22 Sep 21
You can of course believe that what happened was that Australia was unhappy with the contract with French company Naval Group and looked for an alternative elsewhere. It is not how I see the developing crisis, needless to say. What seems shocking to me is that Washington behaved towards France in roughly the same way it behaves towards China. Last year the United States communicated to the Romanian government that it could not expect to rely on American support for its security needs in the Black Sea region unless it cancelled a contract with a number of Chinese companies to build a nuclear power plant in the country. This time it leaned on Australia to do something similar, with the striking difference than in place of China on the receiving end of the manoeuvre we now find … France. A Nato ally.