First it was the head, then the questions and at the end the action. The Strategic Agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, that AUKUS that involves the sale of American submarines of nuclear propulsion to Australia and, in turn, the rupture of a Mega Naval Contract with France, the IRA of Diplomacy French More than 24 hours later, Paris became asked questions about the future of other harmful projects. What had Emmanuel Macron said? Any. And that was unusual. Until the night of this Friday, when he made a decision and called on consultations at the ambassadors of him in Washington and Canberra for the "exceptional gravity".
The facts. "Traditional in deep water", "Trafalgar IndoPacific", "slap". They had been the headlines of 'Le Parisien', 'Le Figaro' and 'Libération'. All went on the same line. France, humiliated by the USA. A slap on the face of Macron. Paris had sold to Australia 12 conventional propulsion submarines of 97 meters in length and 4,500 tons of weight. An agreement of 2016 during the presidency of Socialist François Hollande, being Manuel Valls, Prime Minister and Jean Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defense (with Macron has exterior), but was signed in 2019 with the current head of the State.
The agreement added 35,000 million euros of which 8,000 were for France. 60% of the total amount corresponded to what was done in situ in Australia. Canberra had hired the arms system to Lockheed Martin, the American industry that equates the new Australian nuclear submarines with its Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Although in Australia there was a reinforcement on the progress of the contract, and rumors in the press of which a French deputy was echoed that informed its executive around an official journey, nothing made the rupture season. On June 15, Macron received at the Elyseus Australian Conservative Premiere, Scott Morrison. President Galo glosó "the relationship of trust between the two countries."
No cloud in sight. Never then on August 30, when the Australian Defense and Exterior Holders met with their French counterparts.
It was on Wednesday morning, a few hours before the announcement by Aukus videoconference, when Macron received a notice that the Australian premier wanted to talk to him as soon as possible. The Foreign Ministers and Defense were informed by their collaborators that their Canberra peers needed to contact them urgently. These details account 'Le Monde' in your Friday edition. Accurate that they were gathered. On Wednesday it is a day of the Council of Ministers, which precedes a restricted meeting with the President. Ergo, Paris was prevented from what was going to happen ... a few hours before.
The Cabreo of the French Executive put a voice Drian, who in addition to "stabbing on the back," said "This unilateral, unpredictable and brutal decision looks a lot like Donald Trump. That is not done between friends."
And here are two obvious assertions. For Biden, when Washington's strategic interests are at stake, it is "America First", as with Trump. The same as it is a hurried decision as the withdrawal of Afghanistan than a strategic agreement long matured. Because nobody doubts that the covenant to three and the sale of submarines had months of negotiations. The second consequence leaves Paris in very bad place: nor his diplomacy nor his information services smelled the play. Ridiculous great.
Paris has always tried to defend a third way in front of the growing rivalry between Beijing and Washington. "A political, economic and strategic independence, especially through its nuclear deterrence that costs very expensive and that is financed, in part, with the exports of arms" write Philippe Ricard and Elley Vincent in 'Le Monde'.
It is clear that France has lost much more than 8,000 million.
In addition to returning to the United Kingdom to the Champions of World Politics after a Brexit that reduced it to the Second Division, the play has other consequences for France. And for Europe.
Does the sale of rafale combat aircraft to India now? Chill in Paris before the meeting at the White House of the three Quad partners, that is, the prime ministers of Australia, Japan and India. It is clear that Biden, after Kabul's abandonment wants to show that Asia is the priority of it and, unlike Trump, wants to align one or several systems of allies against Beijing.
"Some come to fear a scenario to the Australian in the European Project of the Future Air Combat System, known as the hunting of sixth generation. Germany and France are partners since 2017, Spain since 2019, together with industrial groups such as Airbus and Dassault . A project that Paris considers central for European sovereignty and who walks step by step.
"The Australian case creates a precedent that contributes to generate uncertainty" account 'Le Monde'. You have to remember that Germany celebrates elections in 10 days and that a long negotiation can be expected to combine a coalition of government.
Europe has defined this week a common strategy for the Pacific Indo Zone whose "importance" stressed Macron in the unique and remote allusion to the crisis. It was on Thursday night in its joint appearance with Angela Merkel. Then, he lowered the periscope and silence radio.
"You can not count on our American Allies. The Head of State will have to take advantage of the EU presidency, which starts in January 2022, to launch an important initiative about the Europe of Defense." Confidence of a Counselor of the Elysee in 'Le Parisien'.Updated Date: 21 September 2021, 03:59