Headline RoundupMarch 14th, 2023

US, Australia Strike Deal To Bolster Australian Submarine Force

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Australia is purchasing submarines from the U.S. as part of a new alliance that also involves the United Kingdom.

The Details: In efforts to ensure “the Indo-Pacific remains free and open,” as U.S. President Joe Biden put it, the U.S. and U.K. are working to upgrade and bolster Australia’s naval forces. The U.S. will sell Australia at least three nuclear-powered submarines by the early 2030s, and begin a rotational submarine force, in tandem with Britain, as early as 2027. The deal is part of a plan that already extends into the 2050s, and is expected to pave the way for Australia to develop its own attack boats in the coming decades.

For Context: The agreement is part of a trilateral security pact between the three nations called “AUKUS”, which was formed in September 2021. It comes as the U.S. is experiencing tense relations with China, which has accused the U.S. and its allies of being on the “wrong path” amid incidents with Chinese spy balloons and growing bipartisan scrutiny of China. Biden stressed that the submarines are “nuclear-powered” and will not be equipped with “nuclear weapons.” The deal has received pushback domestically in Australia from Former Prime Minister Paul Keating and current Defense Minister Richard Males. Keating called it the “worst deal in all history.” 

How The Media Covered It: Although headlines differed, sources across the spectrum covered the deal and its context similarly.

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