Few days ago, the United States and its allies agreed on a framework to try to move beyond disputes over who would build submarines for Afghanistan. However, many are worried that this agreement could be used by foreign countries in an effort of greed or corruption.
The “submarine deal with australia-france” is a news article about the United States, allies trying to move beyond disputes over Afghanistan.
BRUSSELS—The United States’ allies have complained that Washington has paid little attention to them throughout the Afghanistan pullout and has pushed France out of a multibillion-dollar submarine deal.
They pushed to move on during a two-day NATO defense ministers conference that ended Friday, agreeing on a new strategy to protect Europe in the event of a Russian assault and easing tensions over Europe’s attempts to arm itself for more autonomous military action.
There are still some points of disagreement. Paris is still stinging from the United States’ decision to cancel a previous French contract in order to provide nuclear submarines to Australia. Some Europeans believe the United States is overly focused on China. The degree to which European forces should aim to act independently of the US is a point of contention between Germany and France.
According to those involved with the negotiations, there were candid discussions, especially concerning Afghanistan, during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meetings, but no finger-pointing.
“In the face of escalating global threats, the situation in Afghanistan does not undermine the necessity for Europe and North America to stand together in NATO,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.
Many allies praised the United States and others for evacuating more than 120,000 people from Kabul in a matter of days, according to Mr. Stoltenberg.
Officials believe this is due to Europeans’ recognition of how much they rely on US military force to deter Russia or carry out any large expeditionary deployment. Although European nations have increased military expenditure by billions in recent years, many, notably Germany, still fall well short of the NATO defense spending objective of 2% of GDP. The European Union has attempted to increase and simplify military expenditure throughout the union, which includes the majority of NATO members.
On Thursday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin attended a meeting in Brussels.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/kenzo tribouillard
Officials at NATO expressed satisfaction that President Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to the alliance, which had been questioned by previous President Donald Trump at times. However, there was concern that the United States’ attention might move to combating China.
Regarding the US commitment to the alliance, a senior European official remarked, “I don’t believe it’s simply rhetorical.” “However, I don’t believe we should be naïve about America’s shift to Asia.”
Ministers addressed ways to prevent terrorists from having a foothold in Afghanistan and how to exert diplomatic, economic, and political pressure on the Taliban over human rights and safe passage for those seeking to escape.
Officials from the United States said they don’t think the rifts between allies that erupted in the last weeks of the war, or the lack of consultation on the Australia agreement that enraged France, will last.
A spokeswoman for the National Security Council stated, “The Biden administration has made consultation and coordination with allies a basic element of its foreign policy engagement, and we have redoubled our efforts to consult across all major security and foreign policy concerns.”
Karen Pierce, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, stated earlier this month that although allies were unhappy at times with the amount of intelligence supplied leading up to the US pullout from Afghanistan, the US remained a vital European partner.
Mr. Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the Group of 20 Leaders Summit in Rome at the end of this month, where Mr. Macron has said that he would re-engage with Mr. Biden for the first time since the split that led to the recall of France’s ambassador to the United States. Earlier last month, the G-20 leaders gathered online to discuss Afghanistan.
The pullout has sparked a discussion about European military’ weaknesses, since they would have been unable to continue the war in Afghanistan without the US.
“One of the lessons from Afghanistan is that if we had better capacities, we would have had a bigger say,” the senior European diplomat said. “The more Europeans who help us, the more America will support us.”
Since retaking control, the Taliban have attempted to create an illusion of normality, but severe penalties, bloodshed, and an assault on fundamental liberties have become the norm.
In Europe, France has taken the lead in advocating for what Mr. Macron refers to as strategic autonomy. Some friends, notably Germany and Russia’s neighbors, are concerned that this seems to be a move away from the US.
Officials in France recognise Europe’s dependence on the United States. A French-led effort against Islamist terrorists in the Sahel area of West Africa, for example, depends on US air transport and information and surveillance assets.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly sought to allay fears during a NATO meeting on Friday.
According to a translation released by a French source, Ms. Parly added, “European defense isn’t being constructed in opposition to NATO; on the contrary, a stronger Europe will contribute to a stronger and more robust alliance.” “Counting on strong European friends will help the United States.”
Mr. Stoltenberg praised the EU’s increasing military spending.
“However, these initiatives should not be duplicative of NATO,” he cautioned. “More capabilities are required, not additional structures.”
James Marson and Nancy A. Youssef may be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.
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The “china australia submarines” is a dispute between the U.S. and China over submarine contracts. The two countries are trying to move beyond their disputes as they continue to work together in Afghanistan.
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