It’s been said that a person’s word should mean everything. It’s a non-formalized agreement of sorts. While the same thing should apply to countries, it’s all dependent upon the integrity of the people running it. According to France, the U.S. and Australia fall into the category of shysters for going behind its back, and they’re letting it be widely known among members of the EU. France is crying foul for good reason.
French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune asked EU leaders to put off negotiating any further trade deals with Australia for the time being. France got their panties in a wad when, out of the blue, Australia backed out of a multi-billion dollar contract to purchase six conventional diesel-electric French-built submarines.
The deal between France and Australia was no secret to world leaders and nary one of them had any issues with it. But then along came a new and better offer from the U.S. that saw France getting kicked to the curb. Why should Australia spend so much money on old technology when they could have the latest and greatest thing? Nuclear-powered subs are the only way to go.
Beaune called it an act of betrayal that could not have come at a worse time with elections just around the corner in April. He said, “It’s a matter of trust. When you have your word, it has some value between allies, between democracies, between partners, and in this case, this word was not respected… so of course, it creates a breach of trust.”
“We have to be firm, not as French but as Europeans, because it’s a matter of the way we work together as allies,” Beaune added. France and Australia have been slowly putting together a mutually beneficial trade agreement since 2018, but all indicators are saying it’s about to be brought to a screeching halt until when and if this situation can be resolved.
It shouldn’t be difficult for France to get the rest of the E.U. to fall in step with them. The U.S., and in particular Joe Biden, has fallen under intense scrutiny as of late. Biden appears to be isolating the U.S. from the outside world by not consulting anyone on anything. His laughable lack of strategy was on full display with the way he botched the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The E.U. would have told him the plan had no merit had he bothered to ask. But Biden knew best.
Michael Roth, Germany’s European Affairs Minister, gets it. It’s a huge unexpected economic blow for France and he said he has a “great understanding for the disappointment felt by our French partners.”
“It’s once more a wake-up call for all of us in the European Union to ask how we can strengthen our sovereignty, how can we stand as one even in question-related to foreign and security policy, and how can we use our economic and political clout in such a way that we can contribute to security and multilateralism so that our values are firmly anchored at the global level,” he said.
The political winds are shifting and new sides are being chosen as a confused world scrambles to make certain they team up with the right one. Eventually, those teams will start fighting against each other as rival teams always do. The cause has yet to be determined but both sides will think theirs is better than the others.
When the winds die down, who’s going to be standing with the U.S.? We know the U.K. and Australia will be but this is only a matter of tradition and the simple fact that no other government in its right mind wants to deal with them. It certainly isn’t because of Joe Biden.
First, it was the botched Afghanistan withdrawal and now it’s a behind-the-back nuclear submarine deal. It’s great that Biden appears to be putting America first but he’s not doing it quite the same way as Donald Trump did. Trump understood how he still had to use some diplomacy. He couldn’t act in secret and expect to gain and keep any kind of respect. He let the world know of his intentions whether they liked it or not. No matter what, he didn’t blindside anyone.
Biden’s in a bubble. What happens in the White House stays in the White House and nobody has any business knowing what he’s up to. Even his own staff. There’s a term for a ruler like this: Dictator.
Is this what Biden hopes to become?