September 22, 2021

The Biden administration just stalled China’s advance in the Indo-Pacific

By Robert D. Kaplan

Culture and tradition matter. The Anglosphere is a real grouping that comprises elements of trust going back decades and centuries. The agreement between the United States, Britain and Australia to build the latter nation eight nuclear-powered submarines effectively erects a core Anglo-Saxon military alliance fitted to a multicultural and globalized world. This is nothing less than the Atlantic Charter finally extended to the Pacific, eight decades later. Just as Britain has served since before World War II as a geopolitical platform for the United States close to mainland Europe, Australia, situated at the confluence of the Pacific and Indian oceans, will now do the same for the Indo-Pacific region close to mainland China.

Australia, by intensifying the military competition with China, could tee up a chain of as yet unforeseen events.

There are few things more hidden and precious in the U.S. defense arsenal than the production process for nuclear submarines. The United States shared those secrets only once before, with Britain in 1958, and is doing it again, for the second time, with Australia. This builds on the long-standing Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement among the three countries that also extends to the other two Anglo-Saxon nations, Canada and New Zealand, whose geographies and small populations make them geopolitically less relevant.

This new and de facto Anglo-Saxon alliance effectively joins NATO to the Indo-Pacific through Britain. In doing so, it alerts our other Pacific allies, notably Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore, that the United States is more capable than they previously assumed at keeping them from being “Finlandized” by China. This will further incentivize them to stand up to Beijing. The same goes for India, which suffered a geopolitical setback with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. In one bold move, the Biden administration has stalled, perhaps even reversed, the seemingly inevitable and creeping geopolitical advance of China over the Indo-Pacific.

Read the full article and more from The Washington Post.

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