 16, 2021 at 16:46

    Australia is making an enemy of China, not the other way around.

    When China boycotts Australian iron ore, the latter isn’t going to be able to afford to build, let alone run a dozen fantastically expensive nuclear subs.

    The US really knows how to generate lose/lose deals.

  16. Andrew Thomas
    September 16, 2021 at 16:13

    Mearsheimer is persona non grata on US media platforms because he co-authored a book which told all manner of unpalatable truths about Israel and its relationship with the US. His blunt manner should not be taken as approval from a moral standpoint of what he is saying. His analysis is spot on, and not at all in conflict with Caitlin’s conclusion.

    • Frank Lambert
      September 17, 2021 at 08:34

      Well said, Andrew! And thank you Caitlin and thanks to Professor McCoy’s article on the Anglo-Saxon article on Consortium News several days ago. Who gave the US the authority to impose economic sanctions on any nation it deems fit to control or worse, destroy?

      China and Russia have tried their best to get along with the “West,” as they’d rather have economic and cultural exchanges with other nations rather than engage in warfare, but both the ‘Bear’ and the ‘Dragon’ are prepared to defend themselves against the “world’s only super-bully.” And NATO? Nothing more then henchman for Uncle Sam’s desire to control the planet by violent means.

      Shame on Australia for becoming a frightened dictatorship!

    • Katherine Showalter
      September 17, 2021 at 12:08

      I agree, though he seems awfully pleased with his own grasp of reality. Perhaps he should leave the think tank occasionally and spend some time where hope lives.

  17. rosemerry
    September 16, 2021 at 15:53

    Why this constant pretence that there has to be enmity???China does not want it, the USA always makes enemies then blames them for daring to be independent. How can anyone want the useless USA to be an ally???

    • zhenry
      September 18, 2021 at 01:43

      Agree Rosemary enmity is the US way or lets say the Allan Dules way, after all he had lot to do with US foreign policy since WW2 and even during. Does the world want a rerun of US foreign policy since WW2? Everything to avoid it I would think.
      Kennedy wanted to change the Dulles paradyme, a cooperative approach respecting a countries sovereignty.
      The former Malysian PM noted China’s approach in stark contrast to a series of European and UK invasions.
      Mecshershmit assumes China is going to be like the US, the mafioso fighter. China has demonstrated differently; note John Perkins ‘Economic Hitman’ book which he wrote for the US elites to try and covince them that regime change and killing will not work when competing with China, because China zeros in on the commercial transactions. It does not do the killing and it will help China suplant the US if US foreign policy does mot change. Perkins was idealy placed to make such comments.
      AU does not have to accept the black and white choices offered by the US. ‘Your either for us or against us’ W Bush strut pandering to the corporates and Military Industrial Complex.

      We have climate change the world cannot aford another post WW2 US domoinating era.
      A multipolar world, a democratic UN (I mean democratic) and international law enforcable by the UN. Not by the WEF and the Davos elites.
      Thats our only hope for a civilised world, otherwise distopia.

  18. September 16, 2021 at 15:43

    That is fine for Australia.Why was Canada left out of this? is it because they are in NATO more aligned in the European theatre as opposed to the Pacific theatre?

    • Farthington
      September 16, 2021 at 16:48

      Because Canada is a State of the US. No formal alliance is necessary.

    • Piotr Berman
      September 16, 2021 at 21:55

      Spurred by this article, I read why Australia needs submarines, and why it needs more and better submarines.

      In the case of a Chinese armada on a mission to conquer Australia, perhaps to catch kangaroos that could relieve understaffed judiciary, the current submarines could do something, say, intercept them near Indonesian straight, but for the missions in South China Sea they need refueling. And since the project has 50 year horizon, one cannot count on refueling in, say, Singapore. Larger submarine will have more capacious tanks and larger range.

      It seems that the Empire wants to have the capacity to blockade China on the seas, necessitating a large flock of submarines, and Australians are glad to pitch in. Except for misfits like Caitlin.

      One should study how New Zealand confidently faces the future. They spend enough on air force and the navy to have the capacity of saving an occasional yacht in trouble, as the most intrepid yacht crew (some solo!) race around the globe, they stick close to Antarctic where they benefit from steady westerly winds — never weak, but at time terribly violent. And soft-hearted Kiwis would not let them simply die. No one in New Zealand advocates for “force projecting” capability that could be used in the Sea of Okhotsk or similarly distant location. But Australia has much larger ambitions and it spends ca. 2.1% of GDP on defense.

      Back to Canada. Sending submarines to the shores of China with no refueling could exhibit national fortitude, but Canada has her hands full for of defense tasks predicated on Russian involvement, Danish invasion was repelled but with humiliated territorial losses (half of Hans Island), so Canada has a tight focus on defending their Arctic, but that does not require long-range submarines.

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