In recent developments, the US, UK and Australia have finalised their plans to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines that will be stationed in the Indo-Pacific region, angering Beijing as a result. While the pact is aimed at ‘restoring peace and order’, it ironically involves the heavy militarization of the region that is bound to exacerbate tensions, push neighboring countries on the edge and spark a whole new conflict that has the potential to become more direct and catastrophic. If it is harmony that we are striving to achieve, surely there are better ways to go about it.
According to the Aukus pact, Australia will be equipped with three nuclear-powered submarines—courtesy of the US—that will be stationed in the Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, President Biden has pledged another $4.6 billion towards expanding the pact to enhance the capacities of the submarines and improve its maintenance. The purpose, according to the three allies, is to keep the region free and open but one must recognise that the pact is born out of increasing tensions with the West’s rival; China.
Very obviously so, we are heading down a dangerous path that is likely to produce hardships not only for the main stakeholders involved, but all those countries they are allied with. Beijing condemned this, as the world expected it would, and there is some truth in the statement the Chinese government put out. Stating that this may risk a new arms race and promote nuclear proliferation—both practices that the world vowed to distance itself from—the Chinese government has warned of the danger that may await.
There has been no case in the history of conflicts where militarisation has promoted peace and order and if anyone should be well-versed with this lesson, it should be the US. Mobilising such heavy-duty arms only promotes an atmosphere of aggression and uncertainty that is likely to have a trickle-down effect on other countries of an already conflict-ridden region. No matter what strategic interests that both countries want to protect, there are peaceful routes that can be taken and should be prioritised. We are living in an era where diplomacy takes the center-stage so why have global powers resorted to taking such extreme measures when history has taught us it brings nothing but trouble?