Canada’s omission from AUKUS agreement a concern: experts

Ottawa –

Canada’s dropout from a military pact involving its three closest allies, as the US, UK and Australia move forward with the deal, is a symptom of the larger problem of how the country will be perceived by its friends. experts warn.

US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian leader Anthony Albanese visited a naval base in San Diego on Monday following a trilateral agreement known as “AUKUS” after the three countries involved. I checked the steps.

This includes formalizing US and UK plans to help Australia develop a fleet of nuclear submarines in response to growing concerns about China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific.

The Trudeau government downplays the importance of AUKUS to Canada, saying Ottawa has not entered the nuclear submarine market.

Among them is the senior Canadian military commander, Lt. Gen. Bob Auchterlony, who, in a recent interview with the Canadian Press, said Canada would need to use the same cutting-edge technology as its three closest allies. I was worried that there would be no

The president of the association representing Canada’s defense industry, who criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s dismissal of AUKUS as merely a “nuclear submarine agreement,” also warned of the potential impact on Canada’s military exports.

Canada’s exclusion is seen as further evidence that allies do not believe Ottawa is not serious about opposing China’s ambitions, despite the recent announcement of a new Indo-Pacific strategy late last year. I’m here.

Professor Paul Mitchell of the Canadian Military College, an expert in naval strategy and U.S. defense policy, said, “The pace of events unfolding in the Indo-Pacific gives our partners an inherently clear direction. We are proceeding with this in mind.

“Meanwhile, Canada has announced its Indo-Pacific Strategy. But I think the problem the country has now is that it has a ‘strategy’ but has not really decided what it wants to achieve in the Indo-Pacific region. increase. .”

The strategy aims to find a balance between confrontation and cooperation with China, with Canada saying it will work together on areas of common interest such as climate change while challenging China “in areas of deep disagreement”. Says.

This comes after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called an “increasingly aggressive China” an “intergenerational challenge” and a top priority for the U.S. military in a defense strategy released earlier this month. Contrast with the United States.

“What are we trying to achieve here?” Mitchell said. “It’s something that really confuses a lot of people. There’s clearly an end to it in terms of backing up regional hegemony in the region and upholding a rules-based order, together with the United States.”

Former Canadian Ambassador to China, David Mulroney, believes Australia launched AUKUS after giving serious consideration to Australia’s future as a middle power in the world and region that China seeks to rule.

This not only reflects Australia’s more down-to-earth and innovative approach to diplomacy, but is also a result of Canberra’s willingness to invest the resources necessary to make such a partnership a reality, Mulroney said. said.

Australia is reportedly ready to spend billions of dollars as part of a deal to buy new submarines, although numbers remain uncertain. is expected to fund the agreement.

“Canada was once a source of equally bright and ambitious ideas and was consistently willing to help bring them to life.”

Canada Global Affairs Institute defense analyst David Perry noted that the US, UK and Australia all spend more than 2% of their gross domestic product on defense. Canada is less than 1.3%.

They also have firm plans to build new submarines, but Ottawa is plagued by problems with the Royal Canadian Navy’s four ships, not to mention beginning work on plans to build or purchase a new fleet. It has not even promised to replace the Victoria-class ships that are currently in service.

That’s despite military commanders repeatedly stressing the need for submarines, including Defense Chief of Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre last week.

“It shows that even among our closest allies, sharing past experiences and common histories, they will not continue to invite us to meetings as they have in the past.” Perry said.

“It is not a talk shop or a forum to meet and convene. It is a place for countries looking to make serious investments to address serious issues in security relations.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on March 13, 2023.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button