So much to cheer in the new AUKUS alliance.
1. It enhances Australia's and the region's defence. It enables Australia, New Zealand's most important ally, to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, which will much better serve the defence of Australia and its allies, than the diesel-powered retrofitted French ones, that the Malcolm Turnbull government ordered.
2. It cancels the previous disgracefully wasteful defence contract, which was a A$90 billion pork-barrel deal to win votes in South Australia, driven by former Minister Christopher Pyne. It was a disgrace, and economically destructive whilst delivering little strategic benefit.
3. It annoys the Communist Party of China, which, given it is the political party responsible for the greatest famines and slaughters in human history, is entirely moral.
4. The mouthpieces of the Communist Party of China took nearly 12 hours to respond to the announcement, indicating that Beijing doesn't have quite the effective spook or snooping network that it might want, otherwise it would have promptly issued a line of comment in response. AUKUS took Beijing by surprise.
5. So-called "peace" activists are unhappy, as is the Australian Green Party, whilst all fail to protest Beijing's military exercises against Taiwan, imperialist occupation of rocks in the South China Sea and skirmishes with India. It just shows them up for what they are, supporters for any tyrannies that confront liberal democracies.
7. The European Union has demonstrated its virtual irrelevance in international strategic defence circles. With France its only serious defence member, and almost all of its members pathetically irrelevant in their funding of defence (and some being neutral), it has been sidelined.
8. For all of the self-serving puffery of the New Zealand Labour Party about the supposed importance of the Fourth Labour Government's nuclear free policy in the 1980s, New Zealand was, once again, proven to be utterly irrelevant in serious strategic international defence circles. New Zealand was sidelined (as was Canada), because it not only has little to add, but its adolescent nuclear-free policy is an inhibitor, not an enabler, of more robust defence of the region. Jacinda Ardern can claim "New Zealand wouldn't want to join", but it demonstrates that the "nuclear free moment" is more a display of performative virtue signalling, than anything of substance or impact on anyone, except those claiming how wonderful they are for the act of keeping nuclear powered submarines just over 12 miles off the coast of New Zealand. What New Zealand does is of little importance to those who are committed to the international peace and security, and is of equally little importance in climate change, no matter the egos in Parliament who wish you believe otherwise.
So good for Scott Morrison, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden (even if Joe isn't necessarily fully aware), this was a great leap forward in dealing to a whole host of issues at once.
oh and don't anyone think for a moment that the EU was going to offer Australia a useful free trade agreement, neither France nor the EU really care about free trade.