The AUKUS Treaty: 30 Years of Calm? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The AUKUS Treaty: 30 Years of Calm?
Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint press Conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton on September 16, 2021. (U.S. State Department)

Washington — One of the unsung prophets of AUKUS last week was the great British historian, Andrew Roberts, who soon will be recognized throughout the English-speaking world as the man who has attempted to retrieve the reputation of King George III from the sneers of . . . well of people like me. His biography of George III will come out in early November and, of course, I have not had a chance to read it, but Andrew will have his work cut out for him what with George’s treatment of General George Washington during our Revolutionary War and George’s lapses into madness. Though Andrew now will have assistance from the New Tories here in America. I am speaking of the Woke Folk who want to remove the Washington Monument and replace it with public housing. Then there are the more violent Woke Folk who want the statues of General Washington beheaded and even, I am told, his white stallions decapitated. Yet if anyone can accomplish the feat of reviving George III’s reputation it will be Andrew, the author of some 16 books, among them a biography of Napoleon and the best one-volume biography available of Winston Churchill.

Andrew is one with the great wartime prime minister in calling for an alliance of the English-speaking people. Winston Churchill called for it after World War II. Andrew called for it at the end of his History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900.  With Aukus coming to life, the thing has begun. Australia, the United States, and Great Britain are headed for an alliance to check Chinese power plays in the Pacific. Add a few more countries such as Canada and New Zealand, and Winston Churchill’s dream is taking shape. Andrew Roberts’ promise is at hand. He has been calling for something like Aukus for years.

It is amazing that President Joe Biden is for Aukus, but he is. When he heard that people on the right favored it, and in the middle, and the Brits across the pond like Andrew Roberts favored Aukus, I would have thought Joe would have reversed himself. Perhaps he would have sided with Vietnam. Possibly he would enter into a treaty with Liechtenstein. But no, Joe is going along with Australia and Great Britain. This is the first time ever that Joe and I have agreed on anything, even ice cream. But China is a threat that even Joe can recognize.

Despite talk of the United States and Great Britain having a “special relationship,” we were not seeing eye to eye on China as recently as 2015. There was the disagreement over Huawei. There was apparent disagreement about the nature of the Chinese strategic intentions. In 2015, Great Britain rolled out the red carpet when the Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping, came to London. He had a sleepover in Buckingham Palace. The police shut down every protest. Yet now Great Britain is no longer even remaining neutral on China. It has sided with the United States and with Australia. Australia wanted an enduring relationship with France which France could not provide. So, Australia looked to Britain, and the United States was willing to share with Australia its nuclear-powered submarine technology. Great Britain, as James Forsyth, the very well-connected politics editor of London’s Spectator, wrote last week, “has firmly sided with the United States. It looks as if the contours of the next 30 years of British foreign policy have just been fixed.”

The “institutional nature” of the alliance makes it special, Forsyth explains by quoting “a source,” obviously from Great Britain’s own deep state. “The relationship has foundations deep enough that it can survive whatever political winds are blowing.” This is where Forsyth gets his 30-year lifetime for the Aukus treaty.

For years, the critics of Red China have been saying if China overreaches, it will have much of the world against it. With the Wuhan Flu, saber rattling at Taipei, and its military activity in the South China Sea, it looks like the English-speaking world has had enough. Canada is rumored to be interested in Aukus. Next will come New Zealand. There is of course Japan taking a great interest in the English-speaking peoples. I got Andrew on the line. He reminded me that Great Britain and Japan were in an alliance from 1904 to 1918. He continued, “Japan has been a friend of ours when it’s been a democratic country.” Fortunately, the Japanese already speak pretty good English.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
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R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief ofThe American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: The Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn’t Work: Social Democracy’s Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. He makes frequent appearances on national television and is a nationally syndicated columnist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, National Review, Harper’s, Commentary, The (London) Spectator, Le Figaro (Paris), and elsewhere. He is also a contributing editor to the New York Sun.
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