“It is up to Washington to repair the damage with France and NATO”

Tribune. Are the French leaders right to dramatize the crisis between them and the United States in the case of the Australian submarines? Does the comparison made by some observers with the Iraq crisis in 2003 really make sense?

To these two questions, it seems to us that we must answer yes, at least to a certain extent. First of all, of course, because, on the method, we cannot leave unanswered a trap which has been laid out for us in a style commensurate with the Gallic prejudices on “Anglo-Saxon” duplicity. Secondly, and above all, because this affair reveals profound issues, such as that of 2003.

With Iraq, the question was whether the United States would replace the United Nations Security Council as the supreme arbiter of the use of force. Today, in our view, what is at stake is Washington’s desire to organize balances in the Indo-Pacific – and therefore in China’s environment – on its own terms, favoring certain allies (or “vassals” ), by deliberately excluding others. We focus our reasoning on the United States because it is understandable that Australia, the most culpable in terms of form, has basically pursued what it considers to be its vital interest; when it comes to the British, it is hardly surprising that they are looking to make their own way, by exploiting their comparative advantage in their special relationship with America.

Indifferent European countries

And if we insist on the Indo-Pacific issue, it is because we must anticipate the consequences that the tripartite pact will have, due, for example, to the signal sent by the breaking of the taboo relating to the dissemination of technologies. advanced (nuclear propulsion). Shall we see aftershocks of the Aukus [alliance entre l’Australie, le Royaume-Uni et les Etats-Unis] with other countries – for example, India – possibly on other types of armament? Will the American military re-engagement in the area, relying, as it is legitimate, on security links with the states of the region, take place by dismissing European interests, or even to the detriment of them? It should be noted in passing that some are delighted that European capitals remain indifferent to the snub received by the French: there too, nothing extraordinary, but let’s wait for Europeans to gradually discover all the implications of the Aukus.

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