AUKUS: Are we entering a new era of the Cold War?


The most prominent constructivist, Alexander Wendt, has argued that “500 British nuclear weapons are less threatening to the United States than 05 North Korean nuclear weapons” (1995). The affirmation supports the power of the relationship and its jurisdiction between and among states on the basis of norms, beliefs and culture, although they remain geographically in a remote location. Despite the distance of 1,071.7 miles between New York City and England, their culture, standards, and willingness to achieve the same goal kept them allies for years.

In addition, Australia is also considered a lifelong ally of the United Kingdom and the United States since its independence from the British Empire. The remote country is still under the rule of the British monarchy, although British Queen Elizabeth II is not concerned with all of Australia’s administrative activities. The British Queen plays symbolic ceremonial and central roles. The constitution of the Aspects has made Australia an eternal ally of the United Kingdom and a close and anchored to the existing superpower, the United States.

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Why are opinions divided on AUKUS?

However, the three countries entered into a remarkable trilateral security alliance, called “AUKUS” on September 15, 2021. The initiative was supported and approved by the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, via video conference, to enable Australia to develop its nuclear-powered submarines from the diesel submarine generation. This initiative also includes the alignment of a greater integration of military purposes, regional policies and actions, cyber warfare and artificial intelligence capabilities.

As this initiative sparks, security and military assistance to Australia from the United States and the United Kingdom will ensue in the South China Sea, the French naval group is likely to miss a contract of 90 billion dollars with Australia signed in 2016. Marking a setback for Emmanuel Macron and his government, this initiative brings him back to the new alliance of the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, AUKUS.

Speaking of the alliance, facilitating the strengthening of security in Australia is one side of the coin, but the other side focuses on the fundamental objective of the initiative which aims to confront China in the China Sea. southern, at the heart of the Indo-Pacific strategy. In this initiative, none of the three leaders, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, hinted at China’s concern, but he knows no bounds that it has been set up as a powerful alliance of security against China’s expansionist push in the South China Sea.

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Boris Jhonson called this initiative a “natural alliance”. He said, “We may be geographically separated”, but we are “natural allies”. Scott Morrison, however, insisted that Australia has no hidden intentions of pursuing nuclear weapons. Australia will always be there to comply with the rules and regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which it ratified in 1973. In addition, Australia has joined the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1998, which also insisted on withdrawing from the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Critics say move would indirectly boost Australia’s nuclear proliferation

The alliance creates a loophole in the NPT and, perhaps, makes it easy for Australia to become another nuclear weapon nation.

Australia is emerging as the first country to use the loophole which will raise questions about the legitimacy of the NPT and other international institutions exploiting the NPT loophole, critics say. There is no doubt that the alliance will heighten suspicion and raise a security dilemma among members of the NPT and other countries surrounding the objective against China’s expansionist push.

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Focusing on another spectrum, the UK has long been working on the concept of ‘Global Britain’. He aspires to engage in the Indo-Pacific strategy of increasing military power with the goal of achieving world gain with the United States. Inducing the UK, the initiative would shape a form of the neo-cold war in the region.

Despite the UK’s dependence on the US, militarily, once the hegemonic world power again thinks about amplifying sea power. Boris Johnson however felt the importance of this trio – UK, US and Australia – in the Indo-Pacific region which did not let him think outside the box.

China is a rising power and the United States’ biggest competitor

A rising power never lets a superpower stand still. After 2000, China’s emergence in world politics was like a long-sleeping tiger, but by strengthening its military might, it is, at that time, becoming another lion in world politics. The United States, the most powerful lion in world politics, will never endure such an uprising from an Eastern lion that its bravado and hegemony are in great danger. The Chinese military uprising in the South China Sea is setting another Thucydides trap in the region.

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Thucydides, the author of “The History of the Peloponnesian War” and predecessor of classical realism, argued that “when a rising power challenges the domination of an established power, war is inevitable between them”. For example, before World War I, Germany was the most comparable competitor to Great Britain, positioned in second military, economic and naval standpoint, which angered Britain’s demons and led them to start the First World War.

Thanks to Thucydides’ trap, we can easily discern that AUKUS is entering us into the new phase of another cold war. In 2016, the Trump administration played a leading role in triggering the economic cold war, in the name of a “trade war”, between the United States and China imposing sanctions on hundreds of Chinese products. . As a result, China has also imposed sanctions on US products and raw materials. Scholars believed Democrats would end this war, but the Biden administration instigated the war for greater interest.

What is the instruction ?

However, the problem with the Thucydides trap in the South China Sea is very apparent and palpable. China has criticized the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the United States, Japan, India and Australia) initiative since its inception. Moreover, AUKUS, without a doubt, would generate anxiety and tension under the rule of China, in the South China Sea, strategically and militarily. China, the lion of the east will necessarily respond as its reign is thwarted by the lion of the west, the USA.

AUKUS, it seems, will materialize another cold war. Concepts of an Eastern bloc and a Western bloc will emerge around this question. In the meantime, Bangladesh must be smart, as it promotes relations not only with the Chinese bloc but also with the American bloc, following new military and security policies.

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The peace of Bangladesh must not be hampered in this ordeal by maintaining friendly relations with the United States, China, India and all. As a NAM country, Bangladesh must abide by its basic foreign policy “friendship towards all, wickedness towards no one”, so it can be competent to ensure security, peace and economic and military objectives.

The writer is a Dhaka-based freelance columnist and student, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka. He tweets to @ MKawsar35. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space (GVS).


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