One of Australia's Own Calls Sub Deal 'Worst in All History'

Former PM is not a fan of AUKUS
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2023 8:00 AM CDT
One of Australia's Own Calls Sub Deal 'Worst in All History'
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating appears by video link as he addresses the National Press Club in Canberra, Wednesday, March 15, 2023.   (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

China is peeved about Australia's new submarine deal with the US. France is miffed. A less expected entry on the thumbs-down list? A former Australian prime minister. Paul Keating on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on his nation’s plan to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the United States and the UK in what's being called the AUKUS pact, saying "it must be the worst deal in all history." Speaking at a National Press Club event, Keating said the submarines wouldn't serve a useful military purpose, reports the AP.

  • Fiery quote I: "The only way the Chinese could threaten Australia or attack it is on land. That is, they bring an armada of troop ships with a massive army to occupy us. This is not possible for the Chinese to do." He added that Australia would sink any such Chinese armada with planes and missiles. "If we buy eight, three are at sea. Three are going to protect us from the might of China. Really? I mean, the rubbish of it. The rubbish."
  • Fiery quote II: "For $360 billion [Australian dollars, which is $245 billion in USD], we’re going to get eight submarines,” Keating said. “It must be the worst deal in all history."
  • Worst decision since WWI: Keating, who served as prime minister for more than four years in the 1990s, said the submarine deal was the worst international decision by the Labor Party in more than 100 years, when it unsuccessfully tried to introduce conscription during World War I.

  • Counterpoint: Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said the deal was necessary to counter the biggest conventional military buildup in the region since World War II. The subs won't carry nuclear weapons but will be nuclear-powered. Said Marles, "We have to take the step of developing the capability to operate a nuclear-powered submarine so that we can hand over a much more self-reliant nation to our children and to our grandchildren."
(More Australia stories.)

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