In case you have been living under a rock Australia has been in ongoing discussions to update it’s fleet of submarines. It will be the largest defence program in the country’s history, it will cost billions of dollars and will take years to roll out.
The USA has taken a particular interest in the issue according to reports from both The Australian Strategic Policy Institute and from Adelaide’s newspaper The Advertiser . According to the institute,
We think it’s in Australia’s interests for Japan to be more, not less, engaged in regional security. As American power declines in relative terms, having allies and partners around the region that can carry part of the burden of maintaining order will be increasingly important. That’s probably why it’s widely thought that the US is firmly supportive of a possible Australia–Japan submarine deal.
However, the Advertiser reported this week, that foreign minister Julie Bishop has denied coming under pressure from the US government stating that,
“The US are being absolutely scrupulous in the way they’ve treated this. I’ve been there when (President Barack Obama) has talked to our PM, I’ve met with (US Vice President Joe) Biden — they are absolutely scrupulous.”
It’s a sensitive issue for the USA, with tensions in the South China Sea high. The submarines could play into Beijing’s “fears of strategic containment.”
Vegemite Cheeseburger will continue to monitor this issue. Because as John Madigan once said….