From the Guardian Blog written by Daniel Hurst:
More than 100 Australian academics and scholars have called on the Albanese government to rethink its nuclear-powered submarine plan, arguing it is risky, expensive and will increase dependence on the US.
An open letter to the government, signed by 110 people, argues it is “imprudent to hitch Australia’s most expensive and lethal defence capability to an increasingly uncertain ally that is in relative decline, politically unstable, and exhibiting troubling signs of sliding into an illiberal democracy”.
The letter, coordinated by Macquarie University sessional academic Vince Scappatura, says:
Aukus will come at a huge financial cost and with great uncertainty of its success. It is likely to compound Australia’s strategic risks, heighten geopolitical tensions, and undermine efforts at nuclear nonproliferation.
It puts Australia at odds with our closest neighbours in the region, distracts us from addressing climate change, and risks increasing the threat of nuclear war.
Australia’s defence autonomy will only be further eroded because of Aukus. All of this will be done to support the primacy of an ally whose position in Asia is more fragile than commonly assumed, and whose domestic politics is increasingly unstable.
The letter – whose signatories include a former Australian ambassador, Richard Broinowski, and the Sydney Peace Foundation founder Stuart Rees – says Aukus “will equip Australia with a potent capability to strike Chinese naval forces close to their home ports and, in coalition with the US, play a frontline role in hunting China’s nuclear-armed submarine force and its second-strike nuclear deterrent capability”.
The signatories also include Peter Stanley, a former principal historian of the Australian War Memorial, and Albert Palazzo, a former director of war studies in the Australian Army Research Centre. The full list and letter can be found here.