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“Australia includes the modernization of its submarine fleet in a diplomatic-military alliance more protective than that with France”

Chronic. If even between ” friends “, at least between “Allies” … The surprise shutdown of the program to deliver 12 attack submarines to Canberra by Naval Group has brutally confirmed that defense companies and other strategic sectors have never been so dependent on political forces and uncertainties. exceed them. Between 1990 and 2000, in the interval of a unipolar world dominated by the United States after the collapse of the Soviet empire and before the irresistible rise of China, some analysts assured that the geoeconomy would take precedence over geopolitics.

This new era, the expert in strategy Edward Luttwak summarized it thus in The American Dream in Danger (Odile Jacob, 1995): “Military threats and alliances have lost their importance with the pacification of international trade. “ The conflicts were not going to go away, of course; at least the weapons would no longer be lethal: technological plunder and abusive state aid, customs tariffs and embargoes. While waiting for massive cyber attacks. The pacifying virtues of soft trade have proved illusory. Alliances have regained all their importance and geopolitics all its rights – including between allies.

Naval Group was the victim of the Aukus pact (Australia, United Kingdom, United States), more than industrial failures. Its CEO, Pierre Eric Pommellet, ruled out any deviation from the schedule and costs. Like the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, whose government had validated the first phase (2016-2021) of the program a few hours before the thunderclap. This one did not however explode in a clear sky. The alerts multiplied for five years, until the number two of the defense, Greg Moriarty, publicly mentioned, in June, possible “Alternatives” in the French program.

Lack of political lobbying

It was difficult to uncover the jealously guarded plan B at the top of the three states concerned. France is paying her restraint there, which does not want the Allied leaders to be tapped; but also less active economic espionage than among the Anglo-Saxons; and an absence of political lobbying accompanying the program, admits the deputy (UDI) Philippe Gomès, president of the France-Australia friendship group of the National Assembly. These shortcomings are all the more serious as, on the island-continent, defense officials, parliamentarians and the media were from the outset very hostile to the choice of France.

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