AUKUS, Military Keynesianism, and the End of Democracy
Some time ago I mentioned I was working on an essay for an edited volume, and I shared an excerpt from it in the spirit of “workshopping.” I’m doing the same here, excerpting a portion of my draft, this time addressing the irony of AUKUS and an Australian posture toward the US that appeals to the dark side of the US foreign policy imagination. ✌️
For Australia, AUKUS is a policy initiative that represents a conscious effort to entangle US and Australian decision-making on Asia policy.
Some have argued that Australia’s grand strategic intention when it comes to AUKUS is to deliberately signal belligerence toward China in a bid to “rally” the United States to remain militarily committed to the region.
Regardless of Canberra’s intent, it is true both that Australia has nurtured a generally antagonistic posture toward China and its national security elites desire a next-level “mateship” with the United States. AUKUS, then, is downstream of politico-strategic, rather than military-strategic, calculations. It simply expresses itself in a militarized way.
But it is unserious to think Australian jingoism toward China is the difference between America remaining invested in Asia or not. Washington’s sprawling national security state is firmly fixated on its military posture in Asia and the Pacific no matter what Australia wants or chooses to do.
Yet, there are two underappreciated ways in which Canberra’s orientation toward Asia, China, and the United States is counterproductive and invites massive trouble.
Let me explain.