On September 21, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
The UK joined in, turning the defence deal into a security pact focused on the Indo-Pacific region.
For starters, neither the UK nor France has the capability to affect the military balance in the Indo-Pacific region.
For Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the opportunity to deepen defence ties with the US strengthens Australia’s hand against a growingly assertive China.
This was underscored in 2010 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron signing the so-called Lancaster House Treaties, which cover a number of issues – from cooperation on maintaining nuclear arsenals to setting up a joint expedition force to counter terrorism.
The AUKUS crisis gives France and perhaps others in the EU an excuse to distance themselves from the hawkish stance of the Biden administration vis-à-vis China.
The submarine debacle “only heightens the need to raise loud and clear the issue of European strategic autonomy”, read a statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian and Florence Parly, the foreign and defence ministers.
With the US growingly focused on China and the Indo-Pacific, Europeans should take care of their own security.
Achieving those goals necessitates closer cooperation between France and the EU, on the one hand, and the UK, on the other.
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